Celtics-Hawks preview: On the road again

Celtics-Hawks preview: On the road again
November 23, 2013, 10:15 am
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You have to wonder if the Boston Celtics sometimes feel like they're in never-ending loop to the Talking Heads' classic from the 1980s, 'We're on a Road to Nowhere.'

The Celtics prepare for Game No. 15 tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. This will be Boston's ninth road game of the season, a stretch that has been taxing on all the players.

"It's real tough, not being able to have the proper meals, the sleep patterns ... you name it, we go through it," said Boston's Jeff Green. "It's tough on your body."

And on the overall record, with the Celtics losing six of their eight road games this season.

Even though the month is nearly over, it doesn't get any easier for Boston.

Tonight's game against the Hawks is the first of five games to end this month, three of which are — you got it - on the road.

But you won't hear the Celtics complaining about it.

"We just have to find a way to fight through it," Green said.

Here are some other keys to tonight's game:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Boston ranks in the top 10 in forced turnovers (16.2) per game, but that forcing the Hawks into a slew of mistakes won't be easy. Atlanta ranks third in the league in assists with 25.2 per game. And they do it without making many mistakes, evident by their 1.61 assists-to-turnover ration which ranks fifth in the league.

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Avery Bradley vs Jeff Teague: Since moving off the ball more, Bradley's shooting has improved dramatically. He's averaging a career-best 13 points per game which includes him shooting a solid 45.7 percent on mid-range jumpers. Meanwhile, Teague is poised to increase his scoring average for the fifth time in as many seasons with an impressive 18.4 points per game average.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Kyle Korver will continue his quest to set an NBA record for consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer. Korver, who has hit at least one 3-pointer in 86 straight games, trails former Celtic Dana Barros' league record of 89.

STAT TO TRACK: Getting points in the paint has been critical to the Boston Celtics' chances at success this season. In wins, they average 49.5 PITP which is the third-highest average for teams in victories this season. In losses, that number drops to  just 37 points per game.