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Game Two: Celtics (0-1) @ Hawks 1-0) Open Thread

 

Game 2
Celtics @ Hawks
7:30 P.M. ET
Phillips Arena
NBATV/CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 98.9 points/100 possessions (24th)
Atlanta: 102.4 points/100 possessions (14th)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 95.5 points/100 possessions (2nd)
Atlanta: 98.6 points/100 possessions (6th)

Probable Hawks Starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Kirk Hinrich (SG), Joe Johnson (SF), Josh Smith (PF), and Jason Collins (C)

Injury Report: Ray Allen is out for the C’s. Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia are still out.

THUMBNAIL

The Celtics will need both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to step up tonight if they want to have a chance to go back to Boston with the series tied 1-1.

As Ryan explained yesterday, Pierce doesn’t have a problem playing the point forward position. And if you really think about it, is there any other person on the Celtics that you would rather have as a high usage point guard than Pierce? Over the years, Doc Rivers has experimented with Ray Allen, Delonte West, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson and various other combo guards when Rajon Rondo wasn’t available and it’s safe to say that employing Pierce in that role this season has been the most successful. With the ball in Pierce’s hands, the Hawks will have to completely change their game plan. They won’t be able to go under screens and play off Rondo like the Hawks did in Game 1. The Hawks were really successful in cutting down passing angles and turning Rondo into a primary scorer. If they decide to employ the same strategy with Pierce, they’ll likely get burned big time. Keeping the Hawks honest with guarding Pierce is going to have great downstream effects in terms of touches for Brandon Bass and Garnett.  They’ll look to be beneficiaries of more open jumpers and I expect them to be able to knock them down with regularity.

I’m also not too worried about this weird, make-shift lineup Rivers is trotting out to start the game. The unit of Avery Bradley, Michael Pietrus, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, and Kevin Garnett has played close to 60 minutes together and they been largely successful according to Basketball Value.  It’s not ideal, but it’s not worst-case-scenario.

I mentioned in the 5-on-5 Series Preview that Josh Smith and Joe Johnson would have to play like the elite of the elite to beat the Celtics.  Turns out, I have half right.  Smith had maybe the best game of any player in the playoffs.  22 points and 18 rebounds are video game numbers. Or Al Jefferson-in-high-school numbers.  I don’t expect him to make as many jump shots.  I don’t expect Smith to snag as many rebounds.  But, I also don’t expect Joe Johnson or the Celtics to shoot as poorly as they did in Game 1.

PREDICTION

Celtics 90, Hawks 85

  • someguyinsac

    The Captain's on deck and letting the Hawks know it.

  • http://twitter.com/Lincolntf @Lincolntf

    I guess we could call this a "high energy" quarter. Not all good, not all bad. Pietrus with the fouls is the lowlight so far.

  • IBleedGreen

    Avery Bradley needs to calm down. Half the time he doesn’t know what he’s doing driving to the rim.

  • IBleedGreen

    Come on KG you’re my favorite player please wake up!!!!

  • I_Love_Green

    Jeff Teague is KILLING us. We need to work KG more in the post, and have somebody, ANYBODY make a 3.

  • jason

    I'm over Pietrus, put sasha back in. Pietrus has played the worst playoff game ive ever seen. 3 fouls in 4 minutes and the dumbest turnover of the playoffs.

  • someguyinsac

    Officiating is as as annoying as ever, but that's just my opinion.

  • Rob

    id rather listen to the warriors announcers than these two jokes. Greg Anthony's got a boner for jeff teague and the other nobody knows as much about basketball as my 5 year old sister.

  • someguyinsac

    Dang! Bradley's the block monster tonight.

  • Josh

    Not being able to watch or listen to this game is killing me!!!!

  • tomrod

    The Truth!!!

  • someguyinsac

    Man, I LOVE the heart this team has!

  • Josh

    We play without Ray and Rondo to make it fair. WOOOOH what a sweet game!

  • High Rollers

    Cut off one head, another grows. A different kind of snake.

  • noche

    The title of the recap needs to be PAUL MOTHER @&$!IN PIERCE.

  • I_Love_Green

    What a gritty win!!! I love the Truth!!!!!!

  • Ryan DeGama

    Working on the post-game grades. Guess who's getting an A+?

    • High Rollers

      Hmm…

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      Marquis Daniels?

    • I_Love_Green

      JaJaun Johnson!

      He cheered really hard! REALLY hard!

      • GowGow

        Scalabrine!

  • skeeds

    Oh damn did that feel good.
    Bradley played awesome, and I can't be disappointed by any other guy that stepped in. Quisy, Dooling, Sasha, they all contributed. And more than everyone, Pietrus. My man chocked Joe Johnson all 2nd half.

    PP was all kinds of awesome tonight, but Quisy Bradley and Pietrus pretty much won us the game. ATL had maybe 1 good possession all 2nd half.

    • Anthony

      I think it was overlooked that Quis got some playing time in the last couple of games of the regular season. He played well in those games and helped build his confidence. Same goes for Dooling as he has been hitting the open 3s lately.

  • Anthony

    ATL must have forgot Pierce is THE TRUTH.

    Man, I wish I could've watched the game. But looking at the play-by-play, it seems the Celts went super small to finish the game. A line-up of KG, MP, Pierce, Quis, and AB.

    I fully expect Bass to step up for the next game…8pt 6reb won't cut it.

    Does anyone know if Stiemsma is injured or is he not playing simply because of match-ups?

    We got our home court advantage now and Rondo (and Ray hopefully) will be back for Game 3. Isn't this what everyone was expecting?

    • CG12

      It's just match-ups with Stiemsma. The Cs were playing a lot of small ball, like that lineup you give that finished the game.

  • hansgruber

    Philly routed Chicago as well. Hopefully that was more than just an off game for them and it really shows how bad they need Derek Rose. Back to Boston. Hopefully they don't think all they have to do is show up.

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