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Game Six: Hawks (2-3) @ Celtics (3-2) Open Thread

 

Game 6
Hawks @ Celtics
8:00 PM EST
CSNNE/TNT
TD Garden

Playoff Offensive Efficiency
Atlanta: 89.3 points per 100 possessions (16th)
Boston: 94.7 points per 100 possessions (11th)

Playoff Defensive Efficiency
Atlanta: 94.7 points allowed per 100 possessions (5th)
Boston: 89.3 points allowed per 100 possessions (1st)

Probable Hawks Starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Joe Johnson (SG), Marvin Williams (SF), Josh Smith (PF), Al Horford (C).

View From The Opposing Bench: Hoopinion

Thumbnail: Technically speaking, this is a must-win situation for just one team: the Atlanta Hawks. But for all intents and purposes, it’s probably fair to say that tonight’s winner will be moving on to the second round. The Al Horford factor is one that took Boston by surprise Tuesday night, and if you’re a Celtics fan the good news here is that a repeat performance from Atlanta’s center is highly unlikely. He played 41 minutes of Herculean basketball—with the home crowd boosting his adrenaline and the Celtics deploying 19 minutes of Ryan Hollins—in a win or “recklessly party the week away with your teammates” situation.

Overall, Hawks coach Larry Drew let four of his starters go for at least 41 minutes the other night. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s what he resorted to. In the playoffs, the only thing you can focus on is the game staring you in the face, and that’s exactly what Atlanta did. The result is them crawling into Boston against a similarly banged up Celtics team that played just one guy (Rajon Rondo) over 38 minutes in Game 5.

Tonight they battle in what should be an evenly matched, close encounter. Both coaches know each other’s sets by now, and now that Horford’s in play, everybody’s cards are turned on the table. Joe Johnson will primarily be playing shooting guard and the Hawks have chosen to go bigger than the series’ first four games, which creates an important question moving forward as to how Doc Rivers can get Avery Bradley and Rondo on the court at the same time. Do the Celtics sprinkle in some 2-3 zone? Do they throw quick doubles every time Johnson backs himself into the post? This particular matchup plays itself into Atlanta’s favor, but it shouldn’t be large enough to win them an entire game. Paul Pierce’s sprained MCL, Ray Allen’s ankle, and Rondo’s psyche should be the main talking points and ultimate factors that dictate whether we rest up and look forward to Chicago/Philadelphia, or get on one last flight to Atlanta, with the stench of severe disappointment blowing in the wind.

Prediction: Celtics 85, Hawks 83

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

  • SteveB

    I would like a repeat of game 4 please. I really thought the way game 5 started that the Hawks were going to fold. They probably would have if the C's hadn't made it easy for them to stay in that game and the rest is history, so far. Tonight the C's need to come out the same way and play killer defense. For that reason I think Avery needs to get his minutes. Despite the apparent mismatch with Johnson that didn't seem to work that greatly in the Hawks favor. We all know the numbers with Rondo, Bradley and KG on the court defensively. Keys tonight-great defense, great Rondo and made baskets including some big 3's.

  • ripsonics

    TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS

    Go C's

  • I_Love_Green

    I expect a huge game from Rondo. That is all.

    Gotta close em out tonight boys! Lets goooo Celtics!!

  • someguyinsac

    If the Celts don't pick it up in this quarter, I'm going to feel sorry for the paint in their locker room at halftime after Doc gets through with it.

  • jamie

    Ray having a very poor shooting night and pp's knee is limiting him. just run pick and roll with rondo and kg in the 4th

  • WTF

    Why is Bradley not playing? Ray is not giving anything, but Bradley played well when he's in. Why, Doc, Why?

    • The Cardinal

      He's hurting. See the sleeve he's wearing? I don't remember that previously.

  • WTF

    Great, the whole team tightens up at exactly the wrong moment.

  • WTF

    if Cs loses this one, we can kiss our season goodbye.

  • WTF

    Thank you, Josh! Thank you!

  • WTF

    Put Bradley in for defense if nothing else, for god's sake!

  • someguyinsac

    With a win, I only have to deal with the heartburn this game has given me. I'm not sure I want to deal with the heartburn and a hangover if we lose it.

  • WTF

    Amen! Foul but not in active shooting!

  • WTF

    Wow, how lucky the Cs are! First the ref, the the bounce!

  • someguyinsac

    YES! An ulcer with a happy hangover. I can deal with that. =)

  • Leeboo1211

    Whew! Can I say whew again? Questionable foul call on Quisy, glad nothing came of it.

    • WTF

      That's a foul! But Horford had to make the foul shots! What a game KG had, he won the game for us, vintage.

  • The Cardinal

    Props to Hollins (betcha y'all never thought to read that!) for being active on defense – I see him replacing Steimsma as the first big off the bench in against Philly given his size and quickness.

    • tomrod

      huge rebounds aswell.

    • someguyinsac

      I'm glad that Doc knows what he's doing, since I was kind of surprised to see Hollins in the game so much tonight. And yes, props to him x2.

  • Jon Mullen

    Not that I'm hating on it or anything but what's up with Hollins playing at the end of the game? I guess he's a big body to put on Horford, but Horford was tearing him apart down the stretch. Can you guys at the Hub explain the rotation in this one. I know we played great defense but I just don't understand what Doc was getting at tonight. I'm so glad we won but I was confused throughout.

    Bring on Philly!

  • I_Love_Green

    Damn what a hard fought series! Besides game 4 Atlanta gave us all we could handle. Big big props to Al Horford, I mean my goodness what a baller! Misses the entire season, and comes into the playoffs to contribute big time.

    Now its onto Philly and I'm hoping guys like MP or Bass can have a bigger impact in that series.

  • I_Love_Green

    Also, please please please make a "Next" article. Those are my favorites in the playoffs.

    • hdavenport

      What do you mean, specifically?

      • I_Love_Green

        I think Zach Lowe started it. After we'd win a playoff series he'd make an article with the title "Next" and then a picture of the team we were facing.

        In all honesty I'm very superstitious and he did that in 2010, so I feel like it was good luck.

        Don't judge me.

        • Josh

          I do remember those, they were great. However, I do like what Hayes does with the complete lineup breakdown of the opposing team and the way he subtly rips each guy. Pretty funny.

      • I_Love_Green

        HAYES DON'T LET ME DOWN

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