at Atlanta Hawks (6-21) at Boston Celtics (17-10)
Friday, December 14, 2018
7:00 PM EST
Regular Season Game #28, Home Game #12
TV: NBCSB, FSSE-ATL, NBA-LP 7531 (DTV)/753 (xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 92.9 FM The Game
TD GardenProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Trae Young
Marcus Smart vs Kevin HuerterSmall Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Kent Bazemore Power Forward
Marcus Morris vs John Collins Center
Aron Baynes vs Dewayne Dedmon Celtics Reserves
Al HorfordTwo Way Players
P. J. DozierHead Coach
Brad StevensHawks Reserves
Two Way Players
Alex PoythressHead Coach
Lloyd PierceGame Notes
The Celtics come back home riding a 7 game winning streak and will take on the lowly Atlanta Hawks for the second time this season. The Celtics had an exciting overtime win in Washington where Kyrie Irving willed the team to a 130-125 win with 38 points and 7 assists. The Hawks, who are on the 2nd game of a three game road trip, come off a 114-107 loss in Dallas to the Mavericks. Atlanta has been awful this year and have won only 3 of their last 18 games, including a loss at home to the Celtics, 114-96.
Atlanta hasn't performed very well on either side of the ball this year. They have the 2nd worst defense in the league and give up the most points per game at 118. The Atlanta offense is a bit better than their defense as they are in the bottom third of the league in offense, scoring the 7th lowest amount of points per game(107.9) in the league. The -10.2 point differential is good for 3rd worst in the NBA. The Hawks push the pace better than any other team. They cause a bunch of turnovers a game creating over 18 points per for 3rd best in the NBA. The Hawks are young and run the floor constantly but they do not take care of the ball which means they also give up a ton of fast break points. Being a terrible rebounding team, they also are the worst team in the league on giving up 2nd Chance points. If you take care of the ball, get back on transition defense and rebound the ball well, you have a perfect recipe for beating the Hawks.
First year coach Lloyd Pierce is obviously building for the future so he plays the youngsters many minutes. And he has been getting some encouraging signs from a few of the youth. 2nd year power forward, John Collins has been red hot of late, scoring 23.8 points per game over their last five games while pulling down 13 rebounds a game during that stretch. Atlanta look like they have quite the player in Collins. The Hawks should also be happy to have rookie Trae Young on the roster. At this point in his career he is shooting terribly but that doesn't deter him because he leads his team in scoring, 15.7 PPG, and assists at 7.3 PPG. Another young prospect for Atlanta is SF Taureen Prince who is having his best season but unfortunately for the Hawks he will be missing the game tonight due to an injury. Luckily for Atlanta, Linsanity, Jeremy Lin will return to the team tonight which should be a boost for Atlanta as he is their 6th man.
Boston will be getting Gordon Hayward back tonight after missing the last two games due to an illness. Jaylen Brown is questionable to return from his illness after missing the win in Washington. He will most likely be a game time decision. Al Horford will be sitting out of his third straight game, so it will fall to Marcus Morris, Daniel Theis and probably rookie, Robert Williams to do what they can to limit the Hawks' John Collins. Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart have been nothing short of spectacular since Smart was inserted into the starting lineup and should dominate Atlanta's backcourt. Boston knows how to beat Atlanta. The Celtics will need to take care of the ball, convert Atlanta's many turnovers into points, gang rebound, and limit Atlanta inside and make them shoot from distance as Atlanta is the worst long distance shooting team in the Association. Boston showed in Atlanta that getting of to a fast start offensively is always extremely important to their success. They scored 45 in the 1st quarter in that game. Boston moved the ball creating space assisting on 31 of 42 baskets and hit their shots. Here's hoping for another big victory and picking up their 8th win in a row.