Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

DGreenwood

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I've really enjoyed all three of the Celtics vs Hawks games this season. This is going to be a fun series to watch!

Game 1 is in Boston on Saturday at 3:30 pm.

View: https://twitter.com/celtics/status/1645203185231970307/photo/1
View: https://twitter.com/NBCSCeltics/status/1645968850930876417


Here’s the series schedule:
G2: at Boston Tuesday 4/18 7:00 NBA TV
G3: at Atlanta Friday 4/21 7:00 ESPN
G4: at Atlanta Sunday 4/23 7:00 TNT
G5: at Boston Tuesday 4/25
G6: at Atlanta Thursday 4/27
G7 at Boston Saturday 4/29 TNT
 
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Auger34

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Nothing scientific to add here but I will be absolutely stunned if this series is longer than 5 games
 

Cellar-Door

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If this goes 6, then there is real cause for concern about their prospects going forward.
Depends if it goes 6 because BOS struggles or just ATL goes supernova from 3, but generally this is about as good a matchup as there is for BOS.
 

RorschachsMask

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A nice bonus with this series is there’s no stud wing for Tatum to have to expel much energy defending, as opposed to last years first round where he went all out on that end trying to make a statement against KD.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Nothing scientific to add here but I will be absolutely stunned if this series is longer than 5 games
That’s the script, right? Go to Atlanta up 2-0, take G4 after the Hawks win the game they have the best chance of winning, return home to finish in G5. If it gets to 6 there is a good chance it goes 7. In this script, G4 is the crucial one.
 

Spelunker

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Are we not counting 2016, when the Hawks beat the Celtics in round 1?
I think you may have the ordering of the facts backwards. It's not "the last time the Celtics opened with the Hawks they won the title".
 

TripleOT

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Boston should dispatch the Hawks easily if they can keep the Atlanta centers from destroying them on the glass.
 

Euclis20

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Boston should dispatch the Hawks easily if they can keep the Atlanta centers from destroying them on the glass.
It'd be pretty disappointing if the Hawks (Capela in particular) destroy Boston on the glass, considering that Boston is #1 in the league in DRB% (even with our best rebounder missing more than half the year).

Atlanta probably isn't the worst team in the playoffs (Brooklyn, and possibly whoever the 8th seed in the West ends up being), but I'm having real hard time seeing how Atlanta wins this series.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hauser fans are going to love this matchup for their guy. In 3 games this year vs Atlanta he’s shot 4-5, 5-6 and 8-14 from three. He’s going to see some action.
 

lovegtm

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It hasn't meant much, historically, when a top seed goes 6-7 games against an inferior opponent. The 08 Celtics and 14 Spurs were two of the better teams this millenium, and they both went 7 games against 8 seeds.

That said, I expect this to be over in 4 or 5 games.
 

lovegtm

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And regardless of how bad the Heat are, I'm just happy not to have to hear endless references to the one time Jimmy almost didn't brick a 3.
 

m0ckduck

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Any educated guesses about when the schedule beyond G1 might be announced?
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Hauser fans are going to love this matchup for their guy. In 3 games this year vs Atlanta he’s shot 4-5, 5-6 and 8-14 from three. He’s going to see some action.
I hope that Hauser is the 9th guy for this series, then, barring an "Al in foul trouble" type of situation. Not that I expect Mazzulla to go deeper than 8, but he might on occasion.
 

BaseballJones

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Boston is 3-0 vs Atlanta this year (one in Boston, two in Atlanta).

Nov 16 at Atl: Bos 126, Atl 101
Mar 11 at Atl: Bos 134, Atl 125
Apr 9 at Bos: Bos 120, Atl 114

So the three games were all solid wins for the Celtics, but the more recent games have been closer.

In the Nov game, Tatum struggled from the floor (6-19), but Jaylen shot 10-17 for 22 points. The Celtics had 7 guys in double figures: Brown (22), Tatum (19), Grant (18), White (16), Hauser (15), Kornet (15), and Pritchard (14). Trae Young had 27 on 10-23 shooting. Boston out rebounded Atlanta 49-45 in that game.

In the Mar game, Tatum had 34 and Brown had 24, and Boston had 6 guys in double figures. They only played 8 guys - the starters plus Brogdon, Hauser, and Griffin. Trae Young scored 35 but shot poorly (12-27) to get there. Atlanta out rebounded Boston 48-40 despite losing by 9.

In the Apr game, it was a bench fest for both teams. This was the Pritchard triple double, while Hauser added 26 and Muscala had 27. Trae Young didn't play in the game, so there's nothing of value to take from that game moving forward.

This matchup - if you accept the premise that at this point, every team poses a threat - is about as good a matchup as Boston could have hoped for. They seem to have absolutely no difficulty scoring a lot of points against the Hawks. The key for them is (a) not having Young go OFF, and (b) doing a solid job on the glass. If they do those two things, this series should not be close.
 

mikeford

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We just beat this team playing at least 3 people I had never heard of before.

If this isn't over quick, JMHC is in deep shit.
 

Strike4

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Not having to face the Heat and their terrible style of basketball is huge in terms of health and stamina. Not saying the Hawks are worse - they are both pretty bad for playoff teams - but decreasing the injury risk, frustration levels, and grind on players' bodies will be valuable in later rounds. It will also help my blood pressure as I watch the games.
 

TripleOT

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There must be much worry over at SonsofCecilCooper (assuming the Heat don’t drop two home play in games in a row).

Atlanta is a more solid team than the one Boston beat twice before the game 82 scrubfest. Saddiq Bey gives them another big wing who can hit threes and try to defend a Jay.

If Boston isn’t horrible from three, they should handle the Hawks in five.
 

lovegtm

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There must be much worry over at SonsofCecilCooper (assuming the Heat don’t drop two home play in games in a row).

Atlanta is a more solid team than the one Boston beat twice before the game 82 scrubfest. Saddiq Bey gives them another big wing who can hit threes and try to defend a Jay.

If Boston isn’t horrible from three, they should handle the Hawks in five.
Is Atlanta actually a more solid team than that one? They started off the year well, and the Celtics dismantled them then. Then they settled into mediocre, and the Celtics handled them handily. Then.....they stayed mediocre, were big underdogs against a very mediocre Miami team, and beat Miami.

I don't think anything has really changed--the Hawks just have way too many places to attack.
 

128

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We just beat this team playing at least 3 people I had never heard of before.

If this isn't over quick, JMHC is in deep shit.
It wasn't over quickly in 2008, and that C's team won the NBA title. Crazy hit happens in the playoffs, and Trae Young is capable of getting hot enough to win a game.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I hope that Hauser is the 9th guy for this series, then, barring an "Al in foul trouble" type of situation. Not that I expect Mazzulla to go deeper than 8, but he might on occasion.
This is one of the few series that Hauser makes a ton more sense than Grant for rotation minutes. I’ve said all week that Grant will be a key guy for us against most teams we would face….but Atlanta isn’t one of them. He could easily be DNP-CD against that Hawks lineup.
 

bosockboy

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Not having to face the Heat and their terrible style of basketball is huge in terms of health and stamina. Not saying the Hawks are worse - they are both pretty bad for playoff teams - but decreasing the injury risk, frustration levels, and grind on players' bodies will be valuable in later rounds. It will also help my blood pressure as I watch the games.
I’ll always take not getting Spoelstra, who can steal one game himself usually.
 

lexrageorge

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The playin game did prove that the fears of facing Miami in the first round were mostly unfounded; they're just not that good. Still, they are physical and well-coached so am happy that they may very well be the Bucks' problem.

Agree that a first round series going 7 games is not predictive of how future series will go. It would still be surprising and a bit disappointing if it does stretch out that long.
 

lovegtm

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The playin game did prove that the fears of facing Miami in the first round were mostly unfounded; they're just not that good. Still, they are physical and well-coached so am happy that they may very well be the Bucks' problem.

Agree that a first round series going 7 games is not predictive of how future series will go. It would still be surprising and a bit disappointing if it does stretch out that long.
My guess is that the Cs will be super amped-up, maybe overly amped up, to start out the series, since they've been waiting a year to get back to the playoffs. We saw this against the Nets last year, where they were just ridiculously jacked up early in game 1.

That's a good thing overall, but it might cause some awkward moments early.
 

Devizier

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The Hawks are remarkably average. Has there been a more average team in recent history?

Seems like the Celtics have done well by letting Trae get his points and denying everyone else. Not a lot of weapons for the Hawks otherwise.
 

Strike4

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The playin game did prove that the fears of facing Miami in the first round were mostly unfounded; they're just not that good. Still, they are physical and well-coached so am happy that they may very well be the Bucks' problem.

Agree that a first round series going 7 games is not predictive of how future series will go. It would still be surprising and a bit disappointing if it does stretch out that long.
My absolute #1 gripe with the NBA is that, in contrast to other contact sports, they reward "physical" play such that it allows worse teams to score against better teams. In hockey, football, soccer, etc., you can use physicality to "change the tone of the game" or whatever but you don't go right to the free throw line to get points. It's more subtle. /end rant
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I love the promos that try to make the Celtics look tough:
1681306618304.png
White: What's happening right now?
Al: (I'm actually scared of him a little bit here.)
Malcolm: I just look like this all the time.
JB: Yo, these kicks I'm wearing are sweet right?
JT: Mmmm, can't wait for lunch.
TimeLord: Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh.
Marcus: I'm just going to do my James Harden peace-out gif impression. That should work.
 

joe dokes

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I love the promos that try to make the Celtics look tough:
View attachment 63374
White: What's happening right now?
Al: (I'm actually scared of him a little bit here.)
Malcolm: I just look like this all the time.
JB: Yo, these kicks I'm wearing are sweet right?
JT: Mmmm, can't wait for lunch.
TimeLord: Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh.
Marcus: I'm just going to do my James Harden peace-out gif impression. That should work.
Marcus looks like he's about to bust out laughing.
Al and Brogdon have the dead eyes.
63375
 

Cellar-Door

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I love the promos that try to make the Celtics look tough:
View attachment 63374
White: What's happening right now?
Al: (I'm actually scared of him a little bit here.)
Malcolm: I just look like this all the time.
JB: Yo, these kicks I'm wearing are sweet right?
JT: Mmmm, can't wait for lunch.
TimeLord: Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh.
Marcus: I'm just going to do my James Harden peace-out gif impression. That should work.
Al is very disappointed that you are coming in 45 minutes after curfew
 

BaseballJones

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The Hawks were 5th worst in the NBA in points allowed, letting opponents score 118.1 points a game. That's going to be a problem for them.

When Atlanta has the ball:
Atlanta offense: 118.4 points scored
Boston defense: 111.4 points allowed
AVERAGE: 114.9 points expected

When Boston has the ball:
Atlanta defense: 118.1 points allowed
Boston offense: 117.9 points scored
AVERAGE: 118.0 points expected

I'm making up this "formula" and I don't expect it to look quite like this, but the fact is, Boston's offense is great and Atlanta's defense is terrible. Meanwhile, while Atlanta's offense is great, Boston's defense is also great.
 

joe dokes

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The Hawks were 5th worst in the NBA in points allowed, letting opponents score 118.1 points a game. That's going to be a problem for them.
I'm making up this "formula" and I don't expect it to look quite like this, but the fact is, Boston's offense is great and Atlanta's defense is terrible. Meanwhile, while Atlanta's offense is great, Boston's defense is also great.
So Celtics should win every game 150-120?
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Hawks were 5th worst in the NBA in points allowed, letting opponents score 118.1 points a game. That's going to be a problem for them.

When Atlanta has the ball:
Atlanta offense: 118.4 points scored
Boston defense: 111.4 points allowed
AVERAGE: 114.9 points expected

When Boston has the ball:
Atlanta defense: 118.1 points allowed
Boston offense: 117.9 points scored
AVERAGE: 118.0 points expected

I'm making up this "formula" and I don't expect it to look quite like this, but the fact is, Boston's offense is great and Atlanta's defense is terrible. Meanwhile, while Atlanta's offense is great, Boston's defense is also great.
You summed this up perfectly and this is a series I don’t believe requires overthinking without the Hawks having a single matchup advantage. They can win G3 as pretty much any playoff team can but that should be it.
 

RedOctober3829

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The only thing that may concern me about the Hawks is that they are top 10 in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game so getting them off the offensive glass is going to be key. Other than that, they should roll.
 

finnVT

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The Hawks were 5th worst in the NBA in points allowed, letting opponents score 118.1 points a game. That's going to be a problem for them.

When Atlanta has the ball:
Atlanta offense: 118.4 points scored
Boston defense: 111.4 points allowed
AVERAGE: 114.9 points expected

When Boston has the ball:
Atlanta defense: 118.1 points allowed
Boston offense: 117.9 points scored
AVERAGE: 118.0 points expected

I'm making up this "formula" and I don't expect it to look quite like this, but the fact is, Boston's offense is great and Atlanta's defense is terrible. Meanwhile, while Atlanta's offense is great, Boston's defense is also great.
I might be extending my hazy log5 recollections incorrectly, but i think this math undersells it because you need to consider league average. I.e., (when boston has the ball) 118 points allowed for ATL is vs an average offense, so they're about -4 ppg allowed (relative to an NBA average of 114 ppg), whereas boston is about +4 offensively compared to average. Since this is a matchup of a below average defense vs above average offense, you'd expect those to compound, and end up more like +8 when boston has the ball (i.e., 122 ppg). Same thing when ATL has the ball-- they're +4 offensively, but Boston is +2.5 defensively, so you'd only expect ATL to be about +1.5 net ppg offensively, or 115.5. Which puts it at 122-115.5, or +6.5 (rather than that +3.1).

All of which is still a simplification and an approximation and a nit pick of the highest order.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The only thing that may concern me about the Hawks is that they are top 10 in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game so getting them off the offensive glass is going to be key. Other than that, they should roll.
I’m not concerned as this raw stat is skewed by the Hawks pace which has them among the top of the league in FGA/FGM. Their OffRebRate is 8th in the league which while certainly good is a metric that shows a team is susceptible to poor transition defense….which we know the Hawks are.
 

ifmanis5

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I'm so happy we don't have to watch Butler living at the line, all the Lowry flops and Bam's illegal screens for a week. And also getting bodied by their superior coach. Thank God.
Just hunt Trae and stay healthy.
 

RedOctober3829

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I’m not concerned as this raw stat is skewed by the Hawks pace which has them among the top of the league in FGA/FGM. Their OffRebRate is 8th in the league which while certainly good is a metric that shows a team is susceptible to poor transition defense….which we know the Hawks are.
Yeah I mean I was grasping at straws trying to come up with something that the Hawks do that would concern the Celtics. I don't think there are many if any.
 

jmcc5400

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I'm so happy we don't have to watch Butler living at the line, all the Lowry flops and Bam's illegal screens for a week. And also getting bodied by their superior coach. Thank God.
Just hunt Trae and stay healthy.
. . . Lowry undercutting our guys and nevertheless getting the whistle. I wasn't particularly worried about the outcome of a Miami series, but the process of achieving that outcome was going to be stressful and aggravating. This is so much better. It's the Celtics karmic reward for not ducking Brooklyn last spring.
 

ifmanis5

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. . . Lowry undercutting our guys and nevertheless getting the whistle. I wasn't particularly worried about the outcome of a Miami series, but the process of achieving that outcome was going to be stressful and aggravating. This is so much better. It's the Celtics karmic reward for not ducking Brooklyn last spring.
Yes and yes.
 

the moops

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The only thing that may concern me about the Hawks is that they are top 10 in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game so getting them off the offensive glass is going to be key. Other than that, they should roll.
Boston is a better defensive rebounding team than Atlanta is an offensive rebounding team