The Boston Celtics get ready to square it off with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night NBA action at the TD Garden in Boston. Both teams are battling for the Top of the East and a better playoff position. In addition, both teams could use a form boost as they both have been struggling to find some consistency as of lately. The Celtics have lost 2 of their last 3 games, while the Hawks dropped their last 3 contests. Isaiah Thomas shined in the first meeting between the two foes netting a game winner in the Bostons 103:101 win. The game tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET and live coverage via FOX Sports Southeast.
The Boston Celtics (38-21) have lost two straight (Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls) before snapping the losing streak last night against the Detroit Pistons with a 104-98 road win. Isaiah Thomas was the key figure once again for the Celtics finishing the night with a total of 33 points, 3 assists and 2 board, while netting 5 of his 12 three point attempts. Jae Crowder also had a notable night scoring 14 points, handing out 5 assists and pulling down teams best 11 boards. With the win, the Celtics are still the 2nd ranked team in the East, right behind the Cavaliers, but with a solid advantage on the third ranked Washington Wizards. Considering their performances at the TD Garden (20-8) the Celtics are one of the tougher teams to beat on the road and there is no doubt that the Hawks will struggle to pull an upset in this one.
The Celtics are still not able to count on the injured Avery Bradley, whose absence is felt on both ends of the floor. Green is another player that missed some games due to injuries this season and his impact off the bench is going to be crucial in the following games. However, the Celtics will mostly rely on the 2nd best scorer in the league, Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 29.7 points per game and 6.2 assists.
The Atlanta Hawks (32-26) have dropped their last three games althought they faced a relatively weaker competition (Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and LA Clippers). Their trip to Boston will be the 5th road game in their last 6 contest. the Hawks have already lost once to the Celtics at home when Thomas scored the winner with seconds to go. Millsap had a chance to tie the game but was unable to convert. The first meeting between these two teams also marked the first time former Hawks Al Horford faced his old team in Atlanta.
What worries the Hawks fans is the fact that their team has dropped their last three games with a pretty high margin (Clippers -15, Heat -18, Magic -19), which could indicate that something is not functioning right on the Hawks team. The Hawks did bring in Irsan Ilyasova from the 76ers while firing Mike Scott. Paul Millsap and Denis Schroeder are the leading scorers on the Hawks and they will certainly represent the biggest theeat for the Celtics.
Boston Celtics – Atlanta Hawks prediction
I am going with thw Celtica in this one as I think that they are a much more competitable unit capable of taking down even stronger competition. If Isaiah Thomas gets it going early on I am sure that the Celtics will cover the points and record another win!!!!