By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
Brad Stevens shook up his starting lineup choosing to go with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson against the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Celtics first road game of the season.
However despite the reshuffled deck and a hard fought battle in the second half, the Pacers beat the Celtics 100-98.
With Marcus Smart out with a toe injury, it made sense that Isaiah Thomas got the nod and in turn because they are seemingly conjoined by the hip in Brad Stevens’ rotation, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see Amir Johnson at the 5.
Celtics starters overall were off to a better start, getting quality looks and playing sound defense, but trailed 23-16 at the end of the first with Indiana finishing the quarter on a 17-7 run.
Coming out of the half, Brad Stevens’ new unit started to look more in sync and the Celtics were able to make it a one possession game with a huge three from Avery Bradley, who finished his night with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Bradley hit another mid-range shot to tie it up, but fouled Monte Ellis who nailed both from the charity stripe giving Indiana the 100-98 advantage and the eventual win.
- Turnovers were a big problem for the Celtics throughout the game coughing up the ball 19 times for 22 points. Isaiah Thomas led the team in turnovers with 5.
- Despite the turnovers, Thomas had another nice outing scoring 27 points, dishing out 7 assists and had 2 steals.
- Terry Rozier got his first meaningful NBA minutes totaling 6 in all and was 0-4 from the floor.
- R.J. Hunter made his anticipated NBA debut and played 13 minutes, went 1-2 from the floor and was a team high +8.
- It was another night where Tyler Zeller saw the least amount of minutes (3) of Celtics who saw playing time. He was 0-2 and had a rebound and an assist.
- Jared Sullinger got the start in place of David Lee and, while he wasn’t particularly efficient (3-10), he made plays defensively and scored 9 points to go with his 11 rebounds
- Jae Crowder had another solid night (12 pts and 6 reb) but had the oddest play of the night, and eventually maybe the season, when he accidentally nailed what was suppose to be an inbounds pass.
The Celtics are now 1-3 on the young season and will look to try and break that three game losing streak when they host the Washington Wizards on Friday night.