Game 2 Preview: #4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #5 Boston Celtics

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Atlanta Hawks' Al Horford reacts after missing a basket but draws a foul on the play in the fourth quarter in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Boston Celtics Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Game 1: Atlanta 102 – Boston 101

Game 2: 4/19 in Atlanta, 7:00 on TNT

Game 3: 4/22 in Boston, 8:00 on ESPN2

Game 4: 4/24 in Boston, 6:00 on TNT

Game 5 (If necessary): 4/26 in Atlanta, TBA

Game 6 (If necessary): 4/28 in Boston, TBA

Game 7 (If necessary): 4/30 in Atlanta, time TBA on TNT

Starting Lineups

#4 Atlanta Hawks (Playoff ppg)

hawks-logo

PG: Jeff Teague (23)

SG: Kyle Korver (2)

SF: Kent Bazemore (23)

PF: Paul Millsap (14)

C: Al Horford (24)

#5 Boston Celtics (Playoff ppg)

Celtics

PG: Isaiah Thomas (27)

SG: Evan Turner (10)

SF: Jae Crowder (14)

PF: Amir Johnson (4)

C: Jared Sullinger (9)

Key Matchup

Jeff Teague vs. Isaiah Thomas

This matchup will determine the series. Jeff Teague won the first matchup with 23 points and 11 assists. He shot 7-15 from the field. Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points and 8 assists. His shot was inconsistent shooting 8-21. Thomas may have scored more points, but Thomas didn’t play a complete game. He owned the second half while Teague’s play was more consistent. Thomas needs to play the rest of the series like he did second half of Game 1 or the Celtics will have a first round exit. 

Hawks Storyline

Is Kent Bazemore their x-factor?

Every playoff series someone needs to step up outside a teams Big-3. It was Kent Bazemore in Game 1. Bazemore scored 23 points and 8 rebounds. He shot 7-13 from the field and 8-10 from the foul line. 23 points ties his fourth highest point total in 2015-2016. The Hawks enter the 2016 NBA Playoffs looking for someone to step up and replace DeMarre Carroll. Carroll led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks need Bazemore to step up for the Hawks to go far into the playoffs. 

Celtics Storyline

Life without Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley pulled his hamstring midway through the fourth quarter in Game 1. He is likely out for the remainder of the series. This changes the Celtics rotations and moves Evan Turner into the starting lineup and Marcus Smart the 6th man. The Celtics need to play situational basketball and Turner and Smart need to step up. Turner assists on offense and Smart locks up on defense. The Celtics only win against the Atlanta Hawks this season is when Avery Bradley was out. 

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