Kendrick Perkins fully anticipated the Pacers to bring a real fight to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, and Indiana did as much Tuesday night.

But given the way Game 1 at TD Garden panned out, the Boston big man seemingly has lost some hope for Tyrese Haliburton and company making it a long series.

The Pacers had a chance to land a big punch on the Celtics, who squandered a 13-point second-half lead and were seconds away from yet another disappointing result on their home floor. But Indiana wasn’t able to put the final nail in Boston’s coffin, and Joe Mazzulla’s side escaped with an overtime triumph.

Perkins, who on Monday predicted the Eastern Conference finals to go the full seven games, believes the wasted opportunity could have a serious impact on Indiana.

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“I’m not saying that they won’t but I don’t know how the Pacers regroup from this one! They gave this game away,” the ex-center posted to X after the Celtics’ 133-128 win.

Perkins’ logic probably is sound. An Indiana upset right out of the gate would not have killed Boston, but the East’s top seed would have at least been pushed up against the wall a bit. Instead, the C’s received their first real gut check of the postseason and still came out on top.

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The Celtics now are fully aware of everything the Pacers can bring to the table, and this set might not go as long as Perkins originally expected.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images