Celtics steal Game 1 of ECF in overtime

Written by: William Petersen

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The Eastern Conference Finals is already off to an electric start after the Boston Celtics forced overtime and an eventual Celtics win in game 1 after Jaylen Brown hit a game tying three with 5.7 seconds left in regulation. Boston would eventually win game 1, 133-128 and continue their impressive playoff run, now sitting at 9-2. The Indiana Pacers came out with a tenacity that seemed to catch Boston by surprise even after the Celtics outscored them in the fourth quarter by one point after Brown’s crucial game tying three. Boston seems like they could really use Kristaps Porzingis as the Pacers big men Myles Turner and Pascal Siakam dominated on the boards both recording double digit rebounds. If the Celtics are to make their second Finals appearance in three seasons, they will have to find a way to limit the Pacers ability to grab offensive rebounds and keep Brown and Jayson Tatum hot if the Celtics want to win this series in five games or less.

Indiana has taken the playoffs by storm after not making the playoffs last season. The Pacers beat an injured Milwaukee Bucks team in six games in the first round, and sent the Knicks to Cancun after dismantling them in their own building in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The key to this young Indiana team’s success comes from All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and the two bigs in Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner. Haliburton racked up a 25 point double-double with 10 assists and six threes which led the Pacers in scoring in a game that came down to Jaylen Brown hitting a career defining shot to force extra basketball. Myles Turner finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Pascal Siakam grabbed 12 rebounds to round out his 24 point double-double in an effort that will need to be replicated in game two if the Pacers want to have any chance of stealing a game in Boston. Indiana overall played a solid game but Boston had the best regular season and home record in the NBA this season for a reason but thankfully Boston as of late is known for losing game two at home. They still boast a 10-6 record in game twos at home in the last 10 seasons but have lost three straight in the past two seasons.

The Boston Celtics have been the cream of the NBA crop all season as they continue to try to cap off an historic season and finally get superstar Jayson Tatum his first NBA Championship. Boston has been without their key big man Kristaps Porzingis since game 4 of their first round matchup with the Miami Heat. The Celtics could use Porzingis’s size to control the glass more, but the Celtics have been able to manage without him after Tatum finished with 36 point 12 rebound double-double to accompany Jrue Holiday’s 28 point performance and Jaylen Brown’s 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Celtics have the deepest roster in the NBA and it was apparent last night as Boston’s stars continued to hit tough shots when they needed to. Obviously the Celtics would have rather won that game by double digits in regulation but Boston might have just gotten the edge they needed to win their first NBA Championship since 2008. Boston will need to find ways to grab more rebounds without Porzingis, otherwise the Pacers could find themselves splitting the first two games on the road, which would be a dream scenario for this young roster. Tatum and Brown will have to continue to score efficiently but if the Celtics’ stars find themselves on an off night, Boston has plenty of depth off the bench to support their stars. Game 2 should be another shootout, but if the Pacers do not show up again offensively it could end in a blowout in favor of Boston, and the Celtics going back to Indiana up 2-0.