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Josh Smith Could Create Matchup Challenges

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Apr 24, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) looks on against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 24, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) looks on against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

As Paul Flannery points out, the Hawks don't really have a true center with Horford out for the first round. So we could see a lot of Josh Smith at the "center" spot. It isn't certain if that's good or bad for us.

Green Street " Kevin Garnett and Josh Smith: The non-center matchup

Matchups are going to a be a constant storyline in this series. Ordinarily, a team without a true center is a good thing for the Celtics, but they are wary of the Hawks’ big-small lineup, which features over-sized guards like Joe Johnson and Tracy McGrady, wing shooters like Marvin Williams at forward and Smith at center. "You’ll see [Garnett] on everybody," Rivers said. "They move Josh to the five and they go with Marvin at the four and Tracy at the three and Joe at the two. That’s a tough lineup. They do it and they do it against us more than any other team for a reason, obviously. It creates matchups and we’re going to have to deal with that."

Speaking of Josh Smith, it is worth noting that he's got a bond with Rajon Rondo dating back to their high school days. Will that stop Rondo from competing hard against him? Not likely.

Rondo, Smith ready for friendly rivalry

"We’re still the best of friends," Rondo told CSNNE.com. "We just go at each other." During the NBA lockout, Rondo invited Smith to participate in his charity basketball game at Harvard University. After a regular season game in Boston, Smith stopped in the Celtics locker room looking for Rondo. So what is 6-foot-1 Rondo’s plan of attack against his 6--foot-9 friend? "I’m going to try to block a couple of his shots."

I like it.