Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
But when Pierce airballed a jumper with 18.9 seconds left with the Celtics trailing by a point, no one on the court apparently realized they were not out of fouls, meaning they needed to foul twice to get the Hawks to the line.
They waited 7.7 seconds until the ball was passed to Josh Smith before Allen fouled him. And while they fully expected Smith to step to the line, the Hawks called timeout to prepare for another inbounds play.
Rondo saved the embarrassment for a few moments by stealing a bounce pass headed for Joe Johnson, and racing up the court for perhaps the series-clinching basket. But the Celtics resembled one of those youth teams that compete at halftime at TD Garden, racing up the court in chaos because they lacked a timeout…
“We signaled to foul and our guys decided to try to go for a steal first,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “They didn’t understand we had a foul to give. I told them after the game, we talk about it every night, every day in practice, end-of-the-game execution is going to win and lose playoff games for you. And you think about that seven extra seconds we would have had, that doesn’t mean we make a shot but you never know. We would have extra time. And we didn’t have it.’’
Reading these game summaries has my blood pressure boiling again. It’s all very un-Celtic.
Doc said Rondo should have went down the middle of the court on the final possession. Once he reached the paint, the Hawks would have collapsed and Rondo could have easily found an open teammate.
Pierce refused to admit the knee bothered him much, but we all know the truth. He’s hurting.
In typical media fashion, the pendulum has swung in the Hawks direction. Now folks are questioning whether the Celtics can close in Boston in Game 6. C’mon, people.
On Page 2, Rondo gets miffed at a TNT cameraman.
(video h/t to CelticsLife)
I’m not going to fault Rondo here. He’s pissed off about the loss and the camera operator won’t give him a private moment.
Props to Charles Barkley for the funny line about Rondo’s jacket.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Hawks defeat Celtics to extend series | Pierce doesn’t use injury excuse | Horford’s presence felt | Hawks adjustments paid dividends | CSNNE – Rondo, Celtics have up/down night | Celtics not straying from what they know on defense | Herald – Pierce shrugs off pain | Hawks turn to Horford | WEEI – Doc: Rondo willed us back into the game | ESPN – Horford may have swung momentum