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Game One: Ain’t No Thing

 

No reason to be worried yet.

Sure, the Hawks landed a hard right cross in the first quarter and the Celtics played the remainder of game one with blood dripping from a busted lip. And, yeah, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce seemed punch drunk far longer than you’d expect from two old-school pugilists. But excluding the first quarter, the Celtics won this game, and more importantly, bore reasonable resemblance to the team we’ve been watching the last two months.

The Hawks walked out with a win, but nowhere near the definitive one suggested by all those first quarter fast breaks. In fact, their offensive rating for the night was 96.5, just a shade worse than the Celtics allowed during the regular season.

The problems for Boston were again on the offensive end. Atlanta’s intensity, particularly on the perimeter where they effectively denied Pierce (a brutal 5-19 from the field) and stymied much of Boston’s pick and roll game, seemed to put the Celtics off balance. The C’s burned through possession after possession, with precious little off-ball movement to create passing lanes, before they finally settled for long jumpers. And those got the Celtics nowhere. Garnett was bricking them, Pierce was bricking them and from outside the arc, where the Celtics missed all 11 shots on the night, everyone else was too.

Another concern: the Celtics might be exhausted with their long minutes: Rondo went for 43, Pierce 42 and even Garnett hit 40, which was only the second time all season he’s played that long. But a gang of exhausted Celtics rode back to the hotel last night with a clear understanding that they’d not be deeded a date with the Bulls in the second round, they’d have to bash and smash for it.

That might be the best thing that could have happened last night.

For better or for worse (mostly worse), this Celtics team has spent the last three seasons looking past lesser competition. There’s no worry of that happening again this series. The Hawks made sure of that last night.

We’ve got a host of additional thoughts coming later today, including Rondo talk and some grudging respect for Josh Smith, who made a number of bad shots and good passes last night.

  • Lantrell Walker

    No need for anyone to use this game to make a mountain out of molehill, C's got punched in the mouth last night, it is what it is, one game at a time. Each & every playoff game has it's own identity, so I expect to see maximum effort from our boys on Tuesday night now that the feeling out process is over & they're more settled in. Atlanta threw the first punch in the barfight, but now it's time for us to get up, dust our selves off & throw our Heineken right in their eyes as we tackle them to the floor.

    #WeBelieveIn18

  • IBleedGreen

    NOOOO!!!!! The Tueaday game is in NBA TV!!??? WTF!!?? That means I can’t watch it!!!!

    • noche

      You should also be able to watch it on CSN if you are in New England. All of the first round games are also on local broadcasting. If not there are several ways you can stream them online if you don't mind skirting the grey line of internet law.

      • IBleedGreen

        I don't live in New England and I am traveling this week for work. The hotel doesn't have NBA TV and their Internet is too slow for streaming. FML.

        • noche

          Looks like your options are watching the ESPN Gamecast or finding yourself a bar with NBA TV. I was in South America for the 2010 playoffs so i feel your pain. I spent a lot of time in Gringo bars watching satellite feeds.

  • IBleedGreen

    Celtics is better than the hawks. But are we that much better, I am not sure, especially without home court. This series has game 7 written all over it.

  • skeeds

    for all the bashing the C's took last night, it really came down to a couple of missed shots again. Yes, Johnson played PP really tight, but there were at least 4 wide open 3's he'd make 9/10 times, and last night just didn't.

    What became obvious last night is that unfortunately, we can't expect an offensive boost out of any role player. If KG and Pierce are playing well, then yes, Bass, Pietrus and Bradley will find the opportunities to score. But with those 2 out of sync, not even Rondo's explosive scoring can start things up…

    • OKCeltic

      I agree skeeds. Plus, you don't expect to see Teague and Hinrich to everything they threw toward the rim. It will even out which works towards the C's favor. Cs in six.

  • Hawks Corey

    You people are delusional. Rondo should be suspended!! You can’t touch the refs!!! Period!! If we come up there 2 and 0 the series will be over.

    • CelticsBIG3

      No one in here even mentioned the Rondo bump, and most of us probably believe he is going to get a one game suspension… Go back to your Hawks forum.

      • Sean

        That aside, you CAN touch the refs. Basically the rule is that you can't intentionally touch them.

        That's what the bump comes down to, and why there's a slight chance that Rondo won't be suspended

        (He claims there was no intention and that it was momentum. I thought the same thing when I saw the play, but anyone who thinks Rondo is a hot-head or a punk is going to see it differently.)

        So, relax, nobody's delusional, they just know the rule allows for unintentional contact, and that this wasn't really certain (it's not like Rondo punched the ref or shoved him).

  • Hawks Corey

    Free world playa!!! This forum is open to all with internet connection, smartphone, etc………. ha ha ha

    • IBleedGreen

      Can't argue with that…lol

    • CelticsBIG3

      You can post whenever you want, just don't post things about stuff people aren't even discussing. What brings you here? Getting scared that your team could barely hold us off last night after a tremendous start? Frightened that you should have blown us out and didn't despite a 13-38 shooting night from PP and KG?

    • janos

      This typicales hawk fan, win game one series one and puff chest.

      Celtics NBA don't even get out bed for less than east finals, ok /

  • Hawks Corey

    Sir or madam. If you read the other posts on this site you will clearly read(lol) about rondo and his “bump”. So. Since it is the SAME blog discussing yesterdays game then I CAN give my opinion about the game, the incident, and the series as a whole. Thank you very much. Oh. And have a nice day. See. We CAN disagree without hatred.

    • High Rollers

      Sorry Hawks, but the message wasn't hatred. It was that we all have a sense of what's coming for Rondo, that it's likely a one-game suspension because of the specificity of the rules, and that basically it's a bummer… except that we believe in the other guys on this team just as much as we believe in Rondo so don't be surprised when we spend our words sticking up for them. Just like Doc did last night after the game. In my experience, everybody's welcome here, but you gotta be ready for some comebacks. You say that we're delusional about Rondo and that if we go home down two it's all over. What kind of response besides take-that-back-to-your-Hawks-fans did you expect?

    • Anthony

      You are certainly entitled to post your opinion. But Boston can beat the Hawks even if Rondo is suspended the entire series. Though that's unlikely since at most he will get 1 or 2 game suspension.

      Boston 2nd unit can compete with Hawks 1st unit as you saw last week when Avery Bradley scored 28pts. Ray should be back by game 3 also. Everyone on your team, outside of Joe Johnson had decent to great game and if you're a real Hawks fan, you know that's unsustainable. When was the last time Hinrich shot 4-6 from 3?

  • High Rollers

    Who's up for a Bradley/Pietrus backcourt in G2? And if Ray still can't go, Sasha's definitely going to get the call. Get ready for some serious D!

    • CG12

      I was bummed we never saw the defensive dream team of Bradley-MP-Sasha-Garnett-Stiemsma. I hope we do in the next few games.

  • Josh

    Sasha = gawbage.

    • High Rollers

      I saw at least one tremendously good one-on-one defensive stand from Sasha last night. If/when he gets real minutes (a.k.a. Game 2), multiply that by five or ten. He is a gawbage man. He does the dirty work, and he does it pretty darn well.

  • lakershater13

    Rondo should not be suspended. Had the ref called out of bounds off atlanta the previous play that rondo outbreak never happens. League needs to own up to mistakes they make as well.

    • Sean

      Meh can't go down that slope. I agree that he shouldn't be suspended, but only because he didn't intentionally bump into the ref. I saw it as reflexive, that he was going forward, tripped a bit, caught himself, but had forward momentum. Instead of putting his hands out (would have been a clear "intentional" thing, he pulled his arms and shoulders back, which led to chest bumping.

  • ripsonics

    with ray ray on the floor – shit will open up. we need that damn ankle to get right.

    • High Rollers

      You said it. But even last night we had some really good looks at times, wide open stuff. I especially remember being frustrated with the Captain for his misses. But it's gonna happen to this team every once in a while. More often than not though, open shots mean makes for this group.

  • Zee

    Like I said on Facebook yesterday (and some thought it was a lame excuse)… The Celtics were bored playing the Hawks in the 1st quarter. I actually think they were happy that the Hawks actually "showed up." So, now we have a series! Celtics win the next four games.

  • High Rollers

    I've never see Doc this supportive of Rondo. I think this season really did something for their relationship. Sounds 100% in his corner today. Maybe it's the way he came back a stronger leader after the All-Star break. Maybe it's the KG effect. I don't know, but I like it!

  • CelticsBIG3

    Report is suspension is coming. One game.

    • Lantrell Walker

      Don't like the suspension, but I do like the fact that the league didn't overreact to this situation. The boys will be fine on Tuesday & they'll give Atlanta their all, now that this whole thing is out & over with lets all just concentrate on cheering & willing the C's on so that they come back to the jungle with a split.

      #WeBelieveIn18
      #FreeRondo

      • CelticsBIG3

        Here! Here! Lets go get Paul Pierce the point guard geared up!

  • http://www.ignitemybutt.com/ Make Extra Money

    I have no worry about this.I am worried about who is going to be win.thanks for resolve this issues.Hope, my favorite players will be win.

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/translation-news-by-convocco-ltd convocco

    Yippee !!! Celtics won this game but unfortunately, I heard the news suspension is coming related to one game.I hope, it will be resolve soon and update me time to time.

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