You know something is up when a Hawks game is (almost) sold out.
The Celtics are in Atlanta Wednesday night for their first meeting with the Hawks since they needed Paul Pierce's dramatic fallaway jumper at the buzzer to secure a 103-102 victory on Nov. 12. Boston is riding a 15-game winning streak, but lost all three games in Atlanta during the playoffs last season. The Hawks have won seven straight at home and nine of 10, including a 97-92 victory over Cleveland Saturday night -- snapping the Cavs' 11-game winning streak.
SLAM opens the floor to debate as to whether you can call Celtics-Hawks a rivalry yet. A promo on the Hawks' website has caught the Celtics' attention, with Ray Allen saying, "The building is going to be a playoff atmosphere so we need to go down there with a different mindset."
(Here's the promo, which apparently provided the Celtics with a few laughs. It quoted Kevin Garnett saying, "I wouldn't call it a rivalry," and showed a highlight reel that makes it appear that the Hawks won the first-round series.)