I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers
are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose
of 'enemy chatter' from Atlanta.
Well, the Celtics
got angered, and the Hawks showed the championship resolve. Without
getting into what was flagrant and what was not, both teams had a lot
to complain about. And the officiating was not even that bad. Just
normal bad, made acute by overreacting and three technical fouls in a
The Hawks have seen the story before. Bad calls lead to Josh Smith
pouting, Marvin disappearing, Horford wanting, and Joe ball hogging.
And coming off a blowout loss, it is absurd to call Atlanta's
discipline championship effort, but if you had to choose one team that
looked to have the focus tonight, it was the Hawks. And there is no
Showing tenacity that had been missing for some time, the Hawks
pulled off perhaps the steal of the season, a 102-96 win over Boston
Monday night. They came back from 14 points down in the third quarter,
equaling their largest comeback of the season by clamping down
defensively on the Celtics and showing icy will on the offensive end.
"This team has grown," Hawks
coach Mike Woodson said. "I don't care how you cut it. We don't have to
be considered as one of the elite teams, but we're a good team in the
NBA that's fighting for something."
as a defensive mastermind but, as acting head coach, he repeated the
same mistake Doc Rivers made in Game 4 of the 2008 first-round playoff
series: leaving Ray Allen to try and guard Joe Johnson one-on-one…
The Hawks also turned the
predictability of their insistence upon switching on screens into an
advantage by repeatedly switching Williams or Jamal Crawford onto
Kendrick Perkins or Davis, inviting Boston to play fourth quarter
possessions through those two rather than Paul Pierce or Ray Allen.
Davis scored nine points in the final quarter but that's a fair trade
for Paul Pierce using just 4 of Boston's 19 fourth quarter offensive
possessions, even before accounting for those four Pierce possessions
resulting in two missed jump shots and two turnovers.
There's one consistent theme – the veteran Celtics lost their composure, while the young Hawks maintained it.