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.
Instant Reaction: It's a tough loss to swallow, but read the title. The Hawks were without their three best front court players and were still in it. It would have been nice to get a win, but the Hawks still surpassed a lot of people's expectations.
The Hawks' goal coming into Game 3 was to at least steal one win in Boston in either Game 3 or Game 4. With Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Zaza Pachulia nursing injuries, I (along with everyone) believed that the chances of the Hawks stealing a win in Game 3 was pretty low.
Lo and behold, the Hawks had a chance. They stayed competitive and gave the Celtics and their fans a bit of a scare. No, the Hawks didn't win the game but looking back at it right now, the fact that they almost won the game even without having 3 of their best front court players…is pretty impressive.
You'll find references to the Hawks injuries in the headline, 1st paragraph, 2nd paragraph and 3rd paragraph of this post game blog.
We get the point.
I recognize that the Hawks are dealing with some major injuries, but can we stop the crying?
Al Horford has missed 55 of 66 games this season. At what point do Hawks fans move on? I should just bitch about Jeff Green's heart condition every time the Celtics bench fails to produce.
On Page 2, the Celtics know how to turn it up.
I think [the difference] is down the stretch,” Willie Green said. “Offensively, they execute in the last six minutes of the game. The games they won, we were winning they had control of the game and then the last six to eight minutes of fourth quarter and those guys know how to turn it up. They push us out, make us to take tough shots, force the catches way out until we can’t get in our offense. We’ve just got to do a better job of spacing and attacking these guys.”
Truth is, the Celtics 4th quarter defense could have been a bit better last night. Atlanta's 22 points was the highest quarterly point total of the game.