Rivers Expects Injured Celtics To Play In Game 5, Hawks Make Change
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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics have a chance to close out the Hawks on Tuesday night, and head coach Doc Rivers expects to have all hands on deck in Atlanta.
“Everyone is going to play, I think,” Rivers said Tuesday morning prior to the team’s shoot-around in Atlanta.
The Celtics used Monday’s off day to rest up, opting not to practice and simply travel to Atlanta for Tuesday night’s Game 5.
And why not? After a 101-79 Game 4 blowout, the ailing Celtics used the break wisely. Paul Pierce iced his sore knee. Avery Bradley rested his sore shoulder. Even Ray Allen took the day off after logging 56 minutes in Game 3 and 4 after missing nearly a month with a bad ankle.
“Ray feels good, he’s probably the healthiest right now,” said Rivers, once again having to put his nickname of “Doc” to good use. “Avery has to be feeling better because he got through the game with no injury, so that’s two more days of shoulder getting stronger. Other than that, everybody’s about the same.”
Bradley also sounded confident that he would be good to go for Tuesday night.
“It’s still sore,” he told CSNNE Tuesday in Atlanta. “I know it’s going to be sore. I’ll just fight through the pain. I’ll be alright.”
Stats: Celtics-Hawks Game 5 Preview
As for the Hawks, they are switching things up a bit after losing by 22-points Sunday night.
Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford will make up Atlanta’s starting five, with Kirk Hinrich and Jason Collins finding their way to the Hawks’ bench.
Hawks coach Larry Drew is hoping the move sparks his team.
“I just wanted to give us a different look and see it if will kind of jump-start us a bit,” Drew said Tuesday morning. “It gives us an opportunity to move Joe back to some 2, it makes us bigger, so we can do a few more things defensively in making some adjustments in Game 5.”
“And I just think it’s time — you play four games in the playoffs and obviously it’s a game of adjustments and you try to do things that will benefit the team. I think at this time, down 3-1, it’s time to give it a different look; see it if will jump start us with Al and Marvin in the starting lineup… get us going.”
Horford, who tore his left pectoral muscle in January, missed the first three games of the series and was not expected to return to the Hawks lineup. But he played 20 minutes off the bench in Game 4, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds.