There is no love lost between the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. Ever since the teams clashed through seven hard-fought games in the first round of the 2008 Playoffs, it seems, both teams have had each others' number. There have been matchups, dustups and confrontations - with notable incidents involving Paul Pierce and Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Ray Allen (to which KG, in turn, called Teague "a nobody.") and most recently Hawks GM Danny Ferry and his "snitch-gate" affair on Rajon Rondo.
More than their history of confrontations, though, tonight's encounter between the Hawks and C's will have added implications on playoff standings and homecourt advantage. Atlanta (34-26) is currently fifth in the East and just a game ahead of the seventh-seeded C's (33-27). A Boston win will not only tie them with the Hawks but it will move the Green within spitting range of the fourth-seed Brooklyn Nets (35-26). And as our buddy Mike analyzed here homecourt advantage has perhaps never been more important to the C's.
So it should be quite a game tonight at the TD Bank Garden. And from what KG seems to be hearing in the image from Horford and Josh Smith, it could be a back alley brawl.