Looks like I'm on recap duty tonight since Chuck is busy handling some important responsibilities.
The Celtics lose to a not so scary Atlanta Hawks team 97-92 tonight. This game went pretty-much as expected, up until the end of the 3rd quarter when the C's made a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 74-71 heading into the 4th. But the C's "struggled" a bit in the 4th – it was their lowest scoring quarter (21) and they only made 1 FG in the final 2:30 of the game.
But don't be fooled folks, this was a completely healthy Hawks team, missing only Pachulia, that barely beat a Celtics team without most of it's core players. Avery Bradley continued to shine – he was 2nd only to J.Johnson (30 pts) with 28 points on 12 of 22 shooting. AB did pretty much whatever he wanted on a combination of drives, cuts and smooth jumpers.
Keyon Dooling had one of his best game as a Celtic, putting-in 17 points and going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Marquis Daniels also had a solid game: 12 pts, 8 boards, 3 assists & 4 steals in 34 minutes.
It was obvious Doc wanted his reserves to get some confidence heading into the postseason, and they definitely did tonight. There was quite the debate on Twitter about which was more important; homecourt, or resting the starters/playing the bench. Also of note; Greg Stiemsma sat-out the entire 2nd half to rest – he was not injured.
I personally was quite impressed with the effort the C's reserves & youngsters put forth tonight. These guys played with alot of heart, and simply did not back down. The C's now have 3 days off, which must seem like an eternity to them. I would think that Doc has to play the starters in one of the 2 final regular season games next week. You don't want them tightening-up and/or getting rusty. Boston closes-out the season at home this week with games on Tuesday vs Miami & then Milwaukee on Thursday.