What version of the Boston Celtics would we tonight, against the lowly Atlanta Hawks, currently in 12th place in the comparatively weaker East?
In recent weeks, the team has gone on losing streaks to sub-.500 squads we will not mention based in Florida, but also taken down some of the league's best teams - would the lessons ostensibly learned in dramatic fashion stick against exactly the sort of team Boston's had a bad habit of playing down to of late?
The early results were not promising, with John Collins, Kevin Huerter, and Trae Young leading the Hawks to an early 11-20 lead by the halfway point of the first quarter.
With long scoring draughts for much of the backside of the initial frame showing after grinding out a solid win over the Memphis Grizzlies the night before, the team had to rely on Kyrie Irving to stay in the game.
The second frame began with Atlanta up 36-28, and saw Irving continue to shoulder the load while his teammates struggled to score, save Jayson Tatum early in the quarter, and Daniel Theis late.