Stretch Run; Celtics Fighting Hawks For Home Court

Apr 11, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) looks to pass the ball against Atlanta Hawks small forward Marvin Williams (24) in the second half at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks 88-86 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

It is starting to look like the Celtics will meet the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. A lot has happened since the 2008 series, but that series did a lot to underscore the importance of home court advantage. Now the Celtics need to keep winning to secure home court - just in case these Hawks are just as tough to beat at home as those Hawks were.

Green Street " Down the stretch: How the Hawks and Celtics schedules play out

Entering play on Sunday, the Celtics (35-25) are a game back of Atlanta (35-24) in the loss column, thanks to their brutal loss to Toronto on Friday night. If the Hawks finish with a better record, they would get homecourt advantage in the first round. If the two teams are tied, the Celtics would own the tiebeaker by virtue of their winning the Atlantic Division.

The last thing this team needs is an overly difficult first round. So here's hoping they can get home court and take care of business as quickly as possible. But first things first. Gotta play out the schedule and get as many W's as possible without wearing the troops down.

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