Atlanta Hawks Game Preview: Rematch with Boston Celtics

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After a 4-day mini break, the Atlanta Hawks took on the Mavericks in Dallas, and turnaround to face the streaking Celtics tonight.

The Atlanta Hawks visits Boston for the only time this season, and comes just under a month after the Celtics 18-point victory in State Farm Arena.

That was the start of a tear for the Celtics, as they came into that game at a disappointing 9-9, but since that victory, they’ve lost just once, and currently ride a league high 7-game win streak.

That first game probably went as expected in a match up with the reigning Eastern Conference runner-up and the 3-win Hawks, and it wasn’t close from the start, as the Celtics already had a 22 point lead at the end of 1Q.

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Jeremy Lin was easily the best player on the Atlanta Hawks that night, he recorded a double-double and led all scorers with 19. His +/- of +15 is quite impressive in a blowout loss.

Trae Young had one of, if not the, worst games of his young career, posting 5 points on 2-7 shooting and only dished 2 assists. Matching up with Young will be Boston PG Kyrie Irving who isn’t known for his defensive prowess, but fellow backcourt players Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier are both imposing defenders.

They both help make one of the most feared team defenses in the league, and their 102.5 defensive rating ranks third-best in the NBA.

Boston is continuing to get their selves back into shape, as while they were expected to set league on fire after their impressive postseason showing last year and the return of Gordon Hayward, they hung around .500 for the first month and a half or so. They’re coming off a thrilling OT victory over the Wizards wherein Kyrie went off for 38 points.

The Hawks come in after a spiriting loss in Dallas, who are equally hot as Boston, and will be looking for their 7th win of the year. The Celtics will be looking to win their 8th straight.

They’ll both be doing so without full healthy roster. Jeremy Lin missed Wednesday’s game for the Hawks, and is slated to be a game-time decision tonight. Omari Spellman is in the same boat as Lin, and they’ll once again be without Taurean Prince, who’s out at least another week or so.

The Celtics will be without starting center and familar face, Al Horford, and Hayward and Jaylen Brown both missed the Wizards game will small injuries.

Atlanta will likely come in as double-digit underdogs, but have showed their able to keep up with some of the best teams already this season. The Celtics could be without three of their better players and John Collins and Kent Bazemore are both on hot streaks.

Trae Young scored 24 in his last game after having a rough couple weeks, and will look to start a streak here, and fellow rookie Kevin Huerter is playing his best ball of the season right now.

The Celtics are going to be able to score, and the challenge for the Atlanta Hawks will be keeping up against Boston’s tough D. They have scored 100 or more in their previous 5 games, and they’ll defiantly have to make it 6 to have a chance.

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Tip off is at 5 tomorrow in Boston, come back to Soaring Down South after the game for some rapid reactions and takeaways.