National. TV. Hawks.
Long-time fans of the Atlanta Hawks don't necessarily associate positive thoughts with the "big stage" of national television, but the team has another opportunity to extinguish that negativity on Tuesday night. This time, the Hawks will play host to Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics, and for good measure, Atlanta has chosen this evening to retire the number of legendary big man Dikembe Mutombo.
In terms of context, it must be stated that Mike Budenholzer and his team begin a four-game, five-night stretch with this contest, and the game against Boston is the only one that takes place at Philips Arena. Fortunately, the Hawks have played just one game in the past five days, taking a much-needed break in advance of what should be a grueling week of basketball.
The Celtics enter on the heels of a surprising, 10-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, but aside from that, it has been a positive start for Boston. The team enters with a 7-6 record, and despite the absence of a singular top-flight talent (sound familiar?), the Celtics are well-coached and disciplined while playing a largely entertaining brand of basketball.
It will be interesting to see how Budenholzer and his staff manage minutes this week, especially in the case of a backcourt that remains banged up in the absence of Kent Bazemore. Regardless of who suits up (and Tiago Splitter will join Bazemore on the sideline), though, the Hawks must play with more energy (copyright, Larry Drew) on both ends of the floor than they did against Cleveland, and a "C-" performance against Boston won't get it done, even at home.
Stay tuned throughout the day for full coverage, and let's get a win together.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, November 24, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: TNT, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM