Apr 11, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) drives the ball to the basket against Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson (44) in the first quarter at the TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Atlanta will be on Sunday, regardless of venue/home court. Game time TBD.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 26, 2012
It's a little bone from the NBA, but I'll take it. Starting the first round on Sunday gives the Celtics an extra day of rest and it sounds like we might need it:
For what it's worth, Rajon Rondo told me he is currently feeling 71% healthy. This is up from the 39% he gave me after Monday's practice.— Carolyn Manno (@carolynmanno) April 26, 2012
Several beat writers have reported on Ray's and Stiemer's availability, but I'll quote Carolyn Manno because she's cuter than GWash or A. Sherrod. Sorry, fellas. With HCA still up for grabs and the Bucks in shutdown mode, we might see at least half of the Big Four tonight to secure a win and put pressure on Atlanta. The Hawks tip off at the same time against Dallas who still have a chance to move up in seeding.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, home court advantage in this series matters. This is a subtle point made by Bulpett, but for a team dealing with dings and dents right now, it's definitely relevant:
There would be time to treat injuries in the Celts' own facility. There might even be a chance to get in a full-squad practice unhindered by planes and buses and hotel check-ins.
We may not need HCA to beat the Hawks, but it definitely sets us up for potentially more rest in the coming weeks. It keeps the C's at home through the weekend and the early part of next week and sets up a potential Game 5 clincher in TD Garden. That could shorten the series and give us more rest before facing Mr. Thibs and the Bulls.