Boston (0-1) at Atlanta (1-0)
When: Tuesday, April 19th 2016
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: TNT
The Atlanta Hawks will look to hold home court against the Boston Celtics in Game 2 after holding on for a 102-101 victory in Game 1. The Celtics trailed by 1 points but roared back to take an 83-80 lead with 6:48 remaining and then disaster struck. Guard Avery Bradley went down in what is being described as a ‘significant’ hamstring injury. “Avery has a pretty significant strained hamstring,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Sunday. “I would say he would be doubtful for any of the remainder of the series, certainly very unlikely Tuesday night.” Guard Marcus Smart (15 points in Game 1) will probably move up to the starting line in Bradley’s place. The Celtics could also turn to rookie guards Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter to cover the extra minutes. Leading scorer Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 27 points in Game 1 to go along with eight assists. Jae Crowder has his first double-double since March 31st with 14 points and 10 boards.
Atlanta held the Celtics to 23.1% shooting in the first half of Game 1 and got the stops it needed down the stretch after squandering the lead. The Hawks were the more aggressive team throughout most of the contest and outscored Boston 52-36 in the paint and attempted 16 more free throws. Jeff Teague had a big game for Atlanta, collecting 23 points and 12 assists in the opener and sealed the game late from the free-throw line. Kent Bazemore recorded a playoff career-high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting and had eight rebounds. Al Horford was another force in the paint for Atlanta scoring a team-high 24 points and pulling down 12 rebounds while going 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Reserve Mike Scott chipped in 14 valuable points of the bench in 18 minutes and has hit 39% of his three-pointers this season.
Boston won’t admit it, but the loss of Bradley is huge. They’re already underdogs in this series and if they don’t get better play in the paint, this could be over soon. The Avery injury also opens things up even more for Teague. I think Atlanta wins this game by double-digits.
Pick: Hawks -6.5