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Recap: Hawks eke out a win

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) May 8, 2012 Recaps, Uncategorized 27 Comments on Recap: Hawks eke out a win


 That was a roller coaster game. The Celtics led big. The Hawks led big. Each team made runs over the final 15 minutes that had you thinking "we got this!" When the dust settled, the Celtics had the ball with 10 seconds remaining and a chance to win it… but Rajon Rondo coughed up the ball.

The story of this game is… Paul Pierce's knee. His stat line was decent (16 points, 7-17 FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals), but the mobility was clearly not there. Check John's Twitter timeline for more non-stop commentary on Pierce's knee. 

Al Horford was HUGE. 19 points, 11 rebounds in 41 minutes. The Celtics need to adjust their defense. Horford had a lot of open jumpers. 

Rajon Rondo (13 points, 12 assists, 5 steals, 5 TOs) was hot and cold. Mostly cold. He did have a great stretch late in the 3rd and early in the 4th that brought the Celtics back from a double-digit deficit, but overrall he struggled.

Everyone is puzzled by Doc Rivers decision to play Ryan Hollins (19 minutes) over Greg Stiemsma (4 minutes). Hollins was active and contributed 5 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block. But I'm curious if the decision to sit Stiemsma is injury or execution related.

Avery Bradley had 2 points in 18 minutes. The shoulder is clearly an issue.

The start time for Game 6 is TBD. It's either 6 or 8pm depending on the outcome of tonight's Bulls/Sixers game.

Box score

"I just thought they played harder, they played better." – Doc Rivers

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

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  • Alex


  • Quest

    Well the celtics earned this loss no excuses. They were def out played by the Hawks. Like Doc said you can’t play in spurts and expect the win. Starting to even wonder if the Celtics can even win this series if this is how they came to play tonight in an important deciding game. Hawks have a lot of confidence now and deadly 3’s. Game 7 looming maybe. Disappointed is an understatement.
    Ray sure turned and walked right off the court quickly in disgust at that last stretch of play. It was how I was feeling.

  • Rondo decided to “dribble out” the clock on behalf of the Atlanta Hawks.
    They should at least vote him a playoff share!

  • RyanH

    Playing pierce hurt was so counterproductive, he blew about five bunnies. We were rolling with the hollins/kg duo, which probably wasn’t sustainable, but when we subbed pierce back, he couldn’t rotate because of his injury. Give him some time to rest, and try to just smash the hawks back in boston.

  • This game will be blamed on many players/things. But it all comes down to the defense. End of story. So many instances when I watched 3,4 or even 5 guys in green standing around. “Lapses”, if that’s even an accurate description, like that on D just can’t happen. Not the end of the world, but such a frustrating loss.

  • Mileke

    Well at least you predicted this, so you couldn’t be feeling too bad, but the Celtics shouldn’t have lost this game. They definitely earned this loss, but the Hawks tried every way possible to give this game away, but we just never put our foot on the gas. Also, Rondo cannot wait to the 4th quarter to realize he has to play. I believe that’s the single BIGGEST reason we lost. Along with Pierce’s knee, & Bass’s inability to play defense tonight. Also, I’m just waiting on that BIG game from Bradley, haven’t seen it sense the regular season. I believe you said on twitter “we should have went to KG more down the stretch,” & I just want to say I totally agree. He was bread and butter tonight. Overall a bad loss, but the Celtics are in prime position to close this out Thursday. They’d still get at least 3 days off in that case. Besides Horford went off tonight, & Pierce played like pooh cheese, and we only lost by 1? Got to be a silver lining in that huh? Let’s get the next one Team Celtics!

  • Quest

    Well kudos to Redarmy your predictions were pretty close unfortunately. What are you predicting for game 6/7 ?

  • paul

    Right. Except that what actually happened is that he drew the defense to the corner away from Garnett, and was trying to get the ball back to Garnett, but Smith and Horford played it well.
    And as you CHOOSE to ignore, that’s a chance to win we would not have had without Rondo stealing the ball in the first place.

  • paul

    Rondo’s not the only one who wasn’t focused, and at least he did get us back into the game.

  • paul

    Well, we’ve awakened a giant now.

  • Mileke

    I never said Rondo was the ONLY one who wasn’t focused, matter of fact, I never even said he wasn’t focused, but he was the BIGGEST factor in this loss to me. Alot of the lack luster effort you seen from everyone else was a direct trickle effect of the way Rondo was playing. He jogged most the game until 60 seconds left in the 3rd Q, he was passive offensively, he didn’t get into sets until less than 12 seconds left on the shot clock, and the guys could never get it going with his effort for most of the game. It’s no excuse for the horrible defense Bass played, or the inability to get a rebound by the team, but Rondo’s play was definitely a FACTOR, and turned out to be a HUGE FACTOR. BUT you’re right, he got us back into the game, just like he lost us the game. We’ll get the next one, and Rondo will bounce back, but pampering him because he decided to wake up too late is not my style, & I just had to call it like I saw it.

  • Vik melb Aus

    That was such a dissaponting loss, we answered every run and just threw it away at the end, hopefully al wont make a difference in beantown but the d tonight like what kwapt said cost us the game. I only hole the teams takes this loss personal and sets the record staright in atl. These little injuries hope dont come back to bite us.. pierce , bradley and pietrus have been off and we need them to make a run

  • Quest

    Doc in his post game interview when you have a big on you you run down the center not the sideline to get cornered. Rondo going to the baseline worked a few times in the game but this time Hawks’ defense adjusted for it and Rondo fumbled the ball and then that pass ended it. Doc again the biggest mistake was not fouling the Hawks and losing the 8 seconds on the clocks for another play. The celtics were outplayed simple as that.

  • DJisinthehall

    oh no do you think Ray is mad at rondo?
    jesus- we have game 6 still..

  • DJisinthehall

    you people realize ATL had a better record than us right? That they also play in the NBA?
    pull your panties up we still have game 6.

  • Quest

    Agree with your comments Mileke. Redsarmy you need one of those thumbs up like buttons lol

  • Quest

    Well if they continue to play like this game 7 may be looming.

  • The thing that infuriates me about this Celtics team is just the level of “caring” as I like to call it. They flat out did not seem to care about this game because they knew it wasn’t THAT pivotal of a game. A “W” is nice, but not necessary…This has been a consistent theme with the C’s all year. The lack of intensity (minus of-course KG) to FINISH games/opponents in order to make things easier for themselves moving forward. It would have been HUGE to get those extra few days off while Philly and Chicago beat each other up, especially with half the team dealing with some sort of injury.
    Rondo was too passive at times but still put us in a position to win at the end so really what more could you ask for. Look, I LOVE Paul Pierce, but he 100% killed us tonight on both sides of the floor. His rotations and defense in general where awful and the offensive side was just as bad. He was not looking for his shot for the majority of the game and everyone on the floor, including the Hawks knew it. I know the guy is a competitor but he KILLED us out there tonight. Unlike Ray ray, Pauls’ style of play demands a lot of touches on the ball and when he is 70% it just does not work out. Paul, do us all a favor and rest the knee so you can be healthy moving to the next round. If that means significantly less playing time or coming off the bench in Game 6, SO BE IT. The rest of the guys on this squad need to step up and finish the Hawks on Thursday!

  • That final 10 seconds is a microcosm of Rondo.
    Al Hortford and Pierce’s knee just made Game 6 scary…

  • Quest

    I am seriously thinking that the Hawks have the potential to upset this series and win games 6/7. Like Classless said the situation is getting scary. Was it the Pistons that came back to win after being down 3-0 or 3-1 ???

  • Still cannot believe he decides to pin himself in the corner, with two seconds left on the clock!
    The guy is a “passer”…10 seconds remain…he`s 85 feet from the basket…and he chooses to ignore his four teammates until he`s trapped in the corner with time about to expire!

  • No point in stealing the ball if you`re gonna do THAT with it!

  • Quest

    The only good thing about tonight is the Lakers lost too (99-102) even despite Kobe’s amazing shooting. Changing of the guard? Lot of talent on the Nugget’s team.

  • paul

    I absolutely agree that this is a frustrating loss, and everyone has the right to be frustrated. The film will tell all at practice. Horford MUST be contained. The team defense has to go way up, and the 3’s have to be limited. I don’t know how this can happen, but Doc will. Pierce’s knee looked sketchy, I admit, but some rest goes a long way. Its not ALL on Pierce! The big 4 all had less than 20 points. The stars have to shine offensively, and the team defensively for this win in game 6. Have no fear guys. We will win at home… which brings me to a new worry, but I won’t say it to jinx us. GO CELTICS

  • We’re gonna win this series 4-2, just relax everybody..

  • Really impressed! Everything is very, very clear, open is a description of the problem. It contains the information.

  • AMP

    Seriously??? This is how you lose! I would much prefer to be the C’s last night than the Hawks on Sun.