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.
The Celtics, who played Sunday in a different country and who started four men who’d been in the NBA for at least a dozen years, scored 39 points in 12 minutes and made 18 of 25 shots. If you’ve ever wondered how a basketball game would look if one team was prohibited from guarding the other, here it was.
Written in blue letters on a whiteboard adjacent to the Hawks’ practice court were these words: “Hustle will dominate.” It did. The older team ran the younger one off the younger team’s court. In spring 2008 the Hawks took Boston to seven games in Round 1 of the playoffs, and in 2009-2010 they swept the Celtics 4-0 in the regular season. On this night the older team scored its 77th point with 5:04 left in the third quarter; if Boston hadn’t scored again, it still would have won.
Oh, yes. Almost forgot. The Celtics were missing two starters, including the Hawk-killer Rajon Rondo.
You'll find very little praise for the Celtics in the Atlanta newspapers and blogs. It's not a slight, it's the fact the Hawks are in the midst of a horrible slump (2-8 after a 6-0 start).
It doesn't appear to be an issue of Xs and Os. It appears to be an issue of heart and desire. Listen to Hawks coach Larry Drew rip his team in the postgame presser:
Did you make it to the part where Drew questions what his players are doing at night? Or did you fall asleep?
Geez, Larry. Show some goddamn fire. No wonder the guys are sleepwalking out there.