Jayson Tatum copy
Jayson Tatum copy (Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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The Boston Celtics look for the sweep Monday night while the Indiana Pacers try to force the series back to Boston for a Game 5. The Celtics dealt the Pacers a crushing defeat in Game 3, in a game the Pacers led by as many as 18 points before the Celtics came back and won.

Was that loss the straw that broke the series, with the Celtics likely to win Game 4 in a blowout? Or will the Pacers bounce back yet again and continue to prove they can compete against a team as strong as the Celtics? Let's discuss, with an eye on potential angles for Monday's action.

Pacers +7.5 points (-105). The Pacers are down 3-0 after three heartbreaking losses, none more so than their 3-point loss after an 18-point lead in Game 3. While such a loss could be hard to come back from, this Pacers team has proven resilient all season and all playoffs long. They are playing at home, and all the close losses have proven they can compete with this Celtics squad whether Tyrese Haliburton (GTD, hamstring) plays or not. In their past five matchups against the Celtics, including the playoffs, the Pacers are only 1-4, but the average scoring margin has only been 5.4 points with only one game, Game 2, yielding a Celtics win larger than 7.5 points. In Game 4, I look for the Pacers to play with pace and with pride, and to keep the game competitive once again.

Pacers and Celtics over 222.5 total points (-115). These two teams have played eight times this season, and the average combined score in those eight games has been 243.9 PPG. They have scored at least 225 combined points in seven of the eight games, including in all three playoff games so far. It is unclear whether the Pacers will have Haliburton on the court, but without him they play an even faster pace and continue to put points on the board and give up big numbers at the other end. No matter who wins on Monday, it is very likely that a lot of points will be scored in this matchup... just as usual.

Jayson Tatum over 29.5 points (-125). Tatum has had his way as a scorer against the Pacers all season. In seven matchups against the Pacers, including regular season and playoffs, Tatum has averaged 32.1 PPG on 53.3 FG% and 41.7 3P%. He has scored at least 30 points in six of the seven games. The Pacers play a free-flowing, up-and-down game and don't have any wings with both the size and the lateral quickness to prevent Tatum from getting his looks. The biggest threat to Tatum getting his points is if the game becomes a blowout and he doesn't play full minutes, but if the Pacers keep the game competitive I expect Tatum to produce his typical big game against them.

Andrew Nembhard over 15.5 points (-135). This pick is predicated on Nembhard getting the start at point guard again with Haliburton (GTD, hamstring) sidelined. If it is announced Haliburton will play, I would expect Nembhard's scoring prop to go lower. But if Haliburton doesn't play, Nembhard has shown that the aggression he has shown when called upon this playoff run can translate to the main offense-creating role. The Pacers' offense is predicated on pace and space, and having a lead guard who will attack the defense as a scoring threat that can also set up teammates. Nembhard is that, capable of setting up his shot off the dribble from both distance and in the midrange. If Haliburton plays, I think Nembhard still scores in at least the low-mid teens. But if Haliburton sits, Nembhard is likely to push for 20 or more like he did in Game 3.

Projections and injury reports

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com. Odds by ESPN BET 

Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers 8:00 p.m. Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

Records (Against the Spread) Celtics: 64-18 (43-35-4) Pacers: 47-35 (44-36-2)

Line: Celtics (-7.5) Total: 222.5 Money Line: Celtics (-290), Pacers (+235) BPI Projection: Celtics by 2.6, straight up 59%, 221.9 total points.

Injury Report: Celtics: Jrue Holiday, (GTD - Illness); Luke Kornet, (GTD - Wrist); Kristaps Porzingis, (OUT - Calf) Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD - Hamstring); Bennedict Mathurin, (OUT - Shoulder)