Celtics at Atlanta Hawks Game 1: Game thread
- Zaza Pachulia (foot) is out. Doc Rivers said Ray Allen (ankle) is out for the Celtics.
- Zaza says his recovery has been “slow motion” and he’s uncertain if or when he will be able to play during the series: “I don’t have an answer about that. I really don’t. It would make it easier for you guys, me, the coaching staff and the team but I don’t have an answer.”
- More Zaza: “It doesn’t matter if me and Al [Horford] are going to be out for the series, we are still a good team. We are going to confident. We are going to fight.”
- Larry Drew is sticking with Jason Collins at center: “The lineup has been good for us, first of all. It hasn’t been a situation where it hasn’t worked out for us. Even with those first two losses against Boston, lineup-wise, it has been good for us. At this stage [I] don’t really want to rock the boat with that. It’s been good for us. I want to stay with it through the course of the series. If things call for change, we certainly will evaluate that and make a decision on that. But for right now that’s what we will go with.”
- The Hawks were +9 in 34-plus minutes with this lineup during the regular season, according to BasketballValue. They were pretty much worse across the board statistically with Collins on the floor vs. Boston.
- Drew: “Playing against a guy that’s more mobile whether we match him up against [Brandon] Bass or [Kevin] Garnett, that will be a challenge for him. But Jason is a very smart basketball player, particularly defensively. He knows how to play people, from a big guy who is more stationary in the post to a guy who moves around a little bit. He has shown he has the ability to adapt either way. We are counting on his his smarts and his know-how to defend people.”
- Joe Johnson on the Hawks frontline without Horford and Pachulia: “We are down a few bigs so that means us guards and forwards, our play has to get a little nastier.”
- Ivan Johnson on the Celtics: “I am pretty sure they are going to try me but we played them already so I know what to expect.”
- Ivan on the previous meetings with the Celtics: “KG tried me. [Keyon] Dooling, he tried me.” What did KG have to say? “Just regular KG. Talking [bleep].”
- Ivan: “I know what to expect from them so I’m just going to keep a level head and play my game.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat