2012 NBA Playoffs: 5/1 Game Preview- Hawks vs. Celtics Game 2


Who?: Boston Celtics (4th in East) vs Atlanta Hawks (5th in East)

What?: NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: First Round – Game 2

Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, Georgia)

When?: Tuesday May 1, 2012 (7:30 Eastern Time)

How?: Atlanta – SportSouth HD (TV) / TNT (TV) & 98.9 FM … Boston – Comcast (TV)// NBATV

Other Atlanta Hawks Coverage: Atlanta Hawks Fan SiteAJC BlogPeachtree Hoops (SB Nation), Hoopinion (TrueHoop)


Projected Starting Lineups:

Boston Celtics:

PG: Avery Bradley | SG: Mickael Pietrus | SF: Paul Pierce | PF: Brandon Bass | C: Kevin Garnett

Atlanta Hawks: 

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kirk Hinrich | SF: Joe Johnson | PF: Josh Smith | C: Jason Collins


Injury/Inactive Players Report:

Boston Celtics: Ray Allen (sore right ankle); Rajon Rondo is suspended for Game 2.

Atlanta Hawks: Zaza Pachulia (sprained left foot) is day-to-day. Al Horford (left pectoral surgery) is out.


Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold:

Records: The Boston Celtics were (39-27) in the regular season and are (0-1) in the playoffs. The Atlanta Hawks were (40-26) in the regular season and are (1-0) in the playoffs.

Streak: Boston Celtics –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 5 / ROAD: Lost 3

Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 3 / HOME: Won 3 / ROAD: Won 2

Away/Home Redcords: The Atlanta Hawks are (24-10) at home (including playoffs); The Boston Celtics are (15-19) on the road (including playoffs).

 Against +/- .500 teams: The Atlanta Hawks are (15-21) against teams over .500; The Boston Celtics are (18-21) against teams over .500.

Boston Celtics: Cold. They may have been hot coming into the series, but things aren’t looking up for the Celtics who will be without Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo (suspension) for Game 2. They started off poorly in game one and never recovered.

Atlanta Hawks: Hot. They’ve won three games in a row going back to the end of the regular season, all of which were against competitive playoff teams. They came out firing in the first quarter of Game 1, building a lead that amassed to 19 in the second quarter. They let Boston back in the game but held serve and caught a break with the Rondo suspension. Things are looking up in the ATL.


Season/Past Season Series:

2011-2012 Hawks vs. Celtics Regular Season Recap & Historical Series Statistics:

11-12 Regular Season Results: 1-2
All-Time Results: 133-218
Home Record: 85-80
Road Record: 34-117
Neutral Court: 14-25
All-Time Playoffs: 24-36
Current Streak: Won 2

Game 1 Short Summary:

The Hawks blitzed the Celtics in the first quarter, taking a 31-18 lead, which expanded to 14 points by the half. In the second half, the Hawks offense came to a screeching halt as Joe Johnson fired up miss after miss, but Josh Smith was able to create enough shots for himself and his teammates down the stretch for the Hawks to hold on. Ray Allen, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia were all inactive, and Rajon Rondo was suspended for Game 2 following his bump with a referee with roughly 40 seconds to go in the game. Boston trailed by four when Garnett poked the ball away from Josh Smith, causing a scramble on the ground. Smith retrieved the ball in the mayhem and Rondo was upset there was no jump ball called. He barked at the ref, prompting a technical foul, which he followed by thumping his chest into the back of the referee, causing him to be ejected. The league states that any purposeful aggressive contact with a referee is an automatic one game suspension.


Game Preview:

If Josh Smith dominates the boards like he did in Game 1, the Hawks should be in good shape. He took too many jump shots, but as you know, you take the good with the bad in regards to Smoove. If the Hawks can get any sort of meaningful production out of Joe Johnson, who shot an abysmal 3-15 on Sunday, then Atlanta will likely win and travel to Boston with a 2-0 series lead. However, the Hawks must continue to contain Paul Pierce and frustrate Kevin Garnett. With Rondo out, Avery Bradley will attempt to facilitate, and so long as Jeff Teague prevents him from penetrating, then the Celtics offense should rely heavily on Pierce and Garnett creating their own shots. If Johnson does a better job chasing Pierce around screens and Marvin Williams keys in on Pierce as well, there will hopefully be a similar effect as there was in Game 1. The Hawks will look for Jason Collins to get under Garnett’s skin again. Collins played 32 minutes on Sunday, the most amount of times he’s played in quite a while. Garnett should easily be able to take him, but he continued to go to the post where Collins had a marked advantage. If KG is able to get around Collins in Game 2, then look for Josh Smith to take over as the full time KG defender.


Round One Schedule (* if necessary):

Sunday, April 29 vs BOS – 7:00 (ET) — SPSO HD/TNT/98.9 FM
Tuesday, May 1 vs BOS – 7:30 (ET) — SPSO HD/NBA TV/98.9 FM
Friday, May 4 at Bos – 7:30 (ET) — SPSO HD/ESPN/98.9 FM
Sunday, May 6 @Bos – 7:00 (ET) — SPSO HD/TBD/98.9 FM
Tuesday, May 8 vs BOS – TBD ** — SPSO HD/TBD/98.9 FM
Thursday, May 10 @Bos – TBD ** — SPSO HD/TBD/98.9 FM
Saturday, May 12 vs BOS – TBD ** — SPSO HD/TNT/98.9 FM