BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 15: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics celebrates during the second quarter of Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on April 15, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Celtics-Hawks Game 1 of their NBA Playoffs series ended with a Boston win, 112-99. That looks sort of close It wasn’t.


The Celtics lead by 30 points at the half, 74-44. Typically, if you can hold your opponent to 44 points over the first two quarters of an NBA game, you’ve got a pretty good chance of winning. I don’t need that fancy-schmancy “win percentage” ticker that changes minute by minute to tell me that, and neither do you. A thirty point lead at the half leads to a win more often than not, barring the occasional second-half collapse brought on by injury or what have you.


The takeaway from this game was that the Celtics are in a completely different class than the Atlanta Hawks. Which is usually the case in round one of the NBA Playoffs, right? The Celtics are the two-seed, and they’re playing like a two-seed. The Hawks played into the seven-seed, and they’re playing the type of basketball you’d expect from a seven-seed in the NBA Playoffs: good, but not great. The Celtics have more talent, the talent that they have is healthy and playing together, and one would expect them to best the Hawks in 4 or 5.


Celtics-Hawks Game 1: Boston Starts Series Strong

You can see some highlights from Game 1 at the Garden below. Game 2 takes place on Tuesday, April 18. The team gets an extra day of rest because the Bruins are starting their playoff run at the Garden on Monday night. Watch this space, as I’ll have a Bruins and Celtics-related 12-Inch Poll for you later this week. In the meantime, you can get more in-depth coverage of the Celtics playoff picture over on our sister station, The Sports Hub. Here’s hoping I’ll have a bunch more opportunities to put together these galleries. And here’s hoping the last one is of the Celtics winning it all.

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