Atlanta Hawks at Celtics: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Boston where the Hawks play the Celtics tonight at 8 p.m.

BOSTON – The Hawks did what they were supposed to do the past three games as they disposed of the sub-.500 Bobcats (twice) and Pistons.

Now, they face to biggest challenge of the season to this point in the Celtics.

In what would be a first-round playoff matchup if the postseason started today, the Hawks can accomplish two very important things tonight against the Celtics.

1. Prove they can beat the Celtics – one of the better teams in the NBA now that they are getting healthy.

2. Help their playoff position with nine regular-season games remaining – as they would rather open against either the Magic or the Pacers.

Regarding the first point, the Celtics defeated the Hawks 79-76 at Philips Arena earlier this season, albeit the Hawks had injuries and were playing their third game in four nights.

This is a Hawks team capable of beating the Bulls, Heat and Thunder. However, they’ve also lost against the likes of playoff contenders like the Knicks, 76ers and Bucks.

The Hawks end the regular season at home against the Celtics. Evening the season series at 1-1 could be that game has big tiebreaker implications.

Few teams are hotter than the Celtics right now. They are 18-7 since the All-Star break. That includes three straight wins, most recently last night’s win against the Heat, and 8-2 in the past 10. The Celtics are also 11-1 this season against the Southeast Division.

“They are a veteran ball club, they have been in those trenches long enough they know how to win,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said Tuesday. “We have to play with the consistency we’ve been seeking all year. It’s going to be playoff energy, playoff intensity. We are going to have to bring our A game. It will be a big challenge for us.”

Regarding the second point, the Hawks (34-23) are fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics (33-24) are fourth by virtue of leading the Atlantic division. The Hawks are one game behind the Pacers, who play at the Cavaliers tonight. They are also just a half-game ahead of the Magic, who they play Friday in Orlando.

The game with the Celtics may well come down to experience vs. youth. The Celtics feature three future Hall of Famers, and maybe a fourth. Ray Allen is 24th in scoring in NBA history with 22,941 points – 108 points behind Elgin Baylor. Paul Pierce is 25th with 22,450 points. Kevin Garnett is rising up the scoring and rebounding charts. Point guard Rajon Rondo has 18 straight games with at least 10 assists. It’s the longest streak in the NBA since John Stockton had 29 straight in 1992.

The Hawks counter with their relatively young core group.

“We are a younger team,” Marvin Williams said. “Our youth has always helped us against the Celtics. Their experience has really helped them against us. Every time we play those guys it’s a good game.”

Who could forget the seven-game series in 2008?

Finally, the Hawks are expected to get forward Vladimir Radmanovic back tonight, assuming his back responded well to Tuesday’s practice. He has missed the past eight games, and 12 of the past 13, with the back issue. With Radmanovic back, the Hawks would have their entire lineup – excluding Al Horford of course.

So, what Hawks team shows up tonight?

734 comments Add your comment

jeppz23

April 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

aww crap, vivlamore covering the game..means a loss! LOL

High-sider

April 11th, 2012
3:10 pm

High-sider

April 11th, 2012
3:14 pm

Repost FTPB
High-sider
April 11th, 2012
3:09 pm

On one of the rare occasions, I will have to agree with Jeff Van Gundy [The Notorious J.V.G.] that the NBA needs [to have] its own [NBA] Hall of Fame for NBA players, coaches, executives, referees, etc. and their accomplishments and/or achievements.

pointguardslim

April 11th, 2012
3:16 pm

I`ve got it.
Let`s go with Teague at the [1] Rondo*-speed-
Johnson at the [2] Avery Johnson [big advantage]
Josh at the [3] *-speed- Pierce
Ivan at the [4] Bass [could be a win here; physical]
Zaza at the [5] Garnett
—————-

MC never answered my request.

jeppz23

April 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

^^^^point guard slim that’s the lineup we’ve all been begging LD to use, cuz if they go small in the playoffs, we know what’ll happen.

I like your vids on youtube btw. I just watched Game 4 vs chicago last year..showed me what this team is capable of when they’re focused

Rod from College Park

April 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

Vava,

“First you “forget” that we got to the second round in 2009 to “validate” the essentiality of having Jamal on our roster when we went AS FAR with Flip.”

Did we ever win a game in the second round with Flip? It seems to have fallen out of my memory.

“MIA was bad? Again, another “nudge” to make your point…

Umm… yes, they were nothing to rave about that MIA team BUT… last year ORL were really not substantially better than that MIA team.”

That Orlando team was higher seeded than we were, and won 52 games. The Miami team we beat in the playoffs was a lower seed than us and only won 43 games. So I disagree with your statement. That Miami team that trotted out Chalmers (rookie), Wade, James Jones, Haslem, and Oneal was not that good.

“Wade is waaaaay better than Howard in my book and the filler in both rosters was more or less equivalent.”

That’s your book. Your has been proven wrong many times. Wade is one of the best 2’s in the game, and he was countered by one of the other best 2’s in the game in Joe Johnson. Orlando did not have a bunch of filler. They had the most dominant big man in the game countered by nobody, and they had an all star point guard in Jameer Nelson along with Hedo Turkalou, and Jason Richardson and filler.

“Also, you say:

“Mo Evans and Marvin trying to check Lebron, and Delonte West shuting down Iso Joe. It was ugly.”

You forget THREE facts which weighted against us on that CLE sweep:

1. Horford was injured badly and hardly could play.
2. Marvin was injured badly and hardly could play.
(JJ was also hurt, limping noticeably)
3. The refs simply killed us.

Note: Earlier that year with the roster at full strenght we had been very competitive against CLE (including Marving doing a good job on Lefart)”

Actually Horford played every game except game 6. Marvin played games 1 and 2 and averaged 10 points and 2 rebounds, which was taken care of by Mo Evans. JJ is hurt every year in the playoffs, what’s new. More excuses. Refs killed us because we shot jumpers all day and did not attack. That’s our fault. Played them good in the regular season, and got swept in the playoffs, which one really mattered. LOL

Rod from College Park

April 11th, 2012
3:30 pm

northcyde,

“Zaza was actually the guy that saved us that year from getting knocked out of the 1st round, with his great performance in Game 6 at Miami.”

Yeah, Zaza’s 6 points and 2 rebounds that game sure did keep us from getting knocked out of the playoffs. (LOL)

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

The way KG likes to get into guys’ heads, Ivan needs to be careful that he doesn’t let his iner demons out and end up with a multiple game suspension. No doubt that KG will be doing some major yapping when Ivan is on the floor (Pierce, also).

northcyde

April 11th, 2012
3:45 pm

My bad Rod. It was Game 4, not Game 6. Had we lost Game 4, we go back to Philips down 3 – 1.

And you know good and well that Horford was not healthy in 2009 during the playoffs. Nor was Marvin.

rollow lawson

April 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

I think we go back to Marvin in the starting lineup tonight against Paul Pierce. Joe has a distinct size advantage over Avery. Bring Heinrich off the bench and let him chase Ray Allen. Actually, the Hawks match up well against this Boston team. All they have to do is go out and win.

northcyde

April 11th, 2012
3:49 pm

LOL @ feening over a 38% FG – 32% 3FG shooter, and acting like he would be the difference for the Hawks. Like I said, Jamal isn’t even the best Crawford in the league anymore. I bet Portland now wishes that they’d had given Jamal a TEAM option, instead of a PLAYER option. Nobody wants that dude, so he’ll stay in Portland and take the 5 million.

northcyde

April 11th, 2012
3:51 pm

Rollow . . . that would be the sensible move. But I think Drew will stick with small ball for right now. Our hope for tonight rests in Josh not taking a lot of jumpers ( if he’s cold ), and the bench thoroughly outplaying the Celtic bench.

northcyde

April 11th, 2012
3:54 pm

PG Slim . . True or False

Josh Smith’s best position is CENTER

pointguardslim

April 11th, 2012
4:08 pm

I think we go back to Marvin in the starting lineup tonight against Paul Pierce. Joe has a distinct size advantage over Avery.
——–
And whats to stop Avery from taking a rest on Marvin? Ala Jodie Meeks?

Option -1-
Joe, Josh -vs- Bradley, Pierce
Option -2-
Joe, Marvin -vs- Bradley, Pierce

Well Option 2 is boo boo.

pointguardslim

April 11th, 2012
4:20 pm

Irregardless of what individual numbers Josh puts up in some crazy lineups at Center.

Jeff Teague
Kirk Hinrich/Willie Green
Joe Johnson
Marvin Williams
Josh Smith

Running stuff like that might make Josh Smith put up some obscure stat. But you’re going to get reamed at the other positions.

Stop being a clown/

Rev in Tampa

April 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

Co-sign

“The way KG likes to get into guys’ heads, Ivan needs to be careful that he doesn’t let his iner demons out and end up with a multiple game suspension. No doubt that KG will be doing some major yapping when Ivan is on the floor (Pierce, also).”

cp

April 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

This is a game where everyone needs to step up. Joe has to have a good game against a good team, Josh cant hang on the perimeter, Teague has to be aggressive, Hinrich has to knock down those open jumpers he has been missing lately, Zaza needs to finish strong. The bench also has to give us something tonight. I think the Hawks played too slow in the last game. They need to get out and run more but guys have to be able to rebound the ball. Should be a good game and hopefully the Hawks win.

Grandad

April 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

Mr pg-slim sir;

I`ve been called
colorful; a character; crusty; cantankerous; brutally honest;
contrary; combative; candid; blunt; brusque; curt; straightforward;
abrupt; matter-of-fact; a plain-spoken ol` coot, and or a curmudgeon
then there`s my favorite; *’`Irascible`’* … but most folks just stick with
JackAss.

Now a cynic … that does not fit … therefore I disagree.
Most who know me; consider me selfless,
which is most kind on their behalf.

Respectfully,
G-dad

coondawg69

April 11th, 2012
4:33 pm

Grandad

April 11th, 2012
4:41 pm

northcyde

The other Brown [Larry`s brother] who coached with Wdsn;
-said-
‘`they were grooming Josh to be the next Ben Wallace`’
He said this on the radio,
probably 6 – 8 yrs ago.
I always thought Wdsn`s intent was to make Josh a center
in the mold of BW.

* As per your 3:54 pm post

** I think they wanted him to really hit the wgts and become
Dwight Howard in physique and wgt.

Melvin

April 11th, 2012
4:42 pm

Doc Rivers would probably have Bradley guard Marvin if he started tonight. I don’t think Doc will risk Joe getting into an offensive rhythm with Bradley trying to guard him, knowing that he’s giving up too much size in that matchup. Every good opposing coach knows to make someone other than Joe beat you when playing the Hawks.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 11th, 2012
4:47 pm

Ivan doesn’t strike me as the type who will allow KG to get in his head. He strikes me as the type that KG isn’t going to try to mess with. I think KG will spend most of his energy trying to get in Zaza’s head. He likes messing with foreigners.

Melvin

April 11th, 2012
4:50 pm

If Marvin was a legit scoring SF (or a consistent 2nd option), the Hawks would be a matchup nightmare. With Marvin and Joe size, very few teams have two good defensive wing players in their starting lineups that could matchup with them. Oh well, let me come back to reality.

Grandad

April 11th, 2012
4:52 pm

AJ

As I said previously;
I would -never- refer to yourself as vacuous or empty headed.
In fact;
I think you are, as I, full of it.

Grandad

April 11th, 2012
4:53 pm

Wait a minute – that may not have sounded quite like the compliment I intended.

SteveW

April 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

Dawgnole – Not trying to defend the indefensible – just to be accurate like I’m sure you want to be. During the 68/69 and 69/70 seasons, wasnt’ what is now known as the Conference then referred to as the Divison?

My understanding is, and I think the facts bear this out, is that the Division Championship Series was then the series which determined who would go to the NBA Championship Series.

Even if it wasn’t (but I think it was), the Hawks are currently in their 44th season in ATL. So at this point, the most we could be is 0-43, not 0-45. Now 0-45 sounds better, but is it the truth? I may have miscounted, but that’s what I’ve come up with.

DMB – Please know I’m not trying to be irreverent to the dead, or defend a scumbag – but didn’t CNN report officially that they were wrong on Zimmermans’ recording, and that according to professional voice analysis the word used was “cold”, not a horrific racial epitaph? Now i stand to be corrected, and realize I know that a young man has lost his life and is never coming back, God rest his soul. Just trying to be accurate – but that is what I read. It could’ve been wrong.

High-sider

April 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

northcyde, in particular, vava74 and Rod from College Park,

Jamal Crawford’s [current] legacy: 2009-2010 Sixth Man of the Year Award recipient, All-time 4point plays leader [36; 34 in the regular season and two in the postseason], scored 50+ points in a game for three separate/different NBA franchises and scored 20+ points [actually 23+ points] as a reserve [off the bench] in four consecutive playoff games.

Marvin Williams’ [current] legacy: the player selected/taken ahead of Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum in the 2005 NBA Draft and was also selected/taken ahead of Danny Granger, David Lee, Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova and Lou[is] Williams [in that same 2005 NBA Draft].

http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2005.html

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2012
5:07 pm

Grandad, full of it? Yeah, that I can live with. :lol:

While I agree with the sentiment that KG is a “faux tough guy”, I think he (and Pierce) know that if Ivan looks at them too hard, the star system will kick in and Ivan will be suspended for the next 57 years before they even begin to contemplate any punishment for the Celtic stars. At the same time, Ivan will get a chance to see what he could look like when he faces Brandon Bass tonight.

And who was it around here who’s been begging the Hawks to bring a tweener on the squad like Bass, Maxiell, Big Baby or Craig Smith? Oh yeah, that would be me. Let’s hope the 27 YO Ivan still has the ability to develop into a consistent and solid rotation player that brings a healthy dose of toughness to this soft sacred core.

Big Lou

April 11th, 2012
5:15 pm

Celtics are the hottest team in the East right now. Let’s see if the Hawks can send a message tonight with plenty of rest; where Boston is coming off a killing back-to-back.

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2012
5:16 pm

Add Trevor Booker (who Melvin pointed out to me) and Dajuan Blair to the list above. And I LOVE that dude from Michigan State… thick brother who makes crazy good passes.

High-sider

April 11th, 2012
5:17 pm

drmaryb,

Thanks for your “Poster of the Day” compliment/comment. Please note that flattery and patronizing will get you “everywhere” with me. LOL

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 11th, 2012
5:31 pm

High-Sider!

Ha Ha! You bring a breath of fresh air to a lot of old dead horses around here. We’ve been beating each other up with the same “old schtik” to ad nauseum.

It’s nice to get a fresh pair of eyes to look at the same ole stuff. So, no, thank you – sir. (she smiles)
__________

Wassup Ms. Dee? Glad to see you girl, you only come out when we play Boston? LOL! Happy just the same.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 11th, 2012
5:37 pm

Breaking News! MSNBC

28 year old George Zimmerman has been taken into custody. I knew he would be before the 6PM presser. Finally, the wheels of justice begin to turn after 48 some odd days. Unbelievable!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 11th, 2012
5:51 pm

“And I LOVE that dude from Michigan State… thick brother who makes crazy good passes.”

Mateen Cleaves?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 11th, 2012
5:52 pm

One key to beating Boston is not letting their players get to the sweet spots where they love shooting (and making) jumpers. Brandon Bass, for example, loves shooting from the elbow. If the Hawks can keep the Celtics’ players from getting to their spots, they will have a much better chance at avoiding a barrage of made jumpers like the Celtics used in the 4th quarter to beat the Heat last night.

DawgNole

April 11th, 2012
6:05 pm

SteveW
April 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

Dawgnole – Not trying to defend the indefensible – just to be accurate like I’m sure you want to be. During the 68/69 and 69/70 seasons, wasnt’ what is now known as the Conference then referred to as the Divison?

My understanding is, and I think the facts bear this out, is that the Division Championship Series was then the series which determined who would go to the NBA Championship Series.

Even if it wasn’t (but I think it was), the Hawks are currently in their 44th season in ATL. So at this point, the most we could be is 0-43, not 0-45. Now 0-45 sounds better, but is it the truth? I may have miscounted, but that’s what I’ve come up with.
________________________

Please note the post below, which I made shortly after the post you referenced. I will assume that you accidentally forgot to include it with your response. You also should note that I prefaced my inclusion of 2012 as the latest (45th consecutive) year of futility, with “barring a miracle.” I will assume that you accidentally forgot to include that part as well.

DawgNole
April 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

Make that 45 consecutive YEARS (44 seasons).
______________________

As I pointed out to Sautee in the previous blog, it doesn’t matter what the playoff rounds were called in the late 60s–or how many teams competed–the fact remains that the Atl Hawks have NEVER won more than a single playoff series in any year since beginning play in this city in 1968. Again, barring a miracle, that will be 45 consecutive years (44 seasons) at the end of this season’s competition. Shameful. Inexcusable. Indefensible.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 11th, 2012
6:05 pm

Charged: Murder in the Second Degree!

DawgNole

April 11th, 2012
6:11 pm

Section 303
April 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

I still want that Celtics series in the first round. It will be tough. But, like Michael’s blog post says, winning that series will give the Hawks major credibility. Especially since everyone will be picking Boston to win.

I like the Hawks a lot tonight (almost hate to write that because it could be the kiss of death. They win, when I expect them to lose. And, lose when I expect them to win.)
____________________

Totally agree on your “credibility” contention. And as I noted last night, even winning tonight’s game–vs a traditional power on the road–will go a long way toward establishing credibility, which the team sorely needs.

And yes, they’ve certainly been known over the years to lose when the shouldn’t–and, occasionally, win when they shouldn’t.

Buddy Grizzard

April 11th, 2012
6:12 pm

Refs good for 10 points tonight?

terrell

April 11th, 2012
6:18 pm

lol @ Marvin still saying ‘were a young team”.

terrell

April 11th, 2012
6:18 pm

“we’re”

terrell

April 11th, 2012
6:21 pm

Avery Johnson’s still playing in the NBA pointguardslim? lol

Admiral Snackbar

April 11th, 2012
6:38 pm

it’s a TRAP!!!

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 11th, 2012
6:47 pm

The Right to Compete on a Level Playing Field!

What a man said when he learned the law was passed, that gave him the right to vote in this country:

We ain’t where we wanna’ be
We ain’t where we gonna’ be
We ain’t where we oughta’ be

But, thank God, we ain’t where we was.
- shared by Al Sharpton -
____________

The Hawks have come from 13 wins to become part of a greater discussion. So, thank the basketball gods, we ain’t where we was.

Do us fans really want to see the owners blow it up? Not me, let’s press on to the possibilities that lie ahead of us.

Hey Hawks! Please come out and fight for the love of the fans on this here blog tonight. Show us your collective hearts! Win or lose – just fight like you wanna’ be a winner!

Give us a Utah like effort, give is a chance to be a winner from our couches too – we love our Hawks!

Chris Vivlamore

April 11th, 2012
6:50 pm

Radmanovic is a go tonight.

DawgNole

April 11th, 2012
6:54 pm

drmaryb.(*_*).
April 11th, 2012
6:47 pm

Hey Hawks! Please come out and fight for the love of the fans on this here blog tonight. Show us your collective hearts! Win or lose – just fight like you wanna’ be a winner!
______________________

“. . . fight for the love the fans on this here blog tonight.”

Now there’s a worthy cause. I like it. Kinda has a nice ring to it.

terrell

April 11th, 2012
6:56 pm

Radman is a go? You trying to piss us off? All hope is lost if I see that dude on the floor.

terrell

April 11th, 2012
6:57 pm

Guarantee you LD plays Radman before TMac. smmfgdh

Section 303

April 11th, 2012
6:59 pm

I don’t see KG messing with Ivan, either. In fact, since Perkins was traded, KG has been a lot more mellow. KG = paper tough guy.

pointguardslim

April 11th, 2012
7:02 pm

Rajon Rondo vs Jeff Teague
Avery (Bradley) vs Joe Johnson
Paul Pierce vs Josh Smith
Garnett vs Ivan Johnson
Bass vs Zaza Pachulia