Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics, Eastern Quarters Game 3: Fan Playoff Preview

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Just as the Boston Celtics get Rajon Rondo back for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarters after serving a one-game suspension for bumping a referee in Game 1, the Hawks have serious problems of their own with Josh Smith expected to miss a couple of games due to tendinitis in his left knee.

While injuries are always unfortunate, it provides an appreciated break for the Celtics as they try to advance to the next round. Boston plays their next two games at home and hope to lead the series 3-1 before the weekend is up. The luck of the Irish is certainly in their favor.

Despite all of that, the Celtics still must go out and play. They are certainly experienced enough to know there is no coasting by when it comes to playoff basketball. But we have seen all season long that the team does not give up under any circumstance, and it is the exact reason why they went from being a questionable team as the season began to a legitimate NBA Championship contender today.

The matchup:

The Boston Celtics will take on the Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden located in Boston, Mass. on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

The standings:

Boston comes into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarters finishing the regular season with a 39-27 record. They were 24-9 on their home court this year.

Atlanta enters the matchup having finished the season with a 40-26 record. They were 17-16 on the road this year.

The playoff series:

The playoff series is currently tied at 1-1.

Where to watch:

The game can be watched live nationwide on ESPN.

The playoff statistic leaders:

Boston: Paul Pierce- 24.0 points per game, Rajon Rondo- 11.0 assists per game, Kevin Garnett- 12.0 rebounds per game.

Atlanta: Josh Smith- 19.0 points per game, Joe Johnson- 5.0 assists per game, Josh Smith- 15.0 rebounds per game.

Injuries to note:

Boston: Ray Allen (right ankle), Chris Wilcox (aortic abnormality), Jeff Green (aortic aneurysm).

Atlanta: Al Horford (torn left pectoral muscle), Zaza Pachulia (foot), Josh Smith (Patellar tendinitis in left knee).

More Boston Celtics Commentary from Paul Rados:

Boston Celtics should dominate with Miami trio likely to rest: Fan Preview

Boston Celtics prepare to take on Atlanta Hawks: Fan Preview

Takeaways from the Boston Celtics 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic: A fan's perspective

Fan Preview: After a tough loss in New York, are the Boston Celtics ready to face the Magic?

Fan Preview: Will the Boston Celtics maintain their Atlantic dominance with a win over New York?

Sources:

All data provided by NBA.com

Paul Rados is an avid Boston Celtics fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados or leave him a message on Facebook.

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