Sports Media

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview 2023: Celtics vs. Hawks

Eastern Conference Playoff

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Eastern Conference Playoff
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview 2023: Celtics Vs. Hawks

The 2023 Eastern Conference playoff preview between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics tips off Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The last time that the Celtics and Hawks met in the playoffs was in the first round back in 2016. The Hawks won that series in six games.

Boston came out on top in all three meetings in the regular season this year against the Hawks. The Celtics are currently on a five-game win streak against the Hawks.

Here’s the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals series schedule:

Game 1Saturday, April 15Atlanta @ Boston3:30 p.m. ETESPN
Game 2Tuesday, April 18Atlanta @ Boston7:00 p.m. ETNBATV
Game 3Friday, April 21Boston @ Atlanta7:00 p.m. ETESPN
Game 4Sunday, April 23Boston @ Atlanta7:00 p.m. ETTNT
Game 5*Tuesday, April 25Atlanta @ BostonTBDTBD
Game 6*Thursday, April 27Boston @ AtlantaTBDTBD
Game 7*Saturday, April 29Atlanta @ BostonTBDTNT

Now, let’s get to know each team, and also questions that may arise about this series between these 2 teams.

What to know about the Boston Celtics:

Notable starters:

  • G: Marcus Smart
  • G: Derrick White
  • F: Jaylen Brown
  • F: Jayson Tatum
  • C: Al Horford

Other players in playoff rotation:

  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Robert Williams
  • Grant Williams

This team is nasty. The Eastern Conference winner last year is looking even better this year. Losing in the NBA Finals to the Warriors last year only helped this team be more confident and stronger. This team has everything to win a chip: They can score, they can play defense, they can rebound, and they have star players. The addition of Brogdon, even though Trey Daubert hated the addition, was well needed and is working well for the Celtics to be a more complete team. This team should be favored to come out of the Eastern Conference

What to know about the Atlanta Hawks:

Notable Starters

  • G: Trae Young
  • G: Dejounte Murray
  • F: De’Andre Hunter
  • F: John Collins
  • C: Clint Capela

Other players in playoff rotation:

  • Saddiq Bey
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
  • Onyeka Okongwu

The Hawks starting lineup isn’t bad and their depth isn’t horrible either. But neither is as good as the Celtics. There’s major questions on this team, who is going to play guard if Trae or Dejounte aren’t in? Aaron Holiday, Bogdanovic? A.J. Griffin? Yeah, good luck, with those guys facing Smart, White or Brogdon. As mentioned, I think most of their starting lineup can hold their own except for Hunter. When the starters are in, I can see this team keeping up with the Celtics, but it’s when the bench comes in for the Hawks that I question this team’s ability to win.


1.) Can Collins and Capela win the frontcourt battle?

The Hawks are already on the outside looking in to win this series. The key for them is to exploit any weaknesses the Celtics have. That weakness is Horford.

Collins and Capela need to torment Horford. While the Celtics can throw in Williams at any time to counteract this, Williams scares teams with his defense and rebounding, not scoring. I think Collins and Capela can win that battle. That’s probably going to be the best chance they are going to get.

2.) Who’s guarding Tatum or Brown?

I think that is one of the most important questions in this series. How are you going to stop the Celtics’ biggest stars? If you lose because White, Smart or Brogdon is going off, I think you can sleep at night. But if you fail to win because you couldn’t stop Tatum or Jaylen, yeah you might lose sleep.

So, what’s the plan? Is Murray going to guard one of them? Could Collins be guarding Tatum? Will they use Hunter’s length to disrupt those guys’ rhythm? All important questions. I wouldn’t be surprised if those three were the main ones guarding Tatum and Brown with Capela waiting by the paint to help on defense.

3.) How will the Celtics contain Young?

This question is more of an informational one than one out of curiosity. I think the Celtics can and will contain Young. Everyone knows Trae Young will get to the line somehow — we know why, but we will omit that here. His ability to distribute the ball can be a problem for the Celtics. Trae Young does average 10 assists a game, but he also averages four turnovers a game. So, as much as he can set up his players, he will give up the ball.

I think the Celtics will put Smart and White on Young for the entire game. Two great defensive players to disrupt the former Oklahoma star. I would offset their minutes with a mixture of Brogdon as the other guard so the Celtics can continually tire out Young the entire game. That’s not to say the rest of the Hawks can’t score, but if anyone is going to score the most points and go off in a game, it is Trae Young.

Prediction for 76ers vs. Hawks: Celtics in 5

I have the Celtics in a soft five games. If the Hawks can string a couple of good games together, they MIGHT win two games. I will give the Hawks one game to absolutely bully Al Horford and emerge victorious. Still, the Celtics should not be worried about losing this series and almost start preparing for the winner of the 76ers and Nets series (76ers). The Hawks will win one game, maybe two, but the Celtics should have a firm hold on this series.


SHOP at the Vendetta Store!

Check out our Linktree to view all of our incredible sponsors as well as our socials!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Past Stories

Trey Daubert / MLB / November 29, 2019

Zack Wheeler Is The Free Agent Starter You Want

James Herrick / UFC / December 8, 2022

Paddy Pimblett: The Most Overrated Fighter in the UFC

Trey Daubert / NFL, NFL Draft / April 2, 2022

George Pickens 2022 NFL Draft Profile

recommended stories

NFL Week 3 Betting lines

Vendetta Picks: 2023 NFL Week 4 Betting Lines And Predictions

Vendetta Picks: 2023 NFL Week 4 Betting Lines And Predictions That time again folks. Welcome to our NFL Week 4…

Read More
Ryen Russillo

Ryen Russillo Went After Dan Le Batard Over Lillard Trade Accusations

Ryen Russillo Went After Dan Le Batard Over Lillard Trade Accusations The media has gone crazy over the Damian Lillard…

Read More
JC Jackson Chargers

J.C. Jackson ‘Confused’ By Week 3 Healthy Scratch

J.C. Jackson ‘Confused’ By Week 3 Healthy Scratch To everyone’s surprise last week, including his own, star cornerback J.C. Jackson…

Read More
Daniel Vladar

Should The Flames Trade Dan Vladar?

Should The Flames Trade Dan Vladar? The Flames are a team that’s totally stuck in the middle. Are they a…

Read More