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Preview and Game Thread #27: Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics

Atlanta Hawks 10-11 Season Game #27



16-10 20-4
TD Garden
December 16, 2010, 8:00 PM
TNT, 99X FM, Pre and Post Game Show 680 The Fan, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Rajon Rondo
Marvin Williams SG Ray Allen
Josh Smith SF Paul Pierce
Al Horford PF Kevin Garnett
Jason Collins C Semih Erden

Hawks Injury Report: Joe Johnson (elbow), Jamal Crawford (back) are out.

Celtics Injury Report: Jermaine O'Neal (knee), Kendrick Perkins (knee) are out, Shaquille O'Neal (calf), Rajon Rondo (wrist, ankle) are questionable

UPDATE: Rondo is out, per ESPNBoston

SB Nation Celtics Blog: Celtics Blog

Game Preview

The Celtics come into the game red hot having won eleven games in a row. Any momentum the Hawks had built up without Joe Johnson disappeared with Thursday's blow out loss to the Pistons. The Celtics come in playing well but are hurting. Rajon Rondo hurt his wrist in Wednesday night's victory over the Knicks and his status for tonight's game is not known as I write this. Jermaine O'Neal hasn't played the entire season and it also looks like Shaq is out tonight as well. So the Hawks may catch a break with the Celtics being without Rondo but as they showed in Atlanta earlier, they don't necessarily have to have him to deliver a beat down if the other team isn't ready to compete.

Keys to the Game

Compete. Again there won't be any outside pressure on the Hawks given the result of the first meeting in Atlanta. Any pressure should come from within on the strength of wanting to make up for the first meeting with Boston and to erase the memory of Tuesday's Detroit Loss. Just compete tonight, compete.