The Atlanta Hawks will play against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden for the second time in three nights. Trae Young led the Hawks to a 122-114 win over Boston on February 17th. They will now meet again on February 19th with the Boston Celtics looking to get back on track and Atlanta trying to maintain their playoff hopes alive in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics Prediction: Combined starting 5
The Boston Celtics were coming off a great win over the Denver Nuggets on February 16th. But the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of Boston's second leg of a back-to-back and defeated them behind Trae Young's 40 points (on 14-20 from the field) to snap a four-game losing streak.
After their victory on the road, the Atlanta Hawks now have a 12-16 record and sit 10th in the East. Though they have a losing record, Atlanta are just two games behind the Boston Celtics, who are fifth in the East at 14-14 (only four teams have records over .500 in the Eastern Conference).
Both teams have struggled over their last 10 games, as the Boston Celtics have gone 4-6 in that span, and the Atlanta Hawks have lost seven of their last 10 outings.
Ahead of this fixture, here is our combined starting 5 from these Eastern Conference sides.
Point Guard - Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Trae Young is a dynamic player who is third in the NBA in total assists and 10th in total points. He has a high Usage Percentage, but he usually makes the best of it for the Atlanta Hawks. He also leads the NBA in free throws made and is second in free-throw attempts, even though he's been criticized for his way of drawing constant fouls.
The Atlanta Hawks will go as far as Young takes them, and the third-year player is doing a lot for Lloyd Pierce's team on offense. He is averaging 26.5 points and 9.3 assists per game in the 2020-21 NBA season (26 appearances). Young is also posting a 43/37/88 shooting split for the year.
If only he was a slightly better defender, the team would benefit hugely. He currently ranks last among Atlanta players with a 116 Defensive Rating.
Shooting Guard - Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
Jaylen Brown is having the best season of his five-year NBA career and has been essential for the 2020-21 Boston Celtics with his ability to score. Given his level of play, there should be no doubt about his chances of earning an All-Star Game selection.
Brown is averaging career highs in points per game (25.9), assists per game (3.6), steals per game (1.2), and blocks per game (0.6). He is also posting a 51/41/77 shooting split, which is the best of his NBA career.
Against the Atlanta Hawks on February 17th, Brown had a rough night and made six of his 20 field goals for 22 points in the night.
Small Forward - Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Jayson Tatum had a tremendous game against the Atlanta Hawks last time out, but the Boston Celtics fell to Trae Young's big night. Tatum put up 35 points on 11-21 shooting from the field and made 10 of his 11 free throws.
He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists in the game.
Tatum is turning into an NBA superstar and his numbers have been amazing in the current season. He is averaging 25.8 points (career-high), seven rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists per game in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Tatum's also made 45% of his field goals, 39% of his triples, and 89% of his free throws in the current campaign.
Power Forward - John Collins (Atlanta Hawks)
John Collins was also important for the Atlanta Hawks in their recent win over the Boston Celtics on the road. Collins was one of three Hawks players with at least 20 points on the night, as he scored 20 in just nine field-goal attempts and also grabbed six rebounds.
Collins is having a solid year in the 2020-21 NBA campaign, though his points and rebounds per game have decreased compared to last year. He averaged 22 and 10 last season, while he is averaging 18 points and 7.6 rebounds per game so far.
Still, Collins' been highly efficient for the Atlanta Hawks, as his shooting split is at 55/41/87.
Center - Clint Capela (Atlanta Hawks)
Clint Capela is a huge piece for the Atlanta Hawks, especially on defense. He is putting up 14 points and 14 rebounds on a nightly basis and is also a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Capela had a great double-double against the Boston Celtics in the previous match, as he scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He has 18 double-doubles in 25 appearances in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Capela ranks second in the NBA in total rebounds, fourth in blocks, 11th in field-goal percentage, first in rebounds per game, third in blocks per game and 10th in Defensive Rating.