The NBA Playoffs continue tonight, with the Atlanta Hawks hosting the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls hosting the Philadelphia 76ers.
Atlanta leads Boston 1-0 after an 83-74 win over the Celtics on Sunday. Tonight’s court will have a different dynamic as both teams are missing some key players. Rajon Rondo, star point guard for the Celtics, bumped an official in Game 1 and is suspended for tonight’s game after scoring 20 points and dishing out 11 assists. Second year player Avery Bradley is projected to take Rondo’s place.
Another player sitting the bench tonight for the Celtics is Ray Allen, who missed the final nine games of the regular season and the playoff opener due to an injury to his right ankle. He chose not to undergo surgery in hopes of making some kind of contribution later in the playoffs.
The Hawks are also battling an injury with center Zaza Pachulia out with a sprained left foot and with starter and former Gator center Al Horford already out with an injury, third stringer Jason Collins is taking over.
In Game 1 Atlanta was able to secure the win with a solid performance from Josh Smith, who scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The Hawks scored 31 points in the first quarter, but made only 19 of 54 shots in the final three quarters. Tip-off for Game 2 will be at 7:30pm.
Chicago holds a 1-0 lead over Philadelphia after a 103-91 win on Saturday. Superstar point guard Derrick Rose is out of the playoffs for the Bulls after tearing his ACL in Game 1 and some now question if the Bulls can win the championship without him. He had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists before his injury.
Rose is likely to be replaced with C.J. Watson, who made 25 starts and averaged 9.7 points. Although Philadelphia does not have to worry about Rose anymore, they still need to be careful as Watson scored 20 on them twice in the regular season. Tip-off for tonight’s game is at 8:00.