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Red's Army

How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Hawks Game 1

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 29, 2012 Uncategorized 3 Comments

Tip: 7:00 PM    Court: Philips Arena   Watch it: TNT/CSNNE  Hear it: WEEI

         Referees: Mike Callahan, Marc Davis, John Goble (alternate: Kane Fitzgerald)

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The Matchup

Celtics text logo Hawks text logo
Record: 39-27 (1st Atlantic, 4th seed) Record: 40-26 (2nd Southeast, 5th Seed)
On the road:  15-18 At home: 23-10
Streak: Won 2 Streak: Won 2 
    Leaders  Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.4 ppg) Buckets: Joe Johnson (18.8 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (8.2 rpg) Boards: Josh Smith (9.6 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.7 apg) Dimes: Jeff Teague (4.9 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks: 
Offensive Rating: 101.0 (27th NBA) Offensive Rating: 104.9 (16th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 98.2 (1st NBA) Defensive Rating: 101.2 (6th NBA)
Pace: 90.4 (21st NBA) Pace: 90.2 (22nd NBA)

Last time

The Celtics won the season series against Atlanta, but each game was decided by single digits.  The Hawks won the last game, 97-92, in a game that saw Doc sit Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.

This time

Get it to: Whomever Jason Collins is guarding

Without Zaza Pachulia, Collins will get the start and will either have to guard Kevin Garnett or Brandon Bass, with Josh Smith guarding the other.  I'm not sure how the Hawks will play it, but someone will have a mis-match.  That's the guy who should get the ball.  Often.

I'm hoping Collins starts on KG.  Because KG can take advantage of the matchup and, when the Hawks give Collins help, Garnett can pass out of that and find the open guy.  If the Hawks are smart, they put Collins on Bass since he's less likely to pass.

Gotta stop:  Joe Johnson

Will it be Avery Bradley on Johnson, or will it be Pierce as the Hawks start Kirk Hinrich at the 2 spot and slide Johnson to the 3?

If it's Bradley, he'll have his work cut out for him against Johnson, who is six inches taller.  But Bradley has the ability get up close and prevent any drives to the basket and maybe force a few turnovers.  If it's Pierce, he'll have his work cut out for him because Johnson can penetrate.  But Pierce has the ability to use his body to cut off angles and the height to contest any Johnson jumpers.

The Wild Card:  The Celtics bench 

I'll include Ray as a possibility,but I know he's probably not going to see any time.  That means Sasha Pavlovic will be called on to contribute.  Greg Stiemsma is going to have to rise above the jitters and insanity that awaits him before tip off.  And Mickael Pietrus is going to have to get past any lingering knee pain.  If the C's 2nd unit and match it's recent production starting 2nd quarters, the Celtics will make short work of this series. 

How we see it goin' down

The Hawks are going to want to come out strong in front of what will probably be a crazy crowd.  Say what you will about Hawks fans in the regular season, they show up in the playoffs.  The Hawks will come out and throw a barrage of punches at the C's.  They need to stay calm, and focus on simply weathering the early storm and then counter punching.  

The bottom line is the Celtics hold most of the positional advantages.  They've got a better coach, the better pedigree, and the better record over the past couple of months.  The Celtics will steal game one of this series, 95-90, with Rajon Rondo flirting with another triple double. 

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  • eddie

    I did a full preview of this series and all the matchups! one on one every guy plus trhe bench an dmy picks for whose gonna win so come check it out read and enjoy! http://nbawagers.com/2012/04/player-matchups-for-the-celtics-and-hawks-series/

  • Quest

    Ray playing games with the Hawks as to the final roster expectations. lol

  • http://profile.typepad.com/frickenwaaaltaaah frickenWaaaltaaah

    I hope Doc noticed Rose and Shumpert going down and is re-considering the idea of using an ~8 man rotation, at least early on. But it’s a really tough call.
    There’s probably no better way to manage fatigue and get your guys rest than to sweep a team or at least get out in 5. But on the other hand, the most dangerous time for injuries is probably late in a game when a worn down guy has played most of the minutes already.