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NBA Playoffs Day 3: Celtics at Hawks, Grizzlies at Spurs

Two games tonight in the NBA playoffs first round. The Hawks host the Celtics and the Grizzlies are in San Antonio to face the Spurs. Both home teams hold 1-0 series leads.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics at Hawks (Hawks lead 1-0) 
6:00 CDT 

The Celtics will try to even this series at one in Atlanta tonight. The Hawks were able to stave off a furious second half rally from the C's in game one after establishing a big first half lead. Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Kent Bazemore were the big stars in game one for the Hawks, while the C's got 27 from Isaiah Thomas despite relatively poor shooting. In fact, the shooting overall was not good for either team, with the Hawks barely cresting 40% and the Celtics at an abysmal 36%. The Hawks particularly struggled from three, going only 5-26 for the game, something unlikely to happen again.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Avery Bradley will likely miss the rest of the series with a hamstring injury suffered in game one. He's a huge part of what they do, particularly on the defensive end where he's one of the best guard defenders in the league. He will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by either Evan Turner or Marcus Smart, but his talents will be missed as will the reduction in guard depth.  Meanwhile, big man Kelly Olynyk is a game time decision with a shoulder injury.

This series had the best game one, and I expect it to continue to be close and hard fought throughout.

Grizzlies at Spurs (Spurs lead 1-0)
8:30 pm CDT

Not much to say here. It's a mis-match.  The Grizzlies just don't have enough to compete given their horrific injury situation, and it showed in game one.  They hung around for almost two quarters until the Spurs roused themselves enough to put them away at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third. It wound up a 32 point blowout with Kawhi Leonard leading the Spurs with 29 minutes.

Meanwhile, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Munford, and Jarell Martin all played over 20 minutes for the Grizzlies and stand as big parts of their rotation.

This isn't close. Hard to imagine the Spurs being challenged in even one game this series, though stranger things have happened.

Enjoy the games everyone.