BOSTON - They're in position for the kill. After a dominant 101-79 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday night at TD Garden, the Boston Celtics have a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks. Game 5 takes place on Tuesday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta, and the Celtics have a chance to put an end to the Hawks.
"This is not going to be a vacation trip, this is definitely a business trip," said Kevin Garnett.
"We definitely want to try to finish the series out in Atlanta," said Rajon Rondo, who had 20 points and 16 assists in Game 4. "We don't want to come back here and play because obviously we need our rest, but we know they aren't going to lay down so we are gonna go out there, its gonna be a good fight, but at the end of the day we want to try to get a win."
Of course, the Celtics will have to wait nearly two days before getting the chance to knock out the Hawks. Boston will not practice Monday after playing two games in three days.
"That day in between is huge," said the formerly injured Ray Allen. "Traveling takes a toll on your body being in the air. I think everybody's going to deal with some type of swelling. Getting into the hotel and just staying off your feet is huge, whatever treatments you need to get up but you know we just need to manage our bodies going into the game. Once the game starts I'm pretty sure everybody's back to where they need to be physically."
Once the game begins, the Celtics don't want to give the Hawks any breathing room.
"You don't want to give a team any confidence," said Paul Pierce. "You got to go down to Atlanta with the right mindset. You don't want to bring it back to Boston because anything could happen. The NBA is a weird league, one game could give a team confidence. We hope that we can just take them and advance in the series this next game."
Doc Rivers doesn't look at it the same way. For him, it isn't about the game's location.
"I don't talk in those terms," said Rivers. "You've got to just take them one at a time. And go out and play your best, and if you win it, then you move on. But never look at the finish line; never even talk about the finish line. You talk about the next game, and just playing well. And your play will take care of that, and if it doesn't you've got to play the next game. So obviously it's important if we won, but we've just got to stay single-game focused."
Atlanta isn't a pushover, though. They will be ready, said Hawks center Al Horford.
"You can't forget," he said about the events of Game 3. "We're aware of it and what were going to do is we're going to learn from it and get focused for Tuesday. You better believe that we're coming, we're bringing it at home. We're looking forward to it."
Then again, Rondo and the Celtics will be ready, too.
"They are NBA players so there is a chance we could lose Game 5, but its not in our mind," Rondo said. "We're gonna go down there and try to take care of business. If we do play the right way like we did tonight I think we have a great chance of winning the game."