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Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett to sit Friday vs. Hawks

By Matt Moore | NBA writer
The Celtics have something they'd like the Hawks to know. They don't care if Atlanta has homecourt. They can have it. They still plan to win.

CSN New England reports that Doc Rivers told reporters at shootaround that the Celtics plan to sit Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Mickael Pietrus will definitely not play Friday night vs. the Hawks and that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are "probably" out as well.

Surprise! Boston's locked the fourth seed, but due to NBA homecourt rules, the fifth seed can still get homecourt with a superior record and/or tiebreaker. So this is essentially the Celtics telling the Hawks that they have absoutely no concern about winning in Atlanta.

This makes sense from several angles. One, the Celtics are legitimately beat up and coming off a rough schedule stretch. They need the rest. Two, Boston has had a long-standing beef with Atlanta since the Hawks pushed them to seven games in 2008 before their first title. And third, the Atlanta crowd tends to turn a definitive shade of green when the Celtics are in town.

Still, it's a pretty bold maneuver. Homecourt advantage in the first round may not mean much to the Celtics with their experience, but you'd think they'd want every advantage. Instead, they'll get some rest and slap the Hawks in the face a bit.

Ah, playoffs.

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