On the first day of the second round of SB Nation's hypothetical NBA 3 on 3 Tournament, the top seeds in each conference were upset, making the path to the conference finals a little easier for the teams playing Tuesday. In the East, the 4th-seeded Boston Celtics are facing the 5th-seeded Atlanta Hawks in a rematch of a playoff series from last May.
Boston sends a very famous trio into this game. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have won an NBA championship together and all three are All Stars. It's a very good offensive unit, a great defensive unit, and they have great chemistry. That's hard to beat.
Atlanta sends Al Horford and Josh Smith along with rookie John Jenkins out to do battle with Boston's big three. Jenkins' role will be to hit perimeter jumpers on kick outs from the talented Atlanta bigs. But let's face it, if we're playing Sesame Street "One of these things just doesn't belong" with these six players, it's Jenkins.
Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.
- Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Boston wins 12 of 20
- Andrew Sharp, SB Nation -- Boston wins 14 of 20
- Steve Perrin, SB Nation NBA, Clips Nation -- Boston wins 16 of 20
- Frank Madden, Brew Hoop -- Boston wins 14 of 20
- CA Clark, Silver Screen and Roll -- Boston wins 17 of 20
- Probability to win any given game -- Boston 73 percent; Atlanta 27 percent
- Probability to win series -- Boston 82.07 percent; Atlanta 17.93 percent
The poor Hawks just can't escape the Celtics. Boston's vulnerable, but not against the Smith-Jenkins-Horford trio. Rondo alone can survive those three, and that's before Pierce takes over for say, six or seven of these imaginary games. The Celtics roll here. -- Sharp
Even though Smith might have a size advantage over Pierce and Horford is a beast, Rondo destroys Jenkins plain and simple. -- Perrin
The defensive versatility of Smith and Horford should prove huge in a 3 on 3 setting -- switch everything! -- but I'm not exactly sold on sharpshooter Jenkins hanging with Rondo. -- Madden
Hawks have talent, but I'm not sold on a rookie shooting guard being able to initiate an offense of any kind against Rondo. -- Clark
The Bottom Line
According to our panel of experts, Boston has a 73 percent chance to win any single game and an 82 percent chance to win the best two of three series.
The dice will ultimately decide. Boston will be looking for rolls of 73 or lower while the Hawks are dice to come up big as they did Monday, 74 or more.
Who do you think would win this showdown?
The results will be posted at 5 p.m. ET.
For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.