Game Thread #25: Boston at Atlanta, December 17th

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WHO: Boston (23-2) at Atlanta (15-9)

WHEN: 7pm

WHERE: ESPNHD, SportSouth HD, Hawks Radio NetworkNBA Audio League Pass

Injury Report: Speedy Claxton is out.

Game Notes

For Entertainment Purposes Only: Boston -4.5, 185.5 o/u as of 3:50 EST: -3.5, 187 o/u

Blogging With the Enemy: CelticsBlog

Early appearance for this season's Silver Anniversary Game Thread. I've got the feeling folks may have some thoughts to share about tonight's matchup. I'll add links as the day progresses.

While Celtics forward Paul Pierce is listed as day to day after suffering a right knee contusion against Utah on Monday night, he still is expected to play against the Hawks on Wednesday night. Pierce was re-examined on Tuesday and no MRI or X-ray was needed, according to team spokesperson Jeff Twiss. A solid shootaround in Atlanta tomorrow morning is expected to solidify the All-Star's expectations to play.

Celtics guard Eddie House is also expected to meet the team in Atlanta in time to play in Wednesday's game. House missed the Utah game after the recent death of his aunt.

  • Spears also gets his last shots in before the Hawks finally cease to be a go-to reference for organizational futility.

Hawks.com currently offers a chance to watch highlights from last season's Celtics-Hawks playoff series. The video describes tonight's game in Atlanta as a "renewed rivalry." If you didn't know better, you would have thought the Hawks won the first-round matchup.

The rest of the article is much better with Ray Allen:

"We were talking about [the website]. I'm sure it's been up there for a couple of days. We are really looking forward to it. Atlanta is ready and waiting and they've been promoting this for a while. The building is going to be a playoff atmosphere so we need to go down there with a different mind-set."

and Mike Bibby:

"I don't know if you call it a rivalry. But they probably don't like us and we probably don't like them. And you can go all the way down the line and know it's going to be a battle every time we see each other."

both talking sense.

While Marvin takes use down memory lane:

"We obviously knew we could play with them, though. The series was tied at 3-3. I just think in Game 7 we weren't ready to play . . ."

That's why I'm calling my bootleg DVD of highlights from the 2007-08 Atlanta Hawks season: We Just Weren't Ready To Play.

UPDATE: Micah Hart has your pre- and post-game planned at Hawks BasketBlog.

UPDATE #2: Steve Weinman asked me some questions about the Hawks and I answered them in today's aptly titled edition  of the "Daily Babble" at CelticsBlog.

UPDATE #3:

We're probably not overrating this game. The hype, we think, is deserved.

Atlanta plays Boston well, they may have been trampled by about 82 points per game in the four Massachusetts-based contests during last season's playoffs, but they also gave a good fight on the road against the C's last month, and the Boston/Atlanta games have always been close in Georgia.

There will be more games to pay attention to as your afternoon moves along, but we should throw a few stats your way and let the comment section trash talking start now. After all, we're less than five hours away, and most Celtics/Hawks fans will tell you that most Atlanta/Boston fans are unemployed and typing from their Mom's basement anyway, so it's never too early to put this post up.

More links to be added as they surface throughout the day.

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