Boston Preview: "If you don't bang… you don't beat this team"
“If you don’t bang, get loose balls, and rebound with them, you don’t beat this team,” Mike Woodson said after the Hawks finally got the monkey off their back earlier this season with a 97-86 win in Boston. In that game the Hawks outrebounded the Celtics 47-29 (16-6 offensive rebounds) and were a step quicker to every loose ball.
Atlanta will be looking for a similar effort Friday night when the team that helped give the young Hawks an identity back in 2008 visits the Highlight Factory for the first time this season. Whether or not the Celtics are Atlanta’s “rival”, a label that Kevin Garnett often disputes, there is definitely not a lot of love lost between these two teams.
Boston enters the game with the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they recently lost three in a row on a west coast swing. KG hasn’t seen any action since December 28 and Paul Peirce returned to action for the first time Wednesday night after a two-week hiatus. Regardless of who the Celtics put on the court for the opening tip the Hawks know that the key to victory will be effort and intensity.
With a “rival” in town and a losing streak and players-only meeting still fresh on their mind Atlanta shouldn’t have any trouble staying motivated Friday night.
Highlights from the win in Boston on November 13:
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