Originally written on Celtics 24/7  |  Last updated 11/6/14

Playoff time brings about the physic aspect in all the NBA “experts.”  These experts look ahead to round 1 of the NBA playoffs, which feature the Boston Celtics versus the Atlanta Hawks.

Stat comparisons:

PPG: Celtics (91.8) vs. Atlanta (96.6)
RPG: Celtics (38.8) vs. Atlanta (41.2)
APG: Celtics (23.6) vs. Atlanta (22.4)
FG%: Celtics (46%) vs. Atlanta (45.4%)
FT%: Celtics (77.8%) vs. Atlanta (74%)
3P%: Boston (36.7%) vs. Atlanta (37%)

 According to the stats, it looks like a pretty even match-up.  But, hey, they don’t play the game on paper.

Now on to the “experts” of the NBA.  Majority of them predict the Celtics to be victorious.

ESPN.com Predictions:

ESPN.com BOSTON:

Jackie MacMullan: Celtics in 6
The Hawks are thin in the middle due to injuries, but don’t underestimate how critical it is for Ray Allen to play in this series. Boston should prevail but their margin of error is close to non-existant.
Chris Forsberg: Celtics in 6
Boston is too inconsistent to not slip up (no first-round sweep like the Knicks last year), but too talented to not win this series against a depleted Hawks squad. So long as Boston can steal one in Atlanta, this series should be short on drama (though each game will likely be a grind). In the end, Kevin Garnett at the 5 will be Boston’s biggest advantage against the shorthanded Hawks.
Peter May: Celtics in 6
As anyone who has paid even casual attention to the Celtics, they are a much better and deeper team now than they were two months ago. The emergence of Avery Bradley, the re-commitment to defense led by Kevin Garnett, the ongoing brilliance of Rajon Rondo and the versatility of the bench (Mickael Pietrus) makes them a tough out. Ray Allen might not be with them for some of the series, but the Hawks don’t expect to have Al Horford for any of it. Advantage: Boston.
Greg Payne: Celtics in 5
The loss of Al Horford for the Hawks opens up all kinds of possibilities for Kevin Garnett in this series. While Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins can play physical, neither has the defensive chops to slow KG down when he’s looking for his offense. Couple Garnett’s surefire productivity in this series with a distinct advantage at the point guard position for Boston (Jeff Teague is steadily improving, but he’s not close to being on Rajon Rondo’s level yet), and this first-round matchup will be over sooner rather than later.

CBSSports.com:

Ken Berger: Celtics in 6 games

Matt Moore: Celtics in 6 games
East No.4 seed vs. No.5: Boston Celtics (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5). The Celtics won the season series 2-1 but Atlanta won the efficiency differential by +.8. The Celtics essentially conceded homecourt advantage to Atlanta this week, mostly because they will have more fans in Atlanta than the Hawks.

Ben Golliver: Celtics in 6 games

Royce Young: Celtics in 6 games

Jamey Eisenberg: Celtics in 6 games

I agree with all of them, except for the loner who likes Atlanta.  I believe the Celtics will win in 6 games, then face-off versus the Bulls in the 2nd round.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ronda Rousey beats Cat Zingano in 14 seconds

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

NHL analyst calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.