ATLANTA It remains to be seen just what kind of impact not having Rajon Rondo on the floor for tonight's Game 2 matchup between Boston and Atlanta will have on this series.
One thing we do know, both teams are not going to dwell on it.
"It's over now," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We just move on."
Boston has adopted that mentality whenever Rondo has been out of the lineup, evident by them posting an 8-5 record without him in the lineup.
The Hawks know all too well how dangerous a Rondo-less Celtics team can be, with the C's taking Atlanta down to the wire last month as Rondo - and a number of fellow starters - sat out the game out.
"When you play teams with key players out, they become even more dangerous," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "The tendency is to let your guard down. Sometimes you come out a little complacent. Sometimes you don't come out with the fire and intensity and the energy."
C's coach Doc Rivers said Mickael Pietrus will get the start in the lineup at shooting guard while Avery Bradley will slide over to play the point.
"Just try to have the right focus to help the team win," said Pietrus who will be making his seventh start of the season. "No matter if it's scoring, defensive in the playoffs, you have to do whatever extra thing your team needs, to win. That's what I am preparing to do tonight; whatever they need me to do for us to win."
BOSTON – It has been well-established that the Celtics are a three-point shooting, bombs away kind of team and nothing seems like it’ll deter them from continuing along that path.
But as we prepare for the second half of the season, beginning tonight against the New York Knicks, we come to realize Boston’s launching of 3-pointers isn’t just unusually high.
This group of Celtics rank among the league's all-time leaders in 3-point attempts by the halfway mark of the season.
And when you look at the company they’re keeping when it comes to 3-point shooting, it speaks to how important it has become in this NBA to have as many long-range shooting threats on the floor as possible if you're trying to win at a high level.
Boston’s 494 3-point attempts thus far this season ranks fourth all-time by the halfway point of a season. But this season, that’s just good enough to be third behind Houston and Golden State with 617 and 505 three-point attempts, respectively.
The other team in the top four all-time is last season's Golden State squad, which took 519 three-pointers by the midway point of the season.
And all those 3’s by the Celtics have included an NBA-record six straight games in which they made at least 15 3-pointers.
That has allowed the Celtics to score at least 100 points in 15 consecutive games, the franchise’s longest such streak since they reached the 100-point plateau in 19 straight games in 1991.
Of course Isaiah Thomas’ 3-point shooting stands out, particularly when you see how dominant he has been this season in the fourth quarter with a league-best 10.1 points per game.
But his offense, while potent, is aided heavily by the shot-making snipers coach Brad Stevens surrounds him with on a nightly basis.
That’s why you didn’t see Stevens or president of basketball operations Danny Ainge freak out earlier this season when the Celtics were struggling.
Kelly Olynyk, who shot better than 40 percent on 3’s a year ago, was still on the mend after offseason shoulder surgery.
Jae Crowder, whose 3-point shooting has steadily improved throughout his career, had some minor injuries that set him back and maybe more important, didn’t allow him to get into the kind of shooting rhythm we see now which has allowed him to shoot a team-best 42.6 percent on 3’s.
Al Horford, Thomas, Amir Johnson … they all missed some time due to injuries this season, which has impacted the team’s chemistry and timing.
But the past couple of weeks have seen the Celtics healthier than they’ve been most of this season, and it has allowed them to play with the kind of space they want which has allowed Thomas and his cohorts to take lots of lightly contested to open 3’s most of this season.
“We’ve got pretty good shooters on this team where you’ve got to pick your poison,” Thomas said. “We’re shooting at a high level, and I got to say, you just have to pick your poison who you want to stop and my job is just to make the right play each and every time down.”
The New York Knicks arrive in Boston tonight with the accompanying "Melo-drama" of Carmelo Anthony's disintegrating relationship with team president Phil Jackson.
Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause to leave New York and Boston has been an oft-rumored destination.
On "The Toucher and Rich Show", the longtime voice of the Celtics, Mike Gorman, said he hopes it doesn't happen.
"I don't get it. I don't see it," Gorman said. "He's a ball stopper. One of the things that always intrigued me about Carmelo is when he's played with Team USA or an Olympic team, often he's the best player. Then you go and see him in a regular-season game and you say, 'Oh no, no."'