Celtics Open Weekend Back-to-Back With Hawks at Home

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Celtics Open Weekend Back-to-Back With Hawks at Home The Celtics are fresh off a resounding win over the Jazz at the TD Garden, and they now enter a grueling weekend with two games in two nights in two different cities.

Before hopping on a plane to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers on Saturday night, the C’s must first take on a resurgent Hawks team at home.

They’ll need to conserve their energy to make it through the next couple nights.

When and Where

Friday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records

Celtics (8-1, 1st place in Atlantic Division)
Hawks (6-2, 2nd place in Southeast Division)

Head To Head

The Celtics are 7-0 in regular-season meetings with Atlanta during the Big Three era, but the postseason is a different story. Remember, these are the same Hawks that took the C’s to a dramatic seventh game in the first round of the 2008 playoffs. This Atlanta team knows how to give the Celtics fits. Just not in November.

Skinny

With a thriving nucleus of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and newcomer sixth man Jamal Crawford, this Hawks team is poised to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. They’re off to a 6-2 start with impressive wins over Portland and Denver, and they just might challenge Miami and Orlando in the Southeast Division this season. Watch out.

Projected Starters

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Hawks
Point guard: Mike Bibby
Shooting guard:  Joe Johnson
Small forward: Marvin Williams
Power forward: Josh Smith
Center: Al Horford

Stat Sheet

Celtics
The Celtics are beating their opponents by an average of 14.1 points per game.

They are 3-1 at home.

The Celtics are outscoring their opponents by an average of 14.7 points per game.

They lead the NBA in both assists (239) and steals (87).

Rajon Rondo is fourth in the NBA with 9.2 assists per game.

Rasheed Wallace has made 19 threes, fourth-most in the NBA.

Kevin Garnett has averaged 20.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game against the Hawks in his career.

Paul Pierce has averaged 23.2 points per game against them.

Ray Allen is shooting 43.5 percent from three-point range at home this season.

Hawks
The Hawks are 3-1 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.

They have blocked 56 shots, third-most in the NBA.

Josh Smith is scond in the NBA with 2.6 blocks per game.

Al Horford is fifth with 2.2.

Jamal Crawford is shooting 27.6 percent from three-point range this season, a career low.

Joe Johnson averages 17.7 points per game against the Celtics, his former team.

Mike Bibby is averaging 11.2 points and 4.0 assists on the road this season.

Black and Blue

Celtics
Brian Scalabrine
is experiencing back spasms. He is likely out until Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. He did return to practice on Thursday.

Glen Davis has a broken thumb. He is not expected back before December.

Tony Allen has an ankle injury. He is out indefinitely.

Hawks
Al Horford suffered a sprained ankle in the Hawks’ preseason finale in Orlando on Oct. 23. He is now back in action.

Mike Bibby has battled a jammed wrist this season. He injured it during a preseason practice drill but has managed to play through the pain.

This Date in Celtics History

In 2007, the Celtics improve to 6-0 in the Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen era, beating the Pacers 101-86 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Paul Pierce has 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to propel the C’s.

Overheard

“It wasn?t a good situation that I came into, with the way things were run there. I never knew what to expect. I never knew what was going on. I would have a good game, and then the next couple of games I would barely play or not even play at all. I know rookies have to go through ups and downs, but I just thought if somebody has a good game they?d play the next game and not be held out. But I guess they saw things differently.”
–Shelden Williams, in Friday’s Boston Herald. Williams is taking on his former team, the Atlanta Hawks, for the first time.

Press Box

Celtics
The Celtics blew out the Jazz.

A three-day break re-energized the C’s.

Shelden Williams gets a crack at the Hawks.

Hawks

The Hawks dropped the Knicks to 1-8.

Josh Smith is moving in the right direction.

Who wants some LeBron James rumors?

NBA
LeBron James outdueled Dwyane Wade.

Byron Scott is out in New Orleans.

Silence is golden for LeBron James.

Outlook

The Celtics have had their way with the Hawks in recent years, but this is a strong Atlanta team that’s on the rise. The C’s challenge on Friday night will be twofold — they’ll have to contend with a scrappy, energetic young Hawks team for 48 minutes, but they’ll also have to conserve their energy for Saturday night’s meeting with the Pacers in Indianapolis. That’s no easy task, but the Celtics are the better team and should prevail if they play their game.

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