On to the next one


Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire

It's Celtics-Hawks Wednesday night at TD Garden.MIAMI -- The Boston Celtics didn't give themselves very long to savor Tuesday's win over the Miami Heat.

With the tail end of a back-to-back looming Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks back in Boston, the Celtics scrambled out of AmericanAirlines Arena, the last bus departing less than 45 minutes after the conclusion of Tuesday's game, in order to catch the 3-hour flight home. There will be little rest before a key Eastern Conference battle against an Atlanta team that the Celtics are currently pegged to meet in the opening round of the postseason.

"Atlanta’s been off for, what, three days?" asked Celtics coach Doc Rivers. The Hawks, winners of three straight, have been idle since a 116-96 thrashing of the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday. While Boston is currently projected as the No. 4 seed (a division champ can seed no lower), the No. 5 Hawks would have home-court advantage with a better overall record (34-23) at the moment. A win Wednesday night, however, would even the teams' records and Boston would own the head-to-head tie-breaker by winning the season series.

"We have a 3-[hour] flight. It is what it is. We just have to be ready and hopefully we get energy from the crowd, because we used a lot on the floor tonight."

At the start of a stretch that features five games in six days, the Celtics admit they don't have much time to think about opponents -- past, present, or future -- and are simply focused on how they are improving as a team.

"Regardless of who it is, this is a good road win for us," point guard Rajon Rondo said of the Miami triumph. "We have another tough game tomorrow, a back-to-back facing Atlanta. This game is old, we want to focus, and move on."