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Game 3: Hawks at Celtics

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  May 4, 2012 09:49 AM

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rondointerview.jpg

Is it too much to expect a quadruple-double?

Rajon Rondo says he doesn't have anything to prove tonight, and his teammates have publicly backed him. Since the Celtics won Game 2 without Rondo, it's kind of a moot point now. The C's have their point guard back for Game 3. Rondo has a history of playing well after messing up, and he's got a history of coming up big in the playoffs. Will we witness another historic performance tonight at TD Garden?

Here are the details for tonight's game:

Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Celtics (39-27), Hawks (40-26)
Broadcast info: ESPN/CSNNE, WEEI/850 AM/93.7 FM (Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell)

Probable starters:

Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

Hawks:
PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kirk Hinrich
SF: Joe Johnson
PF: Josh Smith
C: Jason Collins

Story lines:

Allen's ankle: We're still waiting on Allen's return to the lineup. It could happen tonight, though it wouldn't be surprising if Allen stayed on the sideline. The Celtics guard practiced yesterday and sounded more hopeful about a return. We'll have an early update from the Garden this afternoon to see if we can spot Allen warming up.

Smith's knee: Josh Smith may try to give it a go tonight, but if he's limited by his left knee, the Celtics will have a major advantage. Smith provides a difficult matchup for Kevin Garnett, and the Celtics would love nothing more than for a tentative Smith to sit on the perimeter and take jumpers.

Control: This is a big game in terms of series control. The Celtics have taken the momentum after winning Game 2, and they can put themselves in the driver's seat by winning tonight and Sunday at home. You want an x-factor in this game? If Kirk Hinrich gets hot, the Hawks could give the Celtics trouble despite Rondo's return. The Celtics need to limit Hinrich, Teague, and Joe Johnson on the perimeter.

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