The No. 2 seed Boston Celtics learned who their first round opponent would be after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Miami Heat in their play-in game on Thursday. Securing the No. 7 seed, the Hawks will face off against the Celtics in the first round with Game 1 tipping on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Celtics vs. Hawks predictions
Odds to win series: Celtics -1000, Hawks +650
Regular season record: Celtics 57-25, Hawks 41-41
Head-to-head record: Celtics won 3-0
The Celtics had the Hawks’ number this year, winning all three games including the regular season finale last Sunday with a 120-114 final score. While Boston will have some injury concerns heading into Game 1, the Celtics are expected to get the majority of those players back especially after resting them in last Sunday’s game against Atlanta. The Hawks are led by Trae Young, who averaged 26.2 points per game and is no stranger to the postseason. The Celtics have several stars of their own, as Jayson Tatum led the pack with 30.1 ppg and 8.8 rpg through the regular season.
Pick: Celtics in 5 games
It’s tough to look back at the regular season and see a scenario where the Hawks can win four against a tough team like Boston, especially if the Celtics come in with a healthy squad. I’d expect the Hawks to get at least one win, but in the end I think the Celtics will prove to be too much for Atlanta as they look to make a run back to the NBA Finals after losing out to the Warriors in 2022.