The NBA 2023 playoff schedule has been released and one of the most intriguing matchups is the Eastern Conference first-round series between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams have been among the top contenders in the East this season, with the Celtics finishing second in the standings and the Hawks securing the seventh seed. Here is a preview of what to expect from this exciting series.
The Celtics have been led by their dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who have both averaged over 25 points per game and made the All-Star team.
Tatum has taken his game to another level in his fifth season, becoming one of the most versatile scorers and defenders in the league. Brown has also improved his efficiency and playmaking, while adding a reliable three-point shot to his arsenal. The Celtics also have a solid supporting cast, with veteran point guard Kemba Walker, defensive anchor Marcus Smart, and emerging big man Robert Williams III.
The Hawks have undergone a remarkable turnaround since hiring Nate McMillan as their interim head coach in March. Under McMillan, the Hawks have gone 27-11 and climbed from 11th to seventh in the East. The Hawks have a balanced and deep roster, with six players averaging double figures in scoring.
Trae Young is the star of the show, averaging 26.4 points and 9.7 assists per game and making his second All-Star appearance. Young is surrounded by talented shooters like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, and Danilo Gallinari, as well as athletic big men like Clint Capela, John Collins, and Onyeka Okongwu.
The series will be a clash of styles, as the Celtics rely on their defense and isolation scoring, while the Hawks play a fast-paced and free-flowing offense. The Celtics have the edge in experience and star power, but the Hawks have the advantage in depth and momentum.
The key factors for the series will be how well the Celtics can contain Young and how well the Hawks can defend Tatum and Brown. The series will also feature some intriguing individual matchups, such as Walker vs. Young, Smart vs. Bogdanovic, and Williams vs. Capela.
The series will begin on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics will have home-court advantage for the series, as they won two out of three games against the Hawks in the regular season.
The series will follow a 2-2-1-1-1 format, with Game 2 on Monday, April 17 at Boston, Game 3 on Thursday, April 20 at Atlanta, Game 4 on Saturday, April 22 at Atlanta, Game 5 (if necessary) on Monday, April 24 at Boston, Game 6 (if necessary) on Wednesday, April 26 at Atlanta, and Game 7 (if necessary) on Friday, April 28 at Boston.
This series promises to be a thrilling and competitive one, as both teams have high aspirations and strong fan bases. The Celtics are looking to make their fourth conference finals appearance in five years, while the Hawks are aiming to make their first conference finals appearance since 2015. Who will prevail in this first-round showdown? Stay tuned for more updates and analysis on this blog.
Final Thoughts: Celtics vs. Hawks First-Round Playoff Series
The NBA playoffs are always an exciting time for basketball fans, and this year’s first-round series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks promises to be one of the most intriguing matchups. Both teams have had strong seasons and are hungry for postseason success, with the Celtics looking to continue their recent playoff success and the Hawks aiming to make a statement under their new coach.
On one side, the Celtics boast a talented duo in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who have both developed into All-Stars and elite scoring threats. They also have a solid supporting cast, with veterans like Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart providing leadership and experience. The Celtics are a defensively-minded team and will look to use their physicality to disrupt the Hawks’ fast-paced offense.
On the other side, the Hawks have undergone a dramatic transformation since Nate McMillan took over as head coach, going from a lottery team to a playoff contender. Trae Young has emerged as a superstar in his third season, with his elite scoring and playmaking abilities making him a handful for any defense. The Hawks also have a deep roster, with several talented shooters and big men who can score and defend.
Overall, this series will be a fascinating clash of styles, with the Celtics’ disciplined defense and isolation scoring going up against the Hawks’ fast-paced and free-flowing offense. The key matchup will be how well the Celtics can contain Young, who is capable of taking over games with his scoring and passing. The Celtics will also need Tatum and Brown to continue their excellent form and carry the offensive load.
Ultimately, this series could go either way, and it will likely come down to which team can execute their game plan and win the crucial moments. The Celtics have the experience and home-court advantage, but the Hawks have momentum and a deep roster. It should be a thrilling series, and fans can expect plenty of drama and excitement from start to finish.