Arbella Early Edition

House: Why Celtics should play Brissett in Game 2 vs. Pacers

Could Oshae Brissett or Xavier Tillman get some playing time in Game 2?

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The Boston Celtics used an eight-man rotation in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Indiana Pacers.

With Kristaps Porzingis unavailable due to injury, Al Horford started at center and Luke Kornet was the backup.

Horford played a season-high 40 minutes in the 133-128 overtime win. He scored 15 points but shot just 5-of-15 from the field (3-of-12 from 3-point range). Playing a 37-year-old veteran like Horford 40 minutes isn't sustainable.

The Pacers took advantage of Horford in the second half and used pick-and-rolls to get Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard switched onto him. It was an effective strategy by the Pacers, who shot 10-of-21 and scored 26 points against Horford in Game 1.

Which players on the bench could the Celtics use at center in Game 2 so Horford doesn't have to play too many minutes? Xavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett are two of the best options.

Former Celtics guard Eddie House thinks Brissett should get an opportunity Thursday.

"I do think the one guy who could probably get some more minutes in my eyes (is Brissett) -- because Luke Kornet in this game, he's playing the drop coverage," House said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition. "And what drop coverage means is when the high pick-and-roll is happening, he's sagging, he's in the lane and he's kind of in no man's land. And with Myles Turner being able to pick and pop and shoot that 3, it's hard for him to get back. Or you put the guy that's in the corner in rotation, and now Luke's closing out to a pass to a guy that could put the ball on the deck and you could beat him that way.

"I think you gotta look into Oshae Brissett. I think that's a guy who has energy, he'll rebound the basketball. He could guard multiple positions. He's gonna bang down there with you, and he could stretch the floor.

"A lot of times when Luke catches on the wing, he's not a threat. He's a dribble handoff threat. You could scheme and gameplan for that knowing this is all he's gonna do, so it kinda makes it sometimes four-on-five offensively. At least Oshae Brissett is a threat on the 3-point line."

Brissett has played in just five of the Celtics' 11 playoff games so far. He has played just 15 minutes total over those five appearances.

The 25-year-old forward is 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds. He's versatile, he's athletic, he'll crash the boards and he'll push the pace in transition. Brissett isn't an amazing outside shooter, but he's more of a threat than Kornet.

Horford and Kornet will probably get the bulk of the minutes at center in Game 2, but giving Brissett and/or Tillman -- who is available for Game 2 after missing Game 1 due to personal reasons -- a chance makes a lot of sense. The Pacers use a lot of small lineups, so the need to play a traditional center is not as high in this particular matchup.

Check out some of the best behind-the-scenes moments from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Pacers.
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