Tip: 8PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: ESPN, CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Bill “Cheats” McGhee, Boondoggle Jones and David Stern III
Spread: BOS -4.5
I have a vague recollection of the Celtics blowing a 27-point lead in a loss to the Hawks on Jan. 25. However, I vividly remember the Celtics rallying from a 19-point deficit to beat Atlanta on Jan. 5.
Get it to: Paul Pierce
DeShawn Stevenson is a tough defender, but Pierce has a a couple inches and 20 pounds on him. Will Doc put the Truth in the post and see if he can take advantage of the size difference and draw some fouls?
Gotta stop: Al Horford
Over his last ten games, Horford is averaging 24 points (on 63% shooting) and 11 rebounds. Big Al doesn’t kill you with post moves, but with a short to midrange jumper. Celtics will need their legs as Horford can run the breek. He’s also mobile enough to stick with KG on the perimeter.
The Wild Card: The Celtics perimeter shooting
The Hawks are a top-10 defensive team, but their Achilles heel is three-point shooting. They’re allowing opponents to shoot 38% – 3rd worst in the league. If the Celtics swing the ball, they should get uncontested looks.
How we see it goin’ down
The Celtics are coming home after sweeping a mini 2 game road trip in Philly and Indiana. Now they get the Hawks – a team 1 game ahead of them in the playoff seeding.
These teams are evenly matched, making this one impossible to predict.
I’d like to think they’ll seize the moment, but I have a bad feeling we’ll see the flat Celtics tonight.