The Atlanta Hawks (48-34) and Boston Celtics (48-34) come into this series with identical records but the Hawks are the 4 seed which means they have home court advantage. Will that be a decisive aspect of this series?
The Hawks had a terrific 2014-15 season but they could not recapture that magic from last year. Their luck seemed to shatter the same time as Thabo Sefolosha’s leg. But they did look like last year’s Hawks at times and most of the core of that team is still in Atlanta. They’re well coached and play really tough defense. They might not beat you but they’ll at least make you work for it.
The Celtics are a lot like Atlanta. Brad Stevens has done a great job with his young team and has shaped them into an elite defensive unit. They beat with you depth and effort rather than with a couple of big stars.
So who do you pick between two evenly matched teams? The team with home court advantage of course. Although I think the Hawks are a little better anyway. The Celtics can’t match up with Paul Millsap and Al Horford inside.
The Pick: Hawks in 7