It's about time. For weeks, the Atlanta Hawks have gone through their home schedule without one of the "Big Three" teams on it. That all changes on Monday when the Boston Celtics come to town to take on the Hawks at the Bulb (7:00 PM, SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
At least on paper things appear to favor the Hawks. The Celtics are the one with the weary road legs, dropping a 102-101 decision to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon. They're the team that has to go through customs and play the next night -- something that those mean schedule makers in New York City usually make the Hawks do when they face the league's elite.
Hopefully, the Hawks can show up against one of the best teams in the East.
Atlanta knows and matches up relatively well with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and the boys and will likely bring their "A" game against the C's. Joe Johnson is particularly keen on playing the team from Beantown, posting an average of 23 points a game since the 2008-09 season.
The Hawks need a good effort from him, Josh Smith and Al Horford to defeat what's bound to be a hungry Celtics team that has dropped two straight.
While consistency has been a hallmark of the Hawks on the road, they have been mediocre at home. Atlanta is 5-1 on the highway, but just 3-4 here at the Highlight Factory this season. Atlanta may catch a break if Rondo doesn't play for Boston. Rondo, who missed Sunday's contest in Toronto, leads the league with an average of 14.3 assists per game.