Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum lead Boston Celtics to 99-91 Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers – MassLive.com

Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum lead Boston Celtics to 99-91 Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers - MassLive.com
Boston Celtics daily links 4/17/19
BOSTON — The Boston Celtics are looking to take a two-nothing lead over the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their opening round playoff series. Game 1 was a throwback to the old days of beat em up basketball where points were at a premium and the team with the strongest will came out on top.

Scoring 84 point will not win a team many games. Holding the Pacers to 74 points was impressive, but its also an anomaly. They hadnt scored fewer than 89 all season, and even with playoff basketball being what it is, its prudent not to expect that to happen again.

Horford, who participated in Tuesdays practice, had 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in Bostons Game 1 win Sunday. If he is unable to play, Marcus Morris would be the most likely candidate to reenter the starting lineup in his place.

There were a lot of adjustments on their end, Brad Stevens said of the Pacers defense. They switched a lot more than they normally do.

Morris entered the starting lineup with Marcus Smart on Nov. 23 and stayed there until being replaced by Aron Baynes for the final few weeks of the regular season. He had 20 points in Game 1.

Switching defense is a gamble with certain players on the floor. In last years Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron did everything he could to switch onto Terry Rozier and attack that mismatch. The instant Indiana starts switching, the Celtics can find a target and exploit it.

Celtics forward Al Horford is questionable for Game 2 of the opening-round playoff series against the Pacers Wednesday night at TD Garden because of an illness.

One way we saw that happen in Game 1 was Gordon Hayward hunting the smaller Darren Collison (Hayward is 6′8″, Collison is 6 feet even).

But, again, the Pacers still have a chance to come back, down just 94-91. They now have two glaring examples of why running the iso-Bojan play was a bad idea. They probably even have enough evidence to show that Bogdanovic has become a radioactive target that would pose a danger to any potential team success this game. That line of thinking would only leave three scoring options off the inbounds pass, but with the scrappy talent on the floor, Indiana should still be able to at least get a shot off—even with just those three.

The Pacers have to respect Marcus Morris in the left corner and Kyrie Irving on the left wing. When Hayward sets the pick on the switching Collison, the ball is swung up to Al Horford instead of Tatum dumping it in because Horford having the ball there (a) is a threat to score and (b) is a threat to pass to Irving or Morris, so those guys have to stay close to their assignments.

Now, itd be understandable if Pacers coach Nate McMillan realized his player had a hot hand and told his players to get Bogdanovic the ball more frequently down the stretch. Whats not understandable is giving a spot-up shooter the ball a million miles away from the basket, and putting him in iso situations like hes some sort of ball-dominant guard—which, in case its not clear, hes not. Unsurprisingly, the bad game plan led to some bad results.

Hayward uses his size and strength advantage to pack Collison down to the rim. From there, the pass is easy, and Hayward is deep enough where thats automatic. If someone from the other side of the floor makes a run over to help, that guys man, Morris or Irving, will get the ball for an open 3.

Well, great. Sure, that play looked uglier than it was probably designed because of Wesley Matthewss terrible shot, but it was a play that was contingent on Bogdanovic being about 15 feet away from the three point line as a reset point. As if to add insult to injury, Bogdanovics slow rotation off a pick helped Jayson Tatum get open enough to set up that play to Hayward.

This isnt some genius-level play that will get Brad Stevens into the Hall of Fame for basketball wizardry. The beauty of this is its simplicity.

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When people talk about ways Hayward helps his team, they never really talk about his size, but he can be a significant advantage against a team with smaller guards. Cory Joseph is 6′3″. Wesley Matthews is 6′5″. Even Tyreke Evans gives up a couple of inches at 6′6″. The Pacers know the Celtics are attacking these mismatches, and its up to them to decide if they want to continue.

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Were the ones that are switching, Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. We know that sometimes take advantage of that and we have to have the proper coverage to defend that if they are trying to take advantage of a matchup, whether thats on the perimeter or the post.

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The Celtics can find easy ways to score by using simple plays like this to take advantage of Haywards height and skill if the Pacers continue to try switching on defense.

Share Share Big 4th Quarter Paces Celtics Past Indiana, 99-91 tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports The dual threat of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum scored 19 fourth quarter points to give the Boston Celtics a 99-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics took a 2-0 series lead behind an incredible, monstrous and efficient game from Irving who had 37 points in just 26 shots. The late game hero, however, was Tatum who turned the clock back to 2018 with a nifty 26-4-3 line and big time heroics. The sophomore loomed large for the Celtics in the critical moments of the game, with a huge three and an assist to push the lead to three with 12 seconds left

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Well pick things up midway through the fourth, with Irving returning to the game after a Al Horford-Tatum led unit cut a large Pacers deficit to four. The Celtics played staunch defense, forcing four Pacers misses as the Hoosier State representatives went cold. This was more than enough of a window for Irving who hit two big

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Bojan Bogdanovic and Wesley Matthews hit three straight threes to put the Pacers back up, but three straight empty possessions with the lead allowed Boston to regain the lead and close out the win with 10 straight points in the final minute, aided by two brutal turnovers by the Pacers.


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