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Preview and Game Thread #9: Atlanta Hawks @ Boston Celtics

Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game #9

@ Boston_celtics_logo_medium

The New Garden
Nov. 13th, 2009, 8:00 PM
ESPN, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Rajon Rondo
PG Mike Bibby
Ray Allen SG Joe Johnson
Paul Pierce SF Marvin Williams
Kevin Garnett
PF Josh Smith
Kendrick Perkins C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None. That is getting more and more exciting to write.

Celtics Injury Report: Glen Davis and Tony Allen are out. Brian Scalabrine is day to day, and apparently, pretty angry about it.

Blogging With the Enemy: CelticsBlog

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Rajon!

Game Preview:

I have no problem admitting it. I love disliking the Celtics. On their ten deep roster, only Ray Allen and Shelden Williams are tolerable. It is like they built the team with human disdain in mind. It is the only reason I can think to sign Rasheed Wallace to the kind of contract they did. The Celtics needed Rasheed. I am more impressed than anything. I think they may have had a sit down with Rondo and told him he needed to step up his ability to be disliked. So he started slugging people. Is any part of this hate healthy? Certainly not, but like so many unhealthy things, it just feels so good.

With the season still so young, games like this will always be important, but they are not season changing. If we look back and say this was the game it all changed, the Hawks are either winning 20 games or 60 this season. Still, as we try to decipher what kind of team this is, you cannot get a better challenge than a healthy Boston Celtics team.

The Hawks very good offense so far is going to be put to a serious test. The Celtics are giving up a league best 88.5 points per game. Josh Smith has been great, but Kevin Garnett does not let anyone just out athlete him. Horford is playing well, but Kendrick Perkins does not give up freebies. And I fully expect Rondo to drive Mike Bibby crazy. The Hawks are going to have play like a team for four quarters if they expect to win. If you are getting hard baskets against Boston all night, you are going to score in the 70s.

Keys to the Game:

  1. Quicken the pace. You can disagree with me, but outside of Joe Johnson, I don't see how the half court game is advantageous for the Hawks. Basically, as the pace quickens, Horford, Josh, and Marvin get scarier and Paul Pierce and KG get less scary. Plus, the Celtics one loss this year was to the fast paced Suns.
  2. Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford playing well. If they are in rhythm, I don't know who the Celtics can throw out to guard them.
  3. Rebound. I don't want to sound like Dominique and have the same three two points every game, but the Hawks must remain close in the rebound battle. Plain and simple.
  4. Why does Marquis Daniels scare me? Well, he does and so it is a key.

Comment of the Knicks game thread to Duff Man at the low point of the first half:

"Joe's post game comments: Well I am leaving after the season. I figure I owe it to Hawks fans to get Woodson fired as well."

See you in the national tv spot of the game thread.

Go Hawks!