Boston at Atlanta
7:30 P.M. ET
Boston: 99.8 points/100 possessions (22nd)
Atlanta: 101.4 points/100 possessions (16th)
Boston: 100.3 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)
Atlanta: 100.6 points allowed/100 possessions (9th)
Probable Hawks Starters:
Jeff Teague (PG), DeShawn Stevenson (SG), Kyle Korver (SF), Josh Smith (PF), and Ivan Johnson (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: HawksHoop
Thumbnail: It is plain and simple: Rajon Rondo needs help. On Thursday, he registered his 27th career triple-double, including the playoffs. However, the Celtics have now lost three out of the last five games in which Rondo has gone for a triple-double after having a 21-1 record in his first 22. Part of the problem is Boston’s inability to make open shots. As evidenced by their loss to the Knicks, the Celtics once again could not hit the broad side of a barn. They shot worse than 41% from the field for the third consecutive game, tying their worst three-game stretch in the Kevin Garnett era.
After Thursday’s loss at TD Garden, the Celtics then arrived in Atlanta very early on Friday morning. The last time they did this, January 5th, was after a 94-75 Boston victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics were able to come back against the Hawks and win their second in a row, which then was a part of a season-best six-game winning streak. Now though, the Celtics are hoping to stop a season-worst five-game losing skid.
Fortunately for Boston, Atlanta’s roster is thin right now due to injuries. After losing Lou Williams, their third best scorer, to a season-ending torn ACL in his right knee, the Hawks also might be without Al Horford (calf, hamstring), Zaza Pachulia (Achilles), and Devin Harris (ankle) for Friday’s game. While the Celtics are 5-5 on the second night of back-to-backs this season, not many people can trust them because of their recent play. Boston’s offensive efficiency and three-point percentage continues to fall, which in turn has led to many losses.
Prediction: The Celtics do not have enough to beat the hobbled Hawks. Boston’s losing streak extends to six games, their longest since April 2007.
Hawks 96, Celtics 90