The Boston Celtics have a chance to close the door on the Hawks’ 2022-23 season with a potential series-clinching Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals’ No. 2 -No. 7 matchup on April 25.
Boston hung on this past Sunday in Atlanta to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, and the actions of Hawks star Dejounte Murray got him suspended for Game 5 — possibly setting up the Celtics for a convincing Game 5 win.
Will the Cs handle the Hawks in a contest the sportsbooks are expecting to be a blowout? Or is this series heading back to the ATL one more time?
Atlanta Hawks: 7th (ORtg), 22nd (DRtg), 6th (Pace), 19th (NRtg)
Boston Celtics: 2nd (ORtg), 2nd (DRtg), 20th (Pace), 1st (NRtg)
Boston Celtics Projected Starting Lineup
PG –Marcus Smart, SG – Derrick White, SF – Jaylen Brown, PF – Jayson Tatum, C – Al Horford
Atlanta Hawks Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Trae Young, SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic, SF – De’Andre Hunter, PF – John Collins, C – Clint Capela
Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Injury Report
Celtics PF Danilo Gallinari (ACL) – Out
Hawks SG Dejounte Murray (Suspension) – Out
Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Prediction
Murray making contact with an official was mind-boggling considering the stakes, but the action may have been a statement in and of itself: this has been a frustrating season for the Hawks and Atlanta’s marquee 2022 offseason splash has not seen the success many expected from the Hawks backcourt alongside Trae Young.
Without Atlanta’s arguably best player in this series, it’s difficult to imagine the Hawks hanging with the Cs unless they can replicate a Game 3 barrage of long-distance makes and overall offensive efficiency.
Boston seems to have the path laid out ahead of them: knocking off a banged-up 76ers, then, most likely, either the Knicks or Heat before facing whoever comes out of the west in the Finals. Atlanta will provide the most minimal of road bumps in Game 5.
Celtics 126 Hawks 97