Tonight marks the first time that the Celtics will face the Hawks since their riveting/blood pressure raising first round playoff series last season. Sooooo much trash talk in a series that went down to the wire. Don't think Paul Pierce has forgotten when brash Al Horford got all up in his grill-piece. Dude was a rookie! Flash forward to our current situation. Boston is 7-1 right now coming off huge wins against Detroit and Toronto. And check this: Atlanta has a better record. They are 6-0. They even beat the Hornets at New Orleans. However, they just played a close game in Chicago last night and are without "The Box Score Superstar" Josh Smith. And all of the Celtics' wins in the aforementioned 7 game clash, were at the TD Banknorth Garden. Should be a good one. Look for more of the same where Atlanta's youth and athleticism keeps them in the game until Boston's skill and experience allows them to pull away in the fourth. Plus, the Hawks' bench is pretty slim.
Meanwhile, Leon's last two games haven't been eye popping statistically, but not everyone can score 41 points every night. One quirky thing to note: Monday's game against the Raptors was the first game where Leon didn't have at least 3 personal fouls. He actually had none. Hey, just throwin' it out there... Contractually (not really) we have to look at his PT. In the eight games so far, there have only been two that Leon hasn't played at least 17 minutes. Doc has been sticking with a nine man rotation of the usual starters complimented by Leon(17.5 mpg), Tony Allen(20.9 mpg), Eddie House(16.8 mpg) and Big Baby(16.5 mpg). I can't get too mad at that but I think as the season goes on, Leon's minutes will go up simply due to the wear and tear of an 82 game season on a guy who just played in his 1000th game.
Fun NBA Fact: The Western Conference has more teams under .500 (8) than the Eastern Conference (6).