Playoff Offensive Efficiency
Atlanta: 86.4 points per 100 possessions (16th)
Boston: 94.3 points per 100 possessions (12th)
Playoff Defensive Efficiency
Boston: 86.4 points allowed per 100 possessions (1st)
Atlanta: 94.3 points allowed per 100 possessions (5th)
Probable Hawks Starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Joe Johnson (SG), Marvin Williams (SF), Josh Smith (PF), Al Horford (C).
Injury Report: Paul Pierce has a sore knee, Avery Bradley is dealing with his still tender separated shoulder, Mickael Pietrus had a hamstring injury in Game 4, and Ray Allen is suffering from his usual ankle issues.
For the Hawks, Al Horford and Josh Smith are both expected to play.
View From The Opposing Bench: Hoopinion
Thumbnail: On Sunday night, the Celtics made a Marquis Daniels, Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, Greg Stiemsma, Kevin Garnett lineup the third most used five-man unit that Doc Rivers chose to go with, and it didn’t come after the blow out. These five guys took the floor at the end of the first quarter and into the second, with the game’s outcome still in play.
I write about this because it highlights just how banged up this Celtics team is right now. Pierce, Allen, Bradley, and Pietrus are the ones with injuries we know about, and Garnett and Stiemsma are hurting, but not injured. I’d expect all of them to play tonight, but the tough situation Rivers has been dealt shouldn’t be overlooked. Managing minutes in a playoff game is beyond difficult. Playing to win tonight’s game while simultaneously looking ahead to the next one can be a borderline impossible task, yet Rivers has somehow thrived under pressure.
Tonight the Celtics face a Hawks team that appears to have used up its last bits of energy and will during Game 3. If the Celtics come out strong early and manage to hold a consistent five, six point lead throughout the first half, expect Atlanta to eventually lay down. They aren’t the better team, and right now they’re playing like it.
Prediction: Celtics 90, Hawks 82