Ivan Johnson starting again; Horford, Pachulia, and Harris all available; Ejection Odds.

Kevin C. Cox

The Hawks will be almost back to full strength tonight against the struggling Celtics and will have a full 12 man squad for the first time in weeks. Also, this matchup has HUGE fight/ejection potential so I give you the semi-official ejection odds for tonight's game.

The Hawks will start Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and IVAN JOHNSON (!!!) tonight against the Celtics. This will be Ivan's second straight start and Larry Drew said his performance Wednesday in Charlotte earned him the spot tonight. Drew pointed to his sustained energy, but also his demeanor on the court, referencing a moment in the third quarter where a referee actually thanked Ivan for how he handled himself after a loose-ball foul. Al Horford returns to the starting lineup after missing the previous game with soreness in his hamstring and calf. Devin Harris (ankle) and Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) will also be available and none of the three will have any minutes limitations. Anthony Morrow remains out with a back injury, but for the first time in weeks the Hawks will dress 12 players and have all available.

Going with the big lineup is an effort by Drew to matchup better with the Celtics and especially Paul Pierce on the wing. Pierce had a huge second half in their last meeting, with many of those points coming against Kyle Korver. Starting Smoove at the three accomplishes three things. First, it presents a favorable defensive matchup on Pierce, who used his size and strength to bully Korver last time, something he won't be able to do against Josh. Second, it creates a favorable post matchup for Josh on the offensive end. Pierce will not have the size to defend Smoove and Josh has been great posting up smaller defenders in the past couple games making good decisions on when to both take his man for a shot or pass out of the inevitable double-team. Finally, it gets Smith away from Garnett. Josh, for all his improvements, can still get mentally knocked off his game and Garnett is the master. Having Josh play outside the paint and away from Garnett will hopefully keep Josh's focus more on the game rather than KG.

Also, Ivan versus Garnett has the potential to be phenomenally entertaining and/or end in a "fight" (KG doesn't ever actually fight anyone). This game has ejections written all over it. The Celtics are on tilt after losing to the Knicks last night and losing five in a row. Rondo hasn't been suspended in a solid month (the last Hawks game) so he's due. Ivan and Zaza always bring out the worst in KG (which leads to pushing and shoving and Rondo inevitably stepping in). In that spirit, I'm setting some odds on ejections tonight.

Boston Celtics:

Rajon Rondo: 3-to-1

Kevin Garnett: 8-to-1

Paul Pierce: 20-to-1

Doc Rivers: 25-to-1

Jason Collins: 50-to-1

Fab Melo: 200-to-1 (5-to-1 odds he concusses himself on the doorway before the game starts)

Atlanta Hawks:

Zaza Pachulia: 4-to-1

Ivan Johnson: 8-to-1

Josh Smith: 15-to-1

Jeff Teague: 30-to-1

Larry Drew: 40-to-1

Johan Petro: 500-to-1

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