I talked to Atlanta starting guard Kirk Hinrich prior to the Celtics-Hawks game on Wednesday night at the TD Garden. Here is what the Kansas alum, who is averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 assists per game had to say.
1. You guys lost a close game to the Celtics [79-76] last month, what can you take away from that game?
Hinrich: Well, you know they are a really good defensive team, and a veteran team. So we have to make sure we take care of ourselves come out defend ourselves. Try to eliminate 2nd chance points, get some stops, see if can get out and get some easy ones.
2. Last month you played 3 games in 3 days, something the Celtics have coming up, you won all 3 games and even played a 4 OT game in the final game. How much are those back-to-backs mental compared to a physical challenge?
Hinrich: Oh I mean its a big challenge both physically and mentally for sure. You knew coming into the season there would be nights like that and whenever you play your back-to-back-to-backs it would definitely be one of those gut check times.
3. What do you think of the Celtics new starting backcourt, of Bradley and Rondo?
Hinrich: Bradley is a good defender, and he has been playing well at both ends of the floor. He’s a good young player, he gives them energy. He’s definitely been helping their team.
4. Does this run that the Celtics are on, including a couple of wins over Miami, surprise you at all?
Hinrich: No. I felt like all along if they were healthy they definitely are a dangerous team in the East and they’ve been playing great since the All-Star break.
5. Has Al Horford been practicing at all with you guys yet, and is he hoping to be back for the Playoffs?
Hinrich: Well, we just want Al to get better. I’m not sure what his timeline is or anything like that, but we just want him to get better as soon as possible.
Rich Keefe is the Celtics Reporter for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. You can follow him on twitter: @Keefe21