Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks Preview (11/16/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Boston Celtics, the hottest team in the NBA, will take a trip to warmer weather to face the Hawks in Atlanta. This preview will cover the starting lineups, updated injury reports for both teams, current odds, and my prediction and picks for this game. Take a look!

Boston Celtics Vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds

Boston is a 1.5-point road favorite against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics will miss Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon, and Danilo Gallinari, while Marcus Smart is questionable heading into this game. Atlanta has remained very healthy, all things considered, and will only be without Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Boston Celtics Vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction

Atlanta is a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference. So far, the acquisition of Dejounte Murray looks like the trade of the year for the Hawks. Murray complements Trae Young perfectly, as Young is an offensive juggernaut but a liability on the defensive end, while Murray is a clamp on defense.

The Hawks are 2-2 in the past four games, with wins over Milwaukee on the road and against the Sixers at home. Atlanta did lose to Philly (split) and Utah in that stretch, but those are not necessarily bad losses.

Atlanta is an interesting team; it has catapulted itself to third place in the Eastern Conference, only trailing the mighty Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. The Hawks beaten the Bucks in two of their three matchups, an impressive accomplishment for any team. Currently, the Hawks rank 26th in 3P% (three-point percentage) and 24th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage), though, which is incredibly underwhelming for a successful team.

When you consider the type of team the Hawks were last season, you realize that they still have capable shooters. Trae Young, one of the best volume shooters in the NBA, has been ice cold to start the season, and not in the excellent way that earned him the nickname “Ice Trae.” This makes the Hawks slightly vulnerable to elite offensive teams, but eventually, they should get out of this slump.

Still, Atlanta’s defense is something to marvel at, especially considering how miserable it was on the defensive end of the floor last season. The Hawks have done a great job of hiding Trae Young on defense, and as long as they can do that, they should be a great basketball team.

Enter: Boston. The Celtics rank first in the NBA in offensive rating, pacing to be one of the all-time great offenses in league history if maintained. There is a significant portion of the season left to be played, but there’s no denying how strong the C’s look to start the year.

Boston may not be the defensive juggernaut that it was last season, at least yet, but it can disrupt a subpar Atlanta offense enough to stifle the Hawks. This matchup will be predicated on which can be better: Atlanta’s defense or Boston’s offense. Both have been elite this season, but you know the saying: great offense beats great defense. I’ll take Boston against the spread.

Betting Trends

  • Boston is 3-4 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Atlanta is 4-3 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 18-9-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in the battle of two of the top three teams in the East belongs to Jayson Tatum versus the Atlanta Hawks’ defense. Atlanta’s defense ranks second in most key defensive statistical categories behind only Milwaukee, while Tatum is a serious MVP favorite for the 2022-23 season. Check out my analysis below on this matchup!

Jayson Tatum vs. Atlanta Hawks’ Defense

Jayson Tatum is an MVP frontrunner at the beginning of the 2022-23 NBA season for a reason. Tatum is leading the league’s best offense to unprecedented ratings while posting roughly 32 points, seven rebounds, and four assists per game. Virtually no team has stopped Tatum, and I don’t believe there is a team out there that can. Tatum’s lowest scoring output of the season was 23 points, but he merely took 15 shots and played just 27 minutes in that game. We’re looking at a bonafide superstar.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks have taken one of the biggest leaps from one season to the next on the defensive end I have seen. The Hawks rank second in opponent eFG% and opponent 3P%, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks in those categories. Dejounte Murray, the difference-maker in this defense, will probably guard Jaylen Brown, which leaves Tatum to be defended by De’Andre Hunter. Hunter has an individual defensive rating of 114.8, so I’m not concerned. I’ll give the advantage to Tatum. Advantage: Tatum

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Grant Williams
C: Al Horford

Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineups

PG: Trae Young
SG: Dejounte Murray
SF: De’Andre Hunter
PF: John Collins
C: Clint Capela

Key Injuries

Boston Celtics Injuries: Robert Williams III (Out), Danilo Gallinari (Out), Malcolm Brogdon (Out), Marcus Smart (Q)

Atlanta Hawks Injuries: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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