at Atlanta Hawks (24-45) at Boston Celtics (42-27)
Saturday, March 16, 2019
12:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #70, Home Game #36
TV: NBCSB, FSSE-ATL, NBA-LP 751 (DTV)/751 (xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 92.9 FM The Game
TD GardenProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Trae Young
Marcus Smart vs Kevin Huerter Small Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Torean PrincePower Forward
Marcus Morris vs John Collins Center
Al Horford vs Dewayne DedmonCeltics Reserves
Guerschon Yabusele (illness) questionable
Daniel Theis (illness) questionable
Terry Rozier (illness) questionable Two Way Players
Brad Stevens Hawks Reserves
Tyler Zeller Injuries
Miles Plumlee (knee) day to day
Omari Spellman (ankle) out Game Notes
The Celtics host the Atlanta Hawks for the fourth and final game this season. The Celtics will be looking for a sweep of the series after beating the Hawks twice on the road (11/23 and 1/19) and once at the Garden (12/14). It might seem like an easy win, but these Hawks aren't the same ones that the Celtics faced in those first 3 games.
The Hawks have had somewhat of a resurgence since the All Star break, especially on the offensive end. Since the All Star break, the Hawks lead the league in scoring (123.4 ppg), in total 3 pointers made (176) and in 3 pointers made per game (16). They are 2nd in rebounds per game (51)
The Celtics are still 5th in the East, 2 games behind the Sixers and 2 games behind the Pacers after both teams have continued to win. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 25-10 at home. They are looking for their second straight win and have won 4 of their last 5 games.
The Hawks are 12th in the East, 9 games out of playoff position and they are 5 games ahead of the 13th place Bulls. They don't seem to be tanking, having won their last two games. They never trailed in their 132-111 win over Memphis on Wednesday. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 11-24 on the road.
The Celtics have been plagued with a flu going through their locker room. Marcus Smart was questionable on Thursday but was able to play. Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis both missed Thursday's game with an illness and are both questionable for this game. Guerschon Yabusele was available on Thursday, but is listed as questionable today with an illness.
For the Hawks, Omari Spellman is out with an ankle injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Miles Plumlee is expected to miss this game with a knee injury but may be available for Sunday's game vs the Magic.
Kyrie Irving vs Trae Young
Kyre has to deal with one of this year's best rookies. Young is averaging 18.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. Young will have his hands full as he is facing an energized Kyrie, who is coming off a triple double in the Celtics win over the Kings. Kyrie will need to keep up his energy, especially on the defensive end, to keep the young point guard from having a career game at his expense.
Marcus Morris vs John Collins
Collins is playing very well for the Hawks, averaging 19.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He is shooting 59% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc. Collins led the Hawks in rebounding in all 3 games so far. He averaged 14 points and 10.7 rebounds in those 3 games. Marcus will need to play tough defense to keep Collins from having a big game.
Marcus Smart vs Kevin Huerter
Huerter has become the Hawks biggest 3 point threat with Korver gone. He is shooting 39% on 3 pointers and is averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He is capable of having a big game so Marcus will need to stay with hiim especially on the perimeter. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense wins games and is always a key to getting a win. The Hawks are averaging 112.7 points per game, however, in the 11 games since the All Star break, they are averaging 123.4 ppg and they put up 132 games on Wednesday against the Grizzlies. The Celtics have to keep making defense a priority and not let up on the effort necessary to get stops. Rebound
- Rebounding gives the Celtics extra possessions and it also deprives the Hawks of the same. The Celtics are averaging 44.6 rebounds per game while the Hawks are averaging 45.19 rebounds per game. However, they are 2nd in the league since the All Star break with 51 rebounds per game. Rebounding takes effort and energy and the Celtics need to put out extra effort and energy to win the battle of the boards. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics must be the team that plays harder and that wants this win more. They have to be aggressive in diving for loose balls, in going to the basket, in getting stops on the defensive end, and in going after rebounds. They have to play harder and be more aggressive from start to finish. The Celtics can't let up because the Hawks are a lottery team because they have been playing very well lately. Pace and Ball Movement
- The Celtics always play best when they run on every possesion and when they move the ball and don't over dribble. When they run, they have a chance to get easy baskets before the Hawks defense gets set. When they move the ball, they find the open man and get the best shots.
- Gordon Hayward said that our bench should be able to beat any bench in the league. That is important in this game as Atlanta's bench is 8th in the league in scoring (41.7 ppg), 5th in 3 point field goals made (4.9), 4th in blocks (2.4) and rebounds (19.3) and 1st in steals (3.5). The Celtics bench needs to come ready to play or they may be embarrassed by the Hawks reserves. X-FactorsHome Game
- The Celtics are once again at home and the home crowd should be gearing up for the post season with strong support for the team. The Hawks are a young team and young teams often get rattled on the road. The Celtics need to take advantage of that and use the motivation from the crowd to get the win.The Hawks Record
- The Celtics have to be careful not to underestimate the Hawks and they have to come out and play hard and respect the Hawks as a team that has been playing very well since the All Star break. They also have a good bench and, regardless of their record, are capable of beating any team that doesn't respect them.