The Celtics are set to reunite with an old friend in the Eastern Conference finals.

Aaron Nesmith and the Indiana Pacers will try to prevent Boston from reaching the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons. Nesmith, picked 14th overall by the Celtics in 2020, played his first two NBA seasons in Boston before he was sent to Indiana in July 2022 when the C’s acquired Malcolm Brogdon.

Nesmith has come into his own with the Pacers, who started the Vanderbilt product in all 13 of their 2024 playoff games to date. Joe Mazzulla on Monday was asked about the 24-year-old’s impressive development since leaving Boston, but the Celtics head coach wasn’t interested in providing an in-depth breakdown.

“Good player, good person,” Mazzulla told reporters, per a video shared by The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.

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Those obviously aren’t knocks on Nesmith, but the talented guard potentially could use the extreme brevity as bulletin board material. After all, the Pacers — who are a +680 betting underdog to win the East at FanDuel Sportsbook — could use all of the motivation it can find to pull off an upset against the best team left in the postseason.

Indiana will try to get off on the right foot Tuesday night when Boston hosts Game 1 of the best-of-seven set. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

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