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Game 64/66: Celtics (37-26) @ Hawks (37-25)

 

Boston @ Atlanta
Phillips Arena
7:00 PM EST
CSNNE/ESPN

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 101.4 points scored per 100 possessions (24th)
Atlanta: 104.3 points scored per 100 possessions (17th)

Defensive Efficiency:
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

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

  • Jamie

    I thought a division winner was guaranteed home court in the 1st round??

    • someguyinsac

      Only if they have a better record than the #5 seed.

  • someguyinsac

    I'm thinking hideous is an understatement if we're basically starting the second unit, but I'll stay hopeful that they pull off a win and put everyone on notice that we're the team everyone wants to avoid in the playoffs.

  • janos

    I wish fast forward button to playoff, I am ready playoff now.

    • High Rollers

      Janos. Last rodeo. Savor it.

  • ElRoz

    Pina has Boston winning by 2 points w/o Pierce, KG, and Rondo. Why?

    By the way, I'm NOT ok with Doc playing Bradley. With Allen and Pietrus out, and possibly missing the first round, Bradley is very important – WHY risk it?

    • Anthony

      AB is 21 years old, don't think it's a big risk. (knock on wood) It'll only help his confidence by being the main guy and he needs to maintain that confidence going into the playoffs.

      • ElRoz

        Of course he is young…but he was also young last year and had to miss lots of time….I'd even keep Bass out as well – recall the last time he played Atlanta, in Boston, the way he landed and grabbed his leg.
        I'm too scared now.

        • Anthony

          If you're scared of freak injuries, then this season must've given you an heartattack.

          Just gotta have faith in the team and coaching staff that they know what they're doing. As much as I wanted this game, it wasn't too frustrating a loss. Celts had a chance at the game but couldn't execute down the stretch. But all in all, they played well. AB's just off the charts with his confidence.

  • I_Love_Green

    How do we win this game?

  • noche

    I'm questioning why you think the starting lineup would be Bradley at the point and Sasha at the 2. Who will play 3? Daniels? Bass will be 4 and Stiemer 5. More likely Bradley, Dooling, Sasha, Bass, Stiemsma.

    • noche

      Also, while I like your optimism you really think the Celtics are going to pull out a 2 point win tonight? Against a team fighting to maintain the 5th seed and who's best shot out of the first round is having home court? And is playing against the D-League version of the Celtics?

      You should really change your twitter handle to #ShakyAnalysis.

  • red

    C's win by 26.

    • Anthony

      Stiemsma gets triple double with 10 blocks.

  • Anthony

    Why all the pessimism guys? Have faith in our 2nd unit.

    I would prefer an AB, Sasha, JJJ, Bass, and Stiemsma starting line-up.
    Etwaun, Dooling, Quis, Sean Williams, Hollins off the bench.

  • Jman

    Doc should of played the starters at least 10-15 mins tonight. Always keep the rhythm flowing by keeping your players in game. But they'll be ok hopefully come play-off time with rhythm as long as Doc keeps his game-play consistent and not screw with it like he did the other night against NY and Orlando. Unless it's 2010 again and the ole boy has something up his sleeve…;)

  • sk35

    The Celts won't be without every starter except Bass – Bradley has been a starter for weeks, remember? That said, if Atlanta is playing for seeding, the Celts have little chance of winning this one. A guy just signed today might be the first big off the bench…

  • High Rollers

    They may be second and third stringers, but they’re ballers. Gotta expect them to play up to the competition tonight. Anybody’s ball game. Also an excellent chance for the rotation guys who are out there to show some leadership.

  • ElRoz

    Save the starters and instead use practice time to shore up the D…the D has suffered the last few games mostly due to skipped practices. Now is the time to rest + practice.

  • High Rollers

    I'm excited to see AB and Stiemroller demonstrate some of that swag KG was talking up the other day.

    • Anthony

      Agreed. Will need big contributions from them in the playoffs.

      Also like the fact the Hollins communicates alot with his teammates. Hopefully it will show in his play going forward.

  • I_Love_Green

    Its nice seeing a new big man out there. I like Williams more than Hollins already, but that's not saying much at all.

    Also this could be a great game to get Dooling's confidence up on the offensive end to provide another spark off the bench.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Joe Johnson scores 30 points…. Our bench plays as deep as 4th string…. And Atlanta barely ahead… If I'm Atlanta I am very worried about a matchup in the playoffs with Boston.

    • Lantrell Walker

      Despite the loss, it was very encouraging to see how the supporting cast held it down, they even showed signs of mental toughness & reservation in their play tonight. Great outing by AB tonight setting a new career-high.

      #WeBelieveIn18

  • CelticsBIG3

    Most comfortable loss I've seen in a LONG LONG time.

  • hansgruber

    Maybe I missed something but why did Steamer play 10 minutes? Other than that, this wasn't a bad loss. Considering how close this was without any of the stars I'm not worried now if they don't have home court against this team. Good to see Ryan Hollins get more than 2 rebounds.

    • CelticsBIG3

      just rest. he has plantar faciatis and getting some rest

  • CelticsBIG3

    Curious to see what lineup the Celtics run out against Miami on Tuesday. Miami is playing with the potential to steal the number one spot from Chicago in these last couple games, so depending on what happens to them over this weekend, they should be running at least Lebron come Tuesday. Can't wait too see how well our bench can compete against a Miami team trying to steal the one spot from Chicago.

    • ElRoz

      I say Doc should not play the KG-Pierce-Rondo-Allen Four…..and, as I said before, I'd try to save Bradley and Bass – not for rest (they don't need it), but to avoid any mishaps…play it safe.

      Instead, use practice time with the starters to shore up the D.

      • High Rollers

        Gotta think Doc will play any and all who are healthy, rested, and ready in that game. It's perfectly positioned to rest guys again against the Bucks and get another full week to recover.

    • yeah

      I want to see our 6th string play all the Miami starters yes

  • someguyinsac

    So, so close to pulling it off and I'm not disappointed at all about the outcome tonight.

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