Boston @ Atlanta
7:00 PM EST
Boston: 101.4 points scored per 100 possessions (24th)
Atlanta: 104.3 points scored per 100 possessions (17th)
Boston: 98.8 points allowed per 100 possessions (3rd)
Atlanta: 100.8 points allowed per 100 possessions (6th)
Probable Atlanta Starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Kirk Hinrich (SG), Joe Johnson (SF), Josh Smith (PF), Jason Collins (C)
View From The Other Bench: Hoopinion
Thumbnail: No need to post an injury report. Boston will be without Mickael Pietrus and every starter except Brandon Bass, making this one of the grossest basketball events you’ll see all year. But you probably already knew that. In terms of standings related significance, this game might be the most important of the entire season. If the Celtics lose, there’s a good chance they’ll open up the playoffs in Atlanta next weekend. If they win, Atlanta comes to Boston. Obviously, home court is not the be all, end all for this team, as they’ve proven time and time again that they’re capable of going on the road and performing comfortably, but it’d be nice to guarantee a Game 7 in Boston.
Every time these two teams meet it’s ugly. They both play the same two way, grind it out style, with the same core of characters going back three, four years, and they all know each other. The only difference being the Celtics have more talent. Even if they lose tonight, Boston owns a tiebreaker with the Hawks, so in order for Atlanta to get home court advantage they have to finish with a better record.
The Celtics head into this game most likely with Avery Bradley at the point and Sasha Pavlovic at the two. We should also expect a heavy dose of Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling, so scoring points could be an issue unless Bradley continues to knock down every single shot he takes, which I expect him to do. Should be another hideous basketball game.
Prediction: Celtics 83, Hawks 81