2012 NBA Playoffs: Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics Game 6 Preview & All You Need to Know


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

What?: NBA Playoffs First Round, Game 6

Where?: TD Garden (Boston, MA)

When?: Thursday, May 10 – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

 How?: AtlantaSportSouth HD (TV), TNT (TV)  & 98.9 FM // Boston – Comcast Sportsnet (TV), TNT (TV) &  850 AM (WEEI)

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


Projected Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Josh Smith | SF: Marvin Williams | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford

Boston Celtics

PG: Rajon Rondo | SG: Avery Bradley | SF: Paul Pierce | PF: Brandon Bass | C: Kevin Garnett


Injury/Inactive Players Report:

Atlanta Hawks:  Zaza Pachulia (sprained left foot) is day-to-day.

Boston Celtics: All players active.


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

Records: Atlanta Hawks are (40-26; 2-3). Boston Celtics are (39-27; 3-2)

Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 2  …. Boston Celtics –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 2 / ROAD: Lost 1

Away/Home Redcords: Atlanta was (17-16) on the road in the regular-season and are (0-2) in the post-season. Boston was (24-9) at home in the regular-season and are (2-0) in the post-season.

 Against .500 teams: Atlanta is (14-21) against teams over .500 this season. Boston is (18-20) against teams over .500 this season.

Boston Celtics: Lukewarm. Boston was beat by Atlanta by one point on Tuesday in Philips Arena after winning the previous three games in the series. The Celtics now lead the series 3-2, both losses on the road, and could eliminate the Hawks with a victory tonight at the TD Garden.

Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm. Atlanta survived to play another game but was very shaky coming down the stretch in game 4. Josh Smith threw away an inbound pass to Rondo with 10 seconds left to go — without a timeout Rondo and the Celtics raced up the court but failed to get off a shot attempt as Horford forced Rondo to pass the ball to Pierce behind the arc where Smith was there to redeem himself as he deflected the pass as time expired to win the game.


Season/Past Season Series:

* For the second straight year, the Hawks dropped the season series to the Celtics, 2-1
* The teams met in the 2007-08 Playoffs (first round), with the top-seeded Celtics coming out with a 4-3 series win over the
eighth-seeded Hawks, each team winning all their home contests … It was Atlanta’s first playoff series since the 1999 postseason.
* Doc Rivers played for Atlanta from 1983-91 and is the club’s all-time leader in assists (3,866).
* Joe Johnson was drafted by the Celtics (10th
overall in 2001) and played in 48 games before being dealt to the Suns.
* Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo were roommates at Oak Hill Academy.
* Celtics assistant Armond Hill served in the same capacity with the Hawks in 2003-04 and is a former Hawk (six seasons).
* Doc Rivers coached Zaza Pachulia with Orlando in 2003-04.
* Hawks scout Greg Ballard coached Kevin Garnett (1999-2004) during his time with Minnesota.
* Celtics assistant coach Tyronn Lue was a Hawk from 2004-08 (189 games).

PLAYOFF GAME #5 (May 8th) – ATL 87, BOS 86 (Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA)
It came down to the wire but the Hawks pulled out the win over Boston, 87-86, at Philips Arena on Tuesday … Atlanta led by 7 with just over four minutes to play, however the Celtics quickly tied things at 83 … The Hawks answered, scoring the next four, but Celtics wouldn’t go away, cutting it to 87-86 on a Paul Pierce three-pointer and then forcing to a turnover with 10 seconds to go … Atlanta wouldn’t them to get a final shot off and came away with the win … The Hawks made a change to the starting lineup, sending out Marvin Williams and Al Horford along with Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague and Josh Smith … All five starters finished in double-figures with Horford (19 points\11 rebounds) and Smith (13 points\16 boards) posting double-doubles … Teague finished with 16 points while Johnson and Williams added 15 apiece … Kevin Garnett’s buzzer-beater gave Boston a 21-15 edge after a tightly played first quarter … The Celtics pushed the lead to as many as 10 in the second but a flurry of three-pointers (2 from Marvin Williams, 1 each from Johnson and Teague) by Atlanta in less than two minutes put the home team up 40-37 … Rajon Rondo then beat the halftime horn with a triple of his own to knot things at 40 … A 10-0 third quarter run put the Hawks up 66-54 but the Celtics answered with a 10-0 burst of their own cutting it to 66-64 heading to the final frame … Kevin Garnett and Pierce each had 16 points for Boston, and Rondo had 13 points and 12assists.

PLAYOFF GAME #4 (May 6) – BOS 101, ATL 79 (TD Garden, Boston, MA)
The Hawks had a rough night on Sunday, dropping game four in Boston 101-79 … Atlanta trails the best-of-seven series, 3-1 … Atlanta turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter leading to 11 Boston points, and the Hawks trailed 32-19 … The Celtics caught fire in the second, and pushed the lead to 64-41 at the midway point … The lead reached as many as 37 in the third quarter … Josh Smith led the Hawks with 15 points … After missing the final 54 regular season games as well as the first three playoff contets due to a torn left pectoral suffered on 1/11 at Indiana, Al Horford returned to action and played 20 minutes, finishing with 12 points and 5 boards.

PLAYOFF GAME #3 (May 4) BOS 90, ATL 84 (OT) – (TD Garden, Boston, MA)

The Hawks fought back from a 7-point late-game deficit to tie the game and force overtime before losing the overtime battle by 6… Joe Johnson led the scoring for Atlanta with 29 points (on 11-28 shooting) to go along with 8 rebounds, while Jeff Teague added 23 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, and Tracy McGrady posted 12 points and 9 rebounds off of the bench… Boston won the rebounding battle 51 to 48 on the strength of a weakened Hawks front-line playing without leading rebounder Josh Smith… Both teams failed to shoot 41% from the field… Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double for the Celtics with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists… The Celtics converted 22 of 25 free throws (88%) versus just 12 of 15 (80%) for the Hawks.

PLAYOFF GAME #2 (May 1) BOS 87, ATL 80 – (Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA)

The Hawks let an 11-point second half lead get away, falling to Boston 87-80 at Philips Arena on Tuesday … Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 22 points, Jeff Teague put in 18 and Josh Smith tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds before leaving the game late with a sprained left knee … A backand-forth opening quarter, featuring 6 ties and 5 lead changes, ended with the teams deadlocked at 24 … Both clubs struggled shooting in the first half but it was Atlanta taking a 44-41 advantage to the break … Paul Pierce had 16 points for Boston in the first 24 minutes, while Teague put in 12 for the Hawks … The Hawks led by as many as 11 in the third but the Celtics were able to trim it to 66-61 heading to the final frame … Boston reclaimed the lead at 72-70 with 6 minutes to play in the game and slowly pulled away as the offense abandoned Atlanta in the fourth (14 points) … The Hawks shot .349 from the field for the game and made 16-20 FTs, while the Celtics shot .426 and hit 26-31 from the charity stripe … Pierce posted game-highs of 36 points and 14 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 12 boards.

PLAYOFF GAME #1 (Apr. 29) ATL 83, BOS 74 – (Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA)

The Hawks led from start to finish, knocking off the Celtics 83-74 at Philips Arena on Sunday to take a 1-0 series lead … Josh Smith led the way with 22 points and a postseason career-best 18 rebounds … Jeff Teague scored 15 points, Kirk Hinrich 12 and Joe Johnson 11 … Atlanta opened the game on a 20-6 run, pushed the lead to as many as 17, before settling for a 31-18 edge after one … Both teams played solid defense in the quarter but the Hawks won the stanza, 18-17, to take a 49-35 advantage at the break (after being up 19) … Boston managed to cut it to 65-53 after three and 78-74 with one minute to play, but Johnson, Smith and Teague all hit clutch free throws down the stretch to ice it for the home team … The Celtics finished 0-11 from three-point range and shot .390 overall … Atlanta won the battle of the boards 50-41 … Kevin Garnett (20 points\12 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (20 points\11 assists) each had double-doubles for the Celtics … The Hawks reserves outscored their Boston counterparts 17-4.