Pacers-Celtics, Brad Stevens, Bobby Plump

Pacers-Celtics, Brad Stevens, Bobby Plump

NBA: Preseason-Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens (Photo: David Butler II-USA Today Sports)

The former darling of the sidelines at Butler University is back in Indianapolis tonight with hopes of making the home crowd a little unhappy.

And he’ll try to do it on a night when the legendary Bobby Plump and the 1954 Milan High School Indians will be honored.

Brad Stevens, who coached Butler to back-to-back NCAA championship games and racked up a 166-49 record as the Bulldogs’ head coach, will lead the surging and playoff-bound Boston Celtics into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and a 7 p.m. clash with the Pacers.

The Pacers will wear the popular Hickory Huskers uniforms as the organization recognizes Milan’s 1954 state championship team that featured Plump.

The Celtics (39-27) are in 3rd place overall in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers are 35-31, good for 7th place in the East standings.

pacers logo 2However, Indiana was hammered at Atlanta Sunday night, losing 104-75 while shooting just 37.9 percent from the floor, 20.8 percent from 3-point range. The Hawks won the rebounding battle, 58-45.

With Pacers guard George Hill making the comment: “It’s not about keeping people happy” after the lopsided loss, who knows how Indiana will respond tonight?

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With the Tiny Archibald-like Isaiah Thomas running the show, the Celtics surprised many people with their good start to the season, which hasn’t slowed down.

Thomas, 5-9 and 182 pounds, averages 21.9 points, 6.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game.

Any questions about Stevens not being able to make a successful transition from coaching fundamentally-sound college teams to the fast-paced NBA were dispelled long ago. The team’s performance this season has buried any such questions forever.

Some tickets will be available at The Fieldhouse.

Read an informative preview about the Pacers-Celtics game here by Wheat Hotchkiss of

Bankers Life Fieldhouse logo

This is an excellent column about Stevens by Mark Forsberg of

NCAA tourney reminder

Tonight’s games
Dayton Arena
Farleigh Dickinson (18-14) vs Florida Gulf Coast (20-13) — 6:40 p.m.
Wichita State (24-8) vs Vanderbilt (19-13) — 9:10 p.m.

Southern University (22-12) vs Holy Cross (14-19) — 6:40 p.m.
Tulsa (20-11) vs Michigan (22-12) — 9:10 p.m.

All games will be shown on truTV.

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