|Atlanta Hawks 11-12 First Round Playoffs Game 1|
|Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia|
|April 29, 2012, 7:00 PM|
|SportSouth, TNT, 99X and 98.9 FM, NBA Audio League Pass|
|Rajon Rondo||PG||Jeff Teague|
|Avery Bradley||SG||Kirk Hinrich|
|Paul Pierce||SF||Joe Johnson|
|Brandon Bass||PF||Josh Smith|
|Kevin Garnett||C||Jason Collins|
Series Tied 0-0
Hawks Injury/Inactive Report: Al Horford (pectoral) and Zaza Pachulia (foot) are out.
Celtics Injury/Inactive Report: Ray Allen (ankle) is a game-time decision.
More SB Nation Coverage: SB Nation Atlanta, CelticsBlog
"Whether they play in Boston, Atlanta, or Tokyo, the Celtics are going to beat the Hawks." -Charles Barkley
As you can tell from Jason Walker's post yesterday, almost everyone feels the same way as Charles Barkley. Aside from the Atlanta Hawks' fanbase, there aren't many people picking the Hawks to win this series.
So once again, the Hawks are coming into a playoff series as the underdog. In the 7 playoff series the Hawks have played since the 2008 playoffs, there may be only one series where the Hawks were looked at as the favorites coming in (the 2010 playoff series vs. the Bucks), but even that series had a handful of doubters.
The Hawks have homecourt advantage in this series, but that's deemed not good enough to a lot of people that chose the Celtics over them. A lot are favoring the Celtics because they are just more experienced, more "hot", more healthier, and simply more trust-worthy....which is fair to believe.
But I'm sure that a lot of you can attest to this, when the majority thinks this team is going one way, the Hawks will go the other way. That's just their nature. They seem to enjoy the "shock the world" moments.
The Hawks have another opportunity of "shocking the world" (and Charles Barkley), and a win in Game 1 would get them one step closer to doing so.
Current/Past Season Series:
The Celtics won this season's series, 2-1. This makes it two straight seasons the Celtics have won the regular season series vs. the Hawks.
In the two losses, the Hawks were only outscored by a combined margin of 5 points. The Celtics won the first game by 3, after a Teague three point shot airball that would have tied the game. The Celtics won the second game by only 2 points in an overtime thriller after Josh Smith missed a 3 that would have given the Hawks the lead.
In the Hawks' lone win, they only beat the Boston Celtics by 5 even though Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Mickael Pietrus did not play.
The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, the Hawks were the 8th seed and the Celtics were the 1st seed. In that 2008 playoff series, the Hawks "shocked the world" by pushing the eventual champions to 7 games. Every win in that series came on the home floor.
Celtics & Hawks Current Records/Streaks:
Away/Home: The Celtics finished with a 15-18 on the road, and the Hawks finished with a 23-10 record at home.
Celtics/Hawks Trends: The Celtics finished the regular season winning 24 out of their last 34 games. The Hawks finished the regular season winning 16 out of their last 23 games.
Against .500+ Teams: The Celtics posted an 18-20 record in the regular season against teams with winning records, while the Hawks only posted a record of 14-21 record.
- The Celtics were 11-3 in the regular season when using the Rondo-Bradley-Pierce-Bass-Garnett lineup.
- Larry Drew is coming into the playoffs with a 6-6 record. 4-2 record at home and 2-4 record on the road.
- The Hawks are 20-4 this season when Joe Johnson scores at least 20 points.
- The Hawks are 22-7 this season when Josh Smith scores at least 20 points.
- The Hawks are 30-6 this season when they score at least 90 points.
- The Celtics are 2-14 when opponent has higher FG%.