By Matt Noonan
As noted in Monday’s Daily Noontime, the Boston Celtics will indeed face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
Although, according to NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk, Atlanta’s Al Horford, who’s been battling a torn pectoral muscle this season, doesn’t expect to be in the line up once the series begins. The Hawks had anticipated he’d return, but will most likely have to rely on forward Josh Smith to defend Kevin Garnett.
Against the Celtics this season, the Hawks have won one of three contests.
Both teams met in the first round of the 2008 NBA playoffs, which Boston won in seven games, 4-3.
The Boston Celtics have two regular season contests remaining against the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks before they play Game No. 1 against Atlanta.