CELTICS at HAWKS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: NBA TV

  • Ray Allen will miss Game 2 of the Celtics’ series with the Atlanta Hawks after Boston coach Doc Rivers said, “we were almost positive,” that  the 15-year veteran shooting guard had overcome right ankle problems and would play for the first time in nearly three weeks. This is doubly troubling for Boston, which trails the Hawks 1-0 in Atlanta, as point guard Rajon Rondo will miss Tuesday night’s game while suspended by the NBA for bumping official Marc Davis in Game 1. “It’s frustrating, honestly,” Rivers said. “It’s frustrating more for him than for us, let me make that clear. He looked great [Monday]off the court, running, shooting . . . we were almost positive. Today, he couldn’t walk much, he couldn’t even do his shooting before the game today. We’re just going to keep seeing what we can do.” This will be the 11th straight game that Allen has missed because of bone spurs in the right ankle.
  • Avery Bradley will slide from the starting shooting guard spot into Rondo’s point guard position. Mickael Pietrus will start at SG for Boston, and, Rivers said, begin the game defending Atlanta shooting guard Kirk Hinrich. “He’ll move over to Joe [Johnson] at times,” the Boston coach said. “[Pietrus] does far more things than I ever knew. He’s been great, his spirit off the floor, in the locker room, and MP is clearly one of them that you would love to have all the time in your locker room.
  • Zaza Pachulia will miss his ninth straight game because of a sprained left foot. Jason Collins will start again at center for Atlanta. Hawks officials are encouraged by tests on Pachulia’s foot and believe he might be able to play by Game 5.
  • Much of the Celtics’ preparation since learning Monday afternoon that Rondo would be suspended has centered on finding ways to get power forward Brandon Bass shots. “The single guy ]Rondo’s absence] affects the most, by far, is Brandon,” Rivers said. “Rondo is the guy that makes the passes on the pick-and-pop, and Brandon has struggled in the games that Rondo has not played. We have worked on a lot of stuff in the last day-and-a-half to try to get him shots because when he stretches the floor, it’s huge for Kevin [Garnett, in terms of creating space in the paint].”
  • The Celtics, and Bradley, are anticipating the Hawks paying more pressure on the ball when he’s handling it in the back court, and rightly so. “We will get up and pressure the ball and make it hard for them to get into their sets,” said Atlanta forward Josh Smith. “With Bradley, we have to cut him off early and take his confidence because when he gets confidence he’s tough.”

– Matt Winkeljohn

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