The Boston Celtics will meet the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs, with the Celtics looking to get back to the Finals while the Hawks just try to make some noise as reports of tension and potential overhauls start to surface. Here’s how the teams match up against each other.
No. 2 Celtics vs. No. 7 Hawks
Head-to-head record: Celtics 3-0
Overall record: Celtics 57-25, Hawks 41-41
Leading scorer on Celtics: Jayson Tatum
Leading scorer on Hawks: Trae Young
Odds to win series: Celtics -1000, Hawks +650
After leading the Eastern Conference standings for much of the first part of the season, the Celtics found themselves chasing the Bucks late and eventually had to settle for the second spot. Boston is hoping to get back to the NBA Finals this year behind the superstar duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The trade to get Malcolm Brogdon has worked out well for the Celtics and as long as this group stays healthy, a return trip to the last series of the season is on the table.
The Hawks have been highly inconsistent this season, sporting a tremendous offense and a lackluster defense which left them right at .500 for the regular season. New head coach Quin Snyder will eventually have to sort out the defensive end for this team to be competitive, and there are now questions about Trae Young’s future with the organization. This is not the ideal time for these reports to surface, but the Hawks do have enough firepower to put a scare in the Celtics in the first round.