Something will have to give Tuesday night when the struggling Atlanta Hawks travel to the TD Garden to take on the struggling Boston Celtics. Atlanta has dropped nine of ten and have fallen to eighth in the East and are just 3.5 games in front of Detroit. Boston has lost five straight and is already out of the playoff picture.
Injuries have played a big part in both team's slides. The Hawks have been decimated in their frontcourt and neither Paul Millsap nor Pero Antic will suit up on Wednesday. Gustavo Ayon wasn't initially ruled out but has missed the last four and appears to be a long shot to play against the Celtics. Boston is expected to be without Avery Bradley, due to an ankle injury, and Jared Sullinger, who is recovering from a concussion.
The injuries have taken a toll on Atlanta's offense. The Hawks are averaging just 94 points over their last 10 games while giving up just under 102 per contest. Over that span of 10 games, Boston is averaging 97.6 while allowing 99.4. There defense has gone off the rails during their losing streak as they are surrendering 104 points over the last five games.
Atlanta's offense may once again be headed in the right direction as Jeff Teague has snapped out of a funk with back-to-back solid performances. He scored 28 points in the Hawks' win over the Knicks on Saturday and followed that up with 26 more against the Bulls on Tuesday. Teague's aggressiveness drives the Hawks' offense and getting him back on track is very important entering the final stage of the season.
Atlanta and Boston have split two previous meetings with the road team winning each time. The Celtics scored a 97-84 win at Philips Arena back in November and the Hawks escaped the Garden with a 92-91 win on New Year's Eve.
Wednesday's game is the first of six straight on the road for Atlanta. The Hawks will return home for part of three straight off days before heading out west for five straight beginning Sunday in Phoenix.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, February 26, 7:30 p.m.
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM