Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Atlanta Hawks (23-13 24-12 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (26-9 16-19 ATS) TD Garden, Boston, MA 7:30 PM EST Monday January 11, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Hawks +3.5 / Celtics -3.5
Over/Under: 192

Tonight in Beantown the Boston Celtics host the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics are coming off a win, are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and have a comfortable 8.5 game lead in the Atlantic Division. The Hawks are coming off a loss, are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and they are in 2nd place in the Southeast Division only trailing the Orlando Magic by 1.5 games.

The Celtics look to get a little home revenge tonight, as this season they are 0-2 against the Hawks and Boston head coach Doc Rivers even said that Atlanta was a superior team. Last Friday night the Hawks beat the Celtics 93-85 playing solid defense, as they held Boston to only 40.8% shooting. However, even though the Celtics are at home they will be without defensive stopper Kevin Garnett, who is expected to miss at least another week with a hyper-extended knee.

Paul Pierce is one of the Celtics that has played well against Atlanta scoring at least 20 points in the last 4 games against Atlanta.

This season the Celtics are 11-4 at home and the Hawks are 9-9 on the road.

In their last game the Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 114-107 yesterday. The high scorer for the Celtics in that game was Rasheed Wallace going for 29 points on 9/12 shooting. One of the main reasons the Celtics won was PG Rajon Rondo went for a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists. For the game the Celtics shot well going 40/79 for a FG% of 50.6%. On D the Celtics allowed the Raptors to shoot 39/81 for a FG% of 48.1%.

The Hawks were crushed in their last game losing to the Orlando Magic 113-81 on Saturday night. The high scorer for the Hawks in that game was Al Horford going for 14 points on 6/7 shooting. For the game the Hawks did not shoot well to say the least, as they were only 31/78 from the floor for a FG% of only 39.7%. The Hawks played poor D in the game allowing the Magic to shoot 43/82 for a FG% of 52.4%.

This season the Hawks rank 6th in the league in scoring (103.4 ppg) and the Celtics rank 12th (100.8 ppg). The main reason the Celtics are playing so well is their defense, which ranks 2nd in the league only giving up an average of 93.1 ppg while the Hawks rank a respectable 14th (97.8 ppg). Both teams are not great on the boards, as each team has a rebounding differential of -0.1 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Celtics rank 2nd (96.28) and the Hawks rank 5th (94.24).

Atlanta is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 against Atlantic Division teams, and is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a winning home record.

Boston is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 against Eastern Conference teams, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win, and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.

PF Rasheed Wallace (10.2 ppg) has been solid filling in for KG and he will have a big game tonight not only scoring, but on the boards as well.

PG Rajon Rondo (13.7 ppg) matches up against Mike Bibby tonight and he will win that match up and have a solid game. He may not have a triple-double again, but he will get the best of the Atlanta PG.

On the injury front SG Tony Allen and PG Eddie House are day-to-day for the Celtics while the Hawks are not reporting any significant injuries.

Jason’s Pick: Even though the Celtics have yet to beat the Hawks this season and they are without KG they will play well tonight against an Atlanta team that is not playing its best basketball. Look for the Celtics to clamp down on defense and for Paul Pierce to have a big scoring game, as Boston will win this game and cover the spread.