Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks

This is probably the series that most people won't watch outside of Boston and half the population of Atlanta.  There isn't any sizzle in this one, just two so-so teams that have to play each other. 

Celtics: We thought they were dead, and then it happened.  The Celtics moved KG to center and someone woke up Rajon Rondo.  The Celtics have since been on a tear and have rekindled those dreams of them doing damage in the playoffs.  The emergence of Avery Bradley, in the wake of Ray Allen's injury has given this Celtics squad some scoring punch, but the issue is the Celtics' bench is weak.  This will mean heavy minutes for both KG and Paul Pierce if they are going to make some noise.  How long can they hold up is the biggest question. 

Who has to step up: Celtics Bench.  They have to give these starters some rest and give this team a chance.  Ray Allen will help with his move to the bench, but no one knows how that ankle is going to be when he gets back. 

Hawks: Don't know what to say about the Hawks.  They seem to be in a groundhog day cycle over the last few years where they end up being a 4th or 5th seed and not much is expected from them.  Joe Johnson and Josh Smith lead this team (18+ pts a piece) and Jeff Teague took the success of last years playoffs and parlayed that into a good season for him.  Losing Horford has hurt this team but they've played the majority of the season without him.  

Who has to step up: Tracy McGrady (gulp) and Kirk Hinrich.  For some reason I see the artist formerly known as T-Mac having some impact on this series.  I hope he plays and plays well, but he could be 'that' mismatch against the Celtics bench.  Hinrich has to be the solid guy that he has been the majority of his career and hit a few clutch shots and play some defense (without fouling). 

Outcome: I got the Celtics in 6.  I don't have faith in this Hawks team, never have, never will. 

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