Coming off a frustrating loss to the New York Knicks, the Celtics will try to get their win against the Atlanta Hawks on the road – on a back-to-back no less.
Fact: The Hawks are 24-18 this season, and have won only 4 of their last 10 games, 3 of the wins coming from home.
Game time: 26 Jan 2013, 1130hrs AEDT
Watch on: NBA League Pass
1. Wilcox is cleared to play, but there is no confirmation on whether he will actually see court time.
2. Fab Melo is still not cleared for full contact practice after his recent concussion (walked into a doorway).
3. Lou Williams is out for the season with an ACL injury.
4. Devin Harris (ankle) is day to day.
5. Al Horford (calf) is day to day.
6. Zaza Pachulia (tendinitis right Achilles) is unavailable, likely day to day.
Remember Lou Williams? He basically tore us apart in the first quarter in that last meetup, scoring 16 points to give the Hawks a huge lead back then. Williams is unfortunately out for the season with an ACL injury, so that gives us a bit of breathing space. If centers Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia are out as well, the Hawks look to be quite shorthanded on the big men department. I’m not sure how much more handicapped this game can get to be honest. If we are to win, this is a very good shot.
The offense will likely look to be running through Jeff Teague to either Josh Smith or Kyle Korver, with Ivan Johnson on the inside muscling for scrap points. Fight the rebounds, look for Bradley to contain the dribble penetration from Teague, and the perimeter shooters (read: Korver the marksman) will not be hitting them open ones. Get the good old stops, and then think about how the ball is supposed to go through the damn hoop.
The starters will be tired, do not doubt that for a second. Rondo and The Truth played heavy minutes in the Knicks game, and KG is not scoring his usual load of late, despite playing rationed minutes. Add in the travel from Boston to Atlanta, the usual rigours of a road game and the older guys will be fatigued. Pierce will be looking to score his usual load, but don’t be surprised if he comes up short.
We need big scoring from the bench guys, and I’m looking for Green to be more aggressive and take his points. Lee is looking more and more comfortable with every passing game, but I’m not expecting a 20 point game anytime soon. Green on the other hand, has shown himself capable of scoring at will – when he’s in the mood. Those points are crucial right now.
We nearly had that win in the Knicks game, but it was a matter of late game execution fouling up badly. Against a shorthanded Hawks team, we need to capitalise on the opportunity and grasp the win. Let’s go guys and GRAB THAT WIN!