Friday night's home opener would have saw the Atlanta Hawks hosting the Boston Celtics and their Hall of Fame trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The game would have been the first of a back-to-back with the Hawks flying to Chicago after the game for tomorrow's match up with the Bulls.
The Celtics are a lot like the Hawks in that they return their core pieces but little else from last season's team. It is questionable whether or not Jeff Green will return to the team and the Big 3 don't have that many more games left in them together. Despite virtually no success against the Celtics last season, it has been fun to watch the Hawks go head-to-head with them ever since the 2008 playoff series.
What I will miss most about this game is the potential match up between Rajon Rondo and Jeff Teague assuming he is named as the starting point guard. Teague's held his own against Derek Rose in the playoffs last season and going against Rondo would give him another chance against a top level point guard. To pour just a little more salt on the would, remember that Atlanta had the No. 5 pick in the 2006 draft and Rondo was drafted at No. 21.
You don't have to like the Celtics but they do command your respect. The key for Atlanta against them has always been using their athleticism as an advantage on the boards and in transition. All too often the outcome has come down to whether or not the Hawks were tough enough to do the little things to win the game.