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NBA Player Props For Pacers vs. Celtics | Game 2


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: May 23, 2024

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The Indiana Pacers were 9.5-point underdogs against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and Indiana did their best to stick around, leading Boston 117-114 with only six seconds remaining in the game.

Indiana got off to a horrible start in Game 1, falling behind 12-0 before they scored a single point of their own. The Pacers would crawl back into the game only to fall behind again, looking up at a 90-77 deficit late in the third quarter.

Somehow, Indiana wouldn’t go away quietly, taking a late lead.

Then, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown hit a game-tying three-pointer that would force overtime, and in the end, the Pacers would lose, 133-128.

Entering Game 2, I’m expecting Boston to pick up where they left off and keep their foot on the gas.

Indiana’s morale may already be broken after their devastating loss on Tuesday, and the heavily-favored Celtics could push over the wobbly Pacers from here on out.

In the 53 minutes of game time in Game 1 — regulation plus overtime, Boston’s bench combined for 47:06 minutes on the floor. As for Indiana, their bench saw a combined 68:39 minutes on the floor, with Indy’s reserves outscoring the Celtics bench 30 to 13. 

The Celtics are going to lean heavily on their starting five, and I’d expect Brown and Jayson Tatum to continue to dismantle this already weak Pacers’ defense.

There’s no reason why Game 1 should have ever been close, and I find it amazing that Game 1 even got to overtime at all, especially on Brown sinking a three just to get to OT.

Wild stuff.

Tonight, I’m backing Boston to win big, and my player prop selections will reflect that stance.

Let’s examine some player props for Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and as always, all props are paired with the best odds.

Jayson Tatum – PF, Boston Celtics

As I previously mentioned, the Indiana Pacers’ defense is not very good, and the Boston Celtics rely heavily on their starting five, so that bodes well for Jayson Tatum.

Indiana allowed 120.2 points per game in the regular season (27th in NBA), and so far in the playoffs, they have allowed 112.4. They’ve been slightly better, but not much better. The Celtics putting up 133 points in Game 1 was not a great sign.

In Boston’s victory over the Pacers’ on Tuesday, Tatum filled the statsheet, collecting 36 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in 45 minutes on the floor.

That’s a combined 52 points, rebounds, and assists for Tatum, which is much higher than his playoff average of 41.5 on the stat combo.

From what I’ve seen, Indiana’s defense will allow for big box score totals.

Here’s a look at how Tatum fared in his four matches against the Pacers in the regular season and on Tuesday.

Tatum vs. INDPointsReboundsAssistsMinutes
Nov. 13012427
Dec. 43212637
Jan. 63813638
Jan. 30307739
May 213612446

Against Indiana, Tatum has gone for 30+ points in every game and is averaging 33.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 37.4 minutes. That’s 49.8 pts+rebs+asts per game!

Assuming Tatum can tally close to 40 minutes on the floor, I’m expecting him to decorate the box score against the Pacers once again.

Pick: Tatum – OVER 46.5 Pts+Rebs+Asts

Best Odds: (-106) FanDuel

Jaylen Brown – SF, Boston Celtics

Tatum and Brown are the “Batman and Robin” of basketball in Beantown.

When one gets going, the other seemingly benefits, so I would expect another solid showing from Brown tonight.

Now that we know that Tatum has feasted on the Pacers, here’s a look at how Brown has done against Indiana this season.

Brown vs. INDPointsReboundsAssistsMinutes
Nov. 1167125
Dec. 4309031
Jan. 6314136
Jan. 8405238
Jan. 30256236
May 21267544

For Brown, that’s an average of 28 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 35 minutes per game against Indiana, which is 36.1 pts+rebs+asts per game!

That’s including a 25-minute clunker near the beginning of the NBA season.

The line for Browns’ pts+rebs+asts sits at 35.5 tonight, and Brown has collected 36 or more in three of his last four games.

The usage for Boston’s big-time players is increasing, and it’s showing in the box score.

Pick: Brown – OVER 35.5 Pts+Rebs+Asts

Best Odds: (-115) bet365

Tyrese Haliburton – PG, Indiana Pacers

In 14 playoff games, Pacers’ point guard Tyrese Haliburton has scored less than 20 points eight times, and even though he scored 25 points in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday, he went 6-of-14 from beyond the arc.

Over Haliburton’s last 10 games, he failed to record six or more three-pointers made in six contests, finishing with less than 20 points five times. Haliburton did reach exactly 20 points in the May 12th matchup against the New York Knicks, hitting four three-pointers.

Long story short, I don’t see Haliburton putting on a three-point extravaganza tonight.

Ultimately, I believe we’ll see the Pacers’ guard playing a more conservative game as Indiana tries to slow down the Celtics’ tempo and focus more on defense.

In the worst case scenario for Haliburton’s point total, Boston takes a huge lead and the Pacers’ bench gets more run time than expected. 

Pick: Haliburton – UNDER 19.5 Points

Best Odds: (-120) BetMGM

Andrew Nembhard – SG, Indiana Pacers

Andrew Nembhard was quietly one of the more prolific first basket shooters in the NBA this season.

According to BestOdds’ First Basket Stats, Nembhard fired the first shot for his squad in 32% of his starts, which was the second-highest mark on the team when he was in the starting lineup (Myles Turner, 36% first field goal attempt percentage).

In 14 games this postseason, Nemhard leads the Pacers with two first field goals made, and he should have a decent opportunity against the Celtics tonight.

Myles Turner bested Al Horford on the opening tip in Game 1, but Indiana blew their opening possession on an Aaron Nesmith turnover.

If Turner can defeat Horford on the jumpball at center court again tonight, I like Nembhard’s chances of sinking the first basket considering that 67% of first baskets made against Boston have come from opposing shooting guards.

Nembhard had a disappointing Game 1, seeing the least amount of time on the floor in the Pacers’ starting five and collecting only 12 points on 10 shots.

Indiana does not lean on Nembhard for major offensive contributions, but they have shown a tendency to let him take some early shots.

For the value, I like taking the swing on Nembhard to score first.

Pick: Nembhard – First Basket Scorer

Best Odds: (+950) FanDuel


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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