The Boston Celtics have more talent than the Indiana Pacers.

This isn’t necessarily a slight toward the Pacers, who knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks en route to the Eastern Conference finals. It’s merely a reminder that the Celtics are absolutely stacked, with or without Kristaps Porzingis, who’s working back from a calf injury.

Still, there are specific matchups and key areas that could determine whether Indiana plays Boston competitively with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

Story continues below advertisement

Tim Bontemps and Chris Herring broke down the best-of-seven series for a piece published Monday on The deep dive pinpointed a “wild card” that could play a huge factor in the series’ outcome: “The rebounding battle.”

“If the Pacers’ defense is spread thin — either because Indiana opts to double-team, or Boston’s ability to space the floor with shooters — the question of rebounding could be critical, just like it was in the conference semifinals between New York and Indiana,” the ESPN article reads.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

It was noted how the Knicks started 6-foot-1 guard Miles McBride over 6-8 forward Precious Achiuwa in Game 5 against the Pacers, a decision that made it more difficult for Indiana to defend Jalen Brunson.

The Celtics might not need to make any significant lineup adjustments. Their starting five of Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and either Porzingis or Al Horford (based on Porzingis’ availability) is good enough and versatile enough to handle whatever’s thrown its way. But there always are the games within the games, and rebounding will no doubt be important for both sides.

Story continues below advertisement

“Boston will have similar counters, ones that are potentially more efficient than New York’s,” the ESPN breakdown reads. “The Pacers, who struggled mightily at times to keep the Knicks off the offensive glass, may have that problem against the Celtics, too. Indiana ranked 26th in defensive rebound rate during the regular season. By halftime of that Game 5, the Knicks had more offensive rebounds than the Pacers had total rebounds.”

The Celtics, the NBA’s top seed, beat the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers — each in five games — to set up their date with the Pacers, the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed.

As of Monday afternoon, Boston was a -1200 favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook to take down Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics were -160 favorites to win the NBA Finals, where they’d face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks.

Featured image via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images