Hawks vs. Celtics Preview
The Atlanta Hawks will take on the Boston Celtics tonight at home at Philips Arena. This will be the second of four regular season meetings between these two teams this season. This will also be the first game of a stretch of three meetings for the Hawks against Atlantic Division teams. With a win tonight, the Hawks would improve to 25-18 on the season and 1-1 in the regular season series with the Celtics. The probable starters for the Hawks tonight are Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the backcourt, DeShawn Stevenson and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Ivan Johnson at center. Devin Harris (sprained left ankle), Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles), and Al Horford (sore left calf) are listed as day-to-day. All three participated in non-contact practice on Thursday. Anthony Morrow (sore lower back) and Louis Williams (torn ACL, right knee) are listed as out. Morrow had been listed as a game-time decision for the past few games, so it's possible that there has been some kind of delay in his progress. I think the key to a W tonight for the Hawks is to play with energy and intensity from the opening tip until the final buzzer sounds. They did a great job of doing that Wednesday night in Charlotte, but they blew a 15-point halftime lead (still makes me cringe to write this) in their last game against the Celtics by being outscored 33-9 in the third quarter. Maybe we will get added energy from Josh and Al (if he plays) trying to making a case that they should not have been snubbed from the All-Star team. If the Hawks can keep up the energy and intensity throughout the game, I think they can get a W tonight in a rematch of both their 2008 and 2012 Eastern Conference first round playoff series.
Game Time: 7:30pm E.T. TV: SPSO Radio: 680 The Fan, 98.9 The Bone