Celtics at Hawks, AKA For Some Reason Hawks Are Really, Really Up For This

Star power and rings ought to get Hawks' attention. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images North America)

Star power and rings ought to get Hawks' attention. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images North America)

So why is it that the Hawks seem to get up for the Celtics more than any of the other members of the East Elite Tri-Council?

Well, when you consider that the Celtics boast three stars, won a championship in 2008 and owned the Hawks until this season, the real question is: Why wouldn’t the Hawks bring a little something extra against the C’s?

“We know we have to play on a totally different level against that team,” J.J. said. “They’ve got so many threats you can’t have no letdowns.”

If you are so inclined–and I know some of you are–you could take all the things that theoretically are working for the Hawks tonight and turn them around into signs of danger:

1. There’s that 3-0 record against Boston this season. That means the Hawks either a) have Boston’s number or b) can expect the Celtics, with prideful KG back, to do everything in their power to avoid their first four-game season sweep by the Hawks since ‘95-’96.

2. The Celtics left their energy in Orlando, where they blew a 16-point lead last night. That means the Celtics either a) will be too spent to do battle with the Hawks even if they really, really want this one especially since KG is still gimpy or b) will re-focus behind KG, who is ticked about giving up a game-winning layup to Rashard Lewis.. From the Boston Globe:

“I’ve got to be better. I told the guys it was on me and I’ve got to be better defensively. I’ll remember it, it fuels me, it will motivate me, so I’m better [tonight]’.’

Or maybe none of that plays a factor and the Hawks really are just better than the Celtics right now. Woody doesn’t think so.

“I still think they are the best team in the East,” he said.

– Woody said Al Horford , who got six stitches for a gash on his left thumb Monday at Houston, never complained about the injury that night or during the shootaround at San Antonio on Wednesday. Before the Hawks played the Spurs, Horford said he had trouble dribbling with his left hand but that’s about it.

Today, though, Horford acknowledged that when he returned to the game at Houston the thumb was “numb, I couldn’t really feel it” and “it was really bothering me” vs. the Spurs.

“Today, it feels a whole lot better,” Horford said. “I’ll be good to go tonight.”

Though he never used the thumb as an excuse, the injury might explain Horford’s 2-for-10 shooting against the Spurs. He still managed to get 10 rebounds vs. Houston and nine vs. San Antonio.

– The Hawks must win to keep alive Woody’s chances of joining Al and J.J. in Dallas for All-Star game. If the Celtics win tonight, the Hawks won’t surpass them for second place in the East by the end of Sunday.

– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.

MC

371 comments Add your comment

jayson

January 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

yeahhhhhhhh 1sttttt firstttt

Sid

January 29th, 2010
5:00 pm

The Hawks should campaign to try and get Crawford into the three point shootout. Hes on his way to his 7th consecutive year with over 100 three point fgs made.

As for tonights game this is a nice statement weekend for the hawks. This is the time to deliver that message to the celts that says you better do whatever you can to avoid us and to the the Magic that says we are not afraid of Howard .

Justin

January 29th, 2010
5:08 pm

When you say the Celtics owned, the Hawks, you’re leaving out the 2008 playoffs where the Hawks won every home game. That’s really the point when the Hawks started taking the Celtics more seriously than other teams.

rms

January 29th, 2010
5:13 pm

I can hear the coughing beginning to start already…..CHOKE!!! No way these Hawks pull off a 4-0 sweep of the Celtics or my name aint rms!!!

cp

January 29th, 2010
5:14 pm

Hopefully Bibby and Marvin show up tonight. Bibby has been in a slump and well Marvin is Marvin.

Clyde

January 29th, 2010
5:20 pm

REGULAR SEASON DON’T MEAN NOTHING.

FIRE WOODY

Astro Joe

January 29th, 2010
5:29 pm

If Horford shows any sign of having problems with that thumb tonight, Woody needs to sit him immediately. It will be interesting to see who is inactive forthe game tonight… with Horford’s injury, Collins could be ready to go but Mario could certainly annoy the heck out of Rondo, Pierce and Ray-Ray. My guess is that Horford’s warrior mentality will result in Mario being active tonight. But Bacon Jason needs to be rested and ready for D-Howard tomorrow.

JeJe

January 29th, 2010
5:31 pm

If the Hawks were smart at all, they’d commit a hard foul on Garnett (2nd of b2b for Celtics) and make him hit the ground, since he’s obviously not healthy.

THis is BS about we can play with any team in this league. Besides the season opener last year, we have done jack!@#$ against Orlando. They completely own us, and we cannot beat Cleveland.

Good comments, players and coaches…you sure know what you’re talking about!

Astro Joe

January 29th, 2010
5:53 pm

Wow, let’s see how many more pessimistic comments we can add as we support our team against a quality squad that we have defeated 3 times this year. Come on Hawks fans, yell at the rain.

vava74

January 29th, 2010
5:59 pm

Let’s hope that Smoove can show everyone tonight why he should have been selected.

We match up reasonably well against the celts, but the prospect of us sweeping them seems too much pressure to me.

We are on Def Con 4 in our ‘egg laying alert’ since whenever we have a “statement game” we usually falter. A sign of immaturity.

O'Brien

January 29th, 2010
6:03 pm

MC,

Collins was wearing a suit for the Spurs game. Any ideas if he will be in uniform tonight?

With Horford struggling last game, Woody should have given RandMo a few minutes to see what he could do. So I agree with AJ. If Horford looks like he is struggling, get him out the game.

I disagree with Woody that the Celtics are the best team in the East. KG is coming off an injury (2nd season in a row), Ray Allen looks old, and Rasheed Wallace is inconsistent. I think the Cavs are the best team in the East.

“We know we have to play on a totally different level against that team,” J.J. said. “They’ve got so many threats you can’t have no letdowns.”

So does JJ not think that we have to play on a totally different level against the Magic? My theory is JJ brings it against the Celtics because they traded him during his rookie year, so he wants to stick it to them every chance he gets.

Looking forward to the game tonight. Hawks looked bad against Spurs, we’re rested, playing at home, and I’m sure they would love to see Woody coach the All-Star game (instead of Doc Rovers).

I’m expecting a great effort from the Hawks tonight. Hopefully that translates into a win.

vava74

January 29th, 2010
6:05 pm

Astro,

the fans are a reflection of the squad: when we win and have a statement game ahead of us, we usually have excessive confidence and enthusiasm around here with people overlooking our most significant problems. Then the squad acts exactly Lind that and lays an egg…

So this pessimism may be a good sign since typically we have a lot of pessimists blogging, the squad goes in focus.

I think that we have a real trend here.

vava74

January 29th, 2010
6:06 pm

A few iPhone typos but I think you get the picture

KMG

January 29th, 2010
6:28 pm

hawks win a close one tonight. garnett looked passable but not as the old garnett, slow and gimpy. wallace, on his last leg, no paint point to say. celts can run with the hawks.

Astro Joe

January 29th, 2010
6:32 pm

vava, I hope that you are right.

Ramon

January 29th, 2010
6:38 pm

I see the Hawks winning by 9 tonight in a game that isn’t that close after the third quarter. The biggest match up tonight will be how well Marvin can guard Pierce. If Pierce stays off the free throw line, watch for him to start limping in the 2nd quarter, to try and milk calls out of the referees. I think the best medicine for Rondo, will be JC coming in at point in the first and driving a lot. The crossover of Crawford’s will make Rondo either foul or be left behind.

RA

January 29th, 2010
6:56 pm

JeJe, if indeed that is your real name, and I doubt it, I’m sorry that you don’t feel like the Hawks can play with the big boys. Let’s consider just a few of the teams that the Hawks have beaten very briefly. Let’s start with the obvious. They’ve beaten Bosten three straight times this season, and two of those wins were in Boston. Boston had guys hurt you say? Cry me a freaken river. When Atlanta had three guys hobbled in the playoffs last season, nobody gave it a second thought and those Cavs that you’re so proud of celebrated like they’d beaten the 1988 Lakers themselves. Like I said, three straight against Boston. They beat Portland, twice. They beat Houston and Dallas in Texas. They tore Denver limb from limb in Atlanta. Now, have they stumbled? Yes they have. The games that they’ve played against Orlando were in a word embarrassing. And yea, they were beaten twice by the Cleveland Cavs, but you show me an honest time keeper and a referee that doesn’t consider knocking two Hawks out of the way a legitimate drive to the basket, and I could probably give you one win out of two against them. But we could go back and forth on that all day and still just arrive at the inescapable fact that Atlanta has lost to them, twice. So, have they beaten the Cavs, no, but I believe they can. This team has won too many big games for anyone to say that they’re not capable of doing so. And they can win those games without injuring the other team’s key player. They can win those games without preferential treatment from the referees, and they can win those games even if those other teams bring their best to the table. I’m a die hard Hawks fan, and regardless of what happens tonight, this team has given me every reason in the world to believe.

Astro Joe

January 29th, 2010
6:58 pm

Doc played Pierce, Rondo and Allen more than 37 minutes last night. KG played 33 and Perkins very little due to foul trouble. They enjoyed a double-digit lead during most of the game yesterday. I bring it up because surely, someone will criticize Woody’s utilization of his best players tonight while looking ahead to the Orlando game. Coaches don’t have the luxury of “looking ahead”, they need to win the game at hand. If Orlando’s win last night shows anything, it is that no lead is safe until very, very late into a game.

A bird in the hand often leaves a mess but with the right seasoning can be a tasty treat. I think that is how the saying goes.

Hawk n the Ham

January 29th, 2010
6:59 pm

It’s time to break out the brooms kids. Clean up this garbage tonight and move on to more important things, The Magic.

I’ve got a new drinking game! Every time Perkins travels, take a drink!

Michael Cunningham

January 29th, 2010
7:03 pm

@ O Brien: Collins in uniform. Morris inactive.

Ken LaPine

January 29th, 2010
7:29 pm

We will see……..

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:35 pm

lets get it…

Blast

January 29th, 2010
7:35 pm

Lets Go Hawks!

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:38 pm

Come on Hawks we gotta win this one. Becuz I know we lose against the Magic.

SWAT Native

January 29th, 2010
7:38 pm

Hawks n the Ham,

You would be laid flat by halftime.

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:41 pm

did i hear them say Million $ Man Ted Dibiase…?

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:43 pm

Please play defense

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:44 pm

Josh Dammit no jumpers

Jody

January 29th, 2010
7:45 pm

Shot clock winding down, had to shoot that one.

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:46 pm

Man Bibby sit your sorry azz down

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:47 pm

Ray Allen has an elbow in Joes neck… thats legal?

vava74

January 29th, 2010
7:47 pm

Out of control…

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:47 pm

Man Bibby is making it so hard to play defense

Blast

January 29th, 2010
7:48 pm

Bring in Crawford!

vava74

January 29th, 2010
7:50 pm

Moving screen by KG

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:50 pm

im starting to feel bad for Mike…

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:50 pm

Hawks come out unprepared again.

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:51 pm

Good job Marvin

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:52 pm

Man Bibby should not go back in the game anymore 2nite.

He makes the team worse. Get his Kermit his Kermit azz outta here.

vava74

January 29th, 2010
7:52 pm

Yes! Share the ball!

Blast

January 29th, 2010
7:52 pm

Hawks will be fine. Shots are just rimming out.

JB

January 29th, 2010
7:52 pm

Fronting KG was dangerous there by Josh

Sid

January 29th, 2010
7:55 pm

What is smoove doing ? ……and why isnt anyone saying anything to him ?

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:55 pm

leave Marvin in…

vava74

January 29th, 2010
7:55 pm

JJ looks tired already. He has no lift on his legs… I

BONE

January 29th, 2010
7:55 pm

Man Bibby betta not come back in the game anymore 2nite.

Keep his Kermit azz on the bench

Hawk n the Ham

January 29th, 2010
7:56 pm

Isnt’t this suppose to be on SportSouth????????

I’m in Birmingham, and they are showing one of those stupid “In my own words” shows.

WTF????

JB

January 29th, 2010
7:57 pm

Pierce traveled again!

bigdave

January 29th, 2010
7:59 pm

refs trippin…

BONE

January 29th, 2010
8:00 pm

Hawks with no offense again.