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Atlanta Hawks/Boston Celtics Preview

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I hate the Celtics. Which is fine, most everyone does. Actually, one of the great pleasures in my life is watching Celtics fans enjoy being hated. Mostly because it makes me think of middle school, when everyone hated the cool kid, but the cool kid didn't care because he was cool and done with puberty Of course, said cool bully had no idea that one day everyone would be done growing 6 inches in a year one day and being mean would no longer be cool. And when that time came, most people just felt sorry for that one time cool kid and assumed his dad did not love him and fed him way to much fast food so he went through puberty at age 8. Except with the Celtics I won't care. There will be no pity. I look forward to Kevin Garnett deteriorating as a player. I plan to eat popcorn and DVR it.

So I guess what I mean is I don't like you Boston. Not one bit. No one on your team I like (except Ray Allen and that does not even count). Related to the entire organization, I really only enjoy Doc Rivers and the Celtic  blogs, and most of the time fans on those blogs say mean things about Doc Rivers so that makes it even worse. Plus, that red line tour I took of your city when I was 12 totally sucked.

Ok, I feel better. On to the game. The likelihood of Rajon Rondo doing practically nothing offensively against the Hawks for the second straight game is pretty low. So is out rebounding Boston my 18. Or the Celtics going 1-15 from three point land. That is the bad news. The good news is KG and Tony Allen are out this time around, and the Hawks do not have to rebound as well if they shoot better. Plus, the Hawks dominated the last game. They did not get lucky and squeak out a thriller.

I have no doubt it will be a different game, but it is still one the Hawks can easily win. Dare I say, need to win. And to be honest, if the Hawks do not drill the ball down low to start the game I am going to have a conniption. Blow a potato up in the microwave or something. Kendrick Perkins has become a top of the line defender, but he is still susceptible to foul trouble. And lets be real, refs love calling fouls on Sheed and Josh Smith has the ability to put Wallace in a position to at least look like he is fouling. What I am trying to say is I hope we see a lot of Shelden Williams tonight. Not just because I miss him, but because the Hawks can dominate him. The Joe Johnson on Ray Allen advantage will be there in the fourth quarter to exploit. It would be really nice if come that time at least one of Boston's bigs is hassled with foul trouble, and our front court 

What does not need to happen is Jamal Crawford running around screen trying to chase Ray Allen. It is painful. It hurts everyone's feelings. It does no good for the world. If Jamal is not hitting tonight, there needs to be a short lease. Mr. Allen can score 15 in a hurry, and when Jamal can only make up for it by taking contested jump shots, I would just as leave have Marvin back in there.

Bibby is going to have to hit shots if assertive Rondo shows up and it would be nice for all Hawks fans if Rasheed Wallace had another 1-5 shooting night from three. But these are things that could happen or they could not and it is tough to call any of them keys because the Hawks can only do so much to control whether Wallace takes five threes or Rondo decided to shoot 14 times. What the Hawks can do is destroy the boards, get out and run, close out hard on rotations, and desperatley try and protect the paint as whoever Bibby was guarding flies into the lane.

As good as these teams are, this is still an effort game. It is staying committed to your advantages game. Both teams have the upper hand somewhere, lets hope the home crowd inspires the good guys to stay with theirs the longest.

Go Hawks!