How we see it goin' down: Celtics - Hawks

How we see it goin' down: Celtics - Hawks

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How we see it goin' down: Celtics - Hawks

Tip: 8:00 PM    Court: TD Garden   Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI

         Referees: Marc Davis, Leroy Richardson, Zach Zarba

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The Matchup

Dominique wilkins celtics  Dominique wilkins hawks
Record: 33-24 (1st Atlantic, 4th East) Record: 34-23 (2nd Southeast, 5th East)
At home: 20-9 On the road: 15-15 
Streak: Won 3 Streak: Won 3
    Leaders  Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.3 ppg) Buckets: Joe Johnson (18.9 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (8.2 rpg) Boards: Josh Smith (9.7 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.3 apg) Dimes: Jeff Teague (4.9 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks: 
Offensive Rating: 101.1 (26th NBA) Offensive Rating: 104.0 (17th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 98.6 (2nd NBA) Defensive Rating: 101.5 (7th NBA)
Pace: 90.4 (20th NBA) Pace: 89.8 (23rd NBA)

Last time

The Celtics and Hawks played a horribly unwatchable game in which the Celtics looked old and dead… until they didn't anymore, made a comeback, and won the game 79-76.

This time

Get it to: Rajon Rondo

Rajon has been running the Celtics offense beautifully.  I'm hoping that his desire to extend his assist streak leads to more of the same.  The Celtics are in the midst of a lot of games in not much time… if Rondo is dying to get another 10 assists, he'll find guys who can score. 

Gotta stop:  Josh Smith

Force him to take jumpers… which shouldn't be too hard.  If you keep his athleticism in check, you take away an advantage that he seems reluctant to use sometimes.

The Wild Card:  Zaza Pachulia  

One of the easiest guys in the league to hate, and if he starts grabbing offensive rebounds, we'll REALLY be pissed at him.  Keep this guy in check or else this won't end well.

How we see it goin' down

I've been wracking my brain for hours now trying to figure this game out… and I just can't.  The Hawks are rested (they last played Saturday), but they're mediocre on the road.  The Celtics just came off a tough road win over a quality opponent, flew into Boston, play tonight, and then it's off to Toronto for the first of three in a row… but they're playing great ball.  

To me, the overriding factors are (a) the Celtics are at home (b) Rondo wants to keep his assist roll going and (c) The Celtics are just better now. I can't pick against the team the way they're playing at the moment.  Plus, home court might hinge on this game.  The Celtics are the 4th seed, but Atlanta has a better record.  A win tonight moves them into a tie.  If this truly is the 4/5 matchup… the team with the better record will get the home court advantage.

So I'm going to guess the Celtics will settle for a lot of jumpers, but Avery Bradley will be even more instrumental in this win.  I see the Celtics playing a slow, deliberate, ugly game.  You'll see zone defenses, you'll see walking the ball up the floor, and you won't see much scoring.   I'll go with the C's 85-80 with the caveat that I really  have no clue on this one… or at least much less of a clue than usual.

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