The 2012 series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks,which may go down as one of the ugliest series in NBA history, came to a close tonight as the Boston Celtics defeated the Hawks in a squeeker. The Celtics will now move on to face the Philadelphia 76ers starting this Monday, but before we look forward lets take a look back at Game 6.
The real headscratcher of the game came in the closing minutes with the Hawks making one final push to tie things up, Marquis Daniels was pegged to guard…Al Horford? Yes, you read that right. Daniels fouled Horford sending the Center to the line with a chance to tie the game, but the Hawks showed their veteran leadership and playoff experience as Horford clanked the first shot. In typical Hawk fashion he missed the shot he needed to make and made the shot he needed to miss. Paul Pierce would clinch the game from the free throw line as the Garden faithful gave the Celtics a much deserved round of applause after a hard fought series.
Officiating in this one was questionable at best, with some real ticky tack fouls being called. Kevin Garnett played his heart out this entire series, and deserves much recognition for the turnaround he was able to complete this season after a miserable start to the season. Tonight, Garnett put up 28 points and 14 rebounds literally carrying the Celtics on his shoulders.
The Celtics really showed some grit in this series after dealing with a plethora of injuries (Bradley,Pierce, Allen) and the team health will be the talk of the town for as long as the Celtics are able to stay alive, it will likely be the downfall of this team, but for now the city should be proud of a team that grinded through and persevered through all of the problems.
Other topics of discussion will be Doc Rivers choice to use Stiemsma early in the game, yet opting for Ryan Hollins late in the game. The two turning points of the game, early in the fourth quarter the Celtics held the Hawks to only one field goal for about six minutes, thanks much in part to the defense of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierces clutch block late in the game. The health of Paul Pierce will be under much criticism as he looked short on many of his shots in tonights game.
The Celtics will have home court advantage in the second round as the higher seed and will host the Philadelphia 76ers