Starting the streak? Celtics @ Hawks preview

“I was telling the guys before the game, you know, I told them to look at the East,” said the Celtics captain, who totaled 13 points, six rebounds and five assists in his team’s dismantling of the Pacers that lifted them back into the eighth spot in the conference. “There’s not one team out there that we feel like we can’t beat.

“You’ve got a couple of elite teams out there — San Antonio, Oklahoma City — and I was telling them how well we played against Oklahoma City. There’s no reason that we can’t play well against everybody like that. If you look at the elite teams, and we’re able to compete with them, then why can’t we compete with the other teams are coming here, like the Milwaukees, like the [Pacers], like the Grizzlies. I just want to keep the confidence going in the locker room and help them understand that when we want to, we can be this type of team.”

- WEEI via Ben Rohrbach

The Hawks are in the East, so we’re sure to kill them tomorrow. Right? RIGHT?


Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks {| class="...

Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks {| class=”messagebox” style=”margin: 0.5em auto; width: 100%; background-color: #f8f8f8; border: 2px solid #e0e0e0; padding: 5px; direction: ltr;” |align=”center”| link=|25px → link=|25px | : File:File:LeBron James watches free throw.jpg. |align=”center”| 100x100px|original file |colspan=”3″| |} Category:Extracted images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Game time: 6 Jan 2013, 1100hrs AEST

Watch on: League Pass (or free streaming for that matter)

Roster changes: Wilcox is still out with his thumb injury (sprained ulnar collateral).

Energy
We’re coming off a back-to-back game, and everyone knows what that means.

Bad: Fatigued, listless Celtics who generally do not play well on consecutive nights, especially on the road for the newer guys.

Good: The Pacers game featured plenty of garbage time, so most of the starters did not collapse on the floor from sheer exhaustion. (KG of course, was ejected and had an earlier night.) Look for the Big 3 to be ready to play and start a win streak.

Rebounding
Al Horford, Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia combine for 24.2 rebounds per game. Can Sully’s manic rebounding (plus everyone else) stem the tide? As always, second chance points will do us in. We need the same level of effort that was seen in the Pacers game, where we actually outrebounded the Pacers.

Offense
Same old cow, same old speech: Taking it in.

I really like the way Courtney Lee played today, keeping his headband off might actually be a good thing. (I’m half-convinced the headband was constricting the bloodflow or something, leading to his hesitation on getting inside previously.) Slowly but surely, he seems to be finding his hustle and offense once more.

Rondo had an excellent time today with his drives, but I’m not convinced it’s for any reason other than the Pacers playing him so wide, he was able to blow by every defender with ease. Although I like him nailing the jumper every so often, his drives and dishes will be needed to facilitate everyone else. Need. This.


What else have you got for the game? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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