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Game Three: Hawks (1-1) @ Celtics (1-1) Open Thread

 


Game 3
Hawks @ Celtics
7:30 PM EST
TD Garden
CSNNE/ESPN

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston:
101.0 points per 100 possessions (24th)
Atlanta: 104.9 points per 100 possessions (16th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston:
98.2 points allowed per 100 possessions (2nd)
Atlanta: 101.2 poitns allowed per 100 possessions (6th)

Probable Hawks starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Kirk Hinrich (SG), Joe Johnson (SF), Marvin Williams (PF), Jason Collins (C)

UPDATED Injury Report: Ray Allen is a continued question mark with his ankle injury. Josh Smith is OUT.

Thumbnail: At this time on Tuesday, Celtics fans were a stressful bunch, awaiting a loss that would’ve been a major nail in the Big 3 era’s coffin. Their starting backcourt was Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus, and by the third quarter Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic were a regular part of the rotation.

Here we are, 72 hours later, back in Boston with the an even series, a (relatively) full roster, and uncontrollable momentum on the Celtics’ side. My, how the tables have turned! Josh Smith, undoubtedly the best player Atlanta’s had in this series, will either miss a game (or two), or be severely limited with a knee injury for the rest of the series. (Side note: Every player in the league who spends significant time with Kevin Garnett as their primary defender needs to be 100% healthy in order to have an impact, especially in the playoffs.)

Hawks fans will point to Boston’s Game 2 performance as a hopeful sign that unlikely events can happen in any playoff series. But, fortunately for the Celtics, the Hawks do not have an All-World offensive atom bomb like Paul Pierce in tow. Atlanta has nobody on their roster who’s shown an ability to step up and deliver in career-defining moments like this one would be. Joe Johnson is a scorer with limitless ability, but on the road, facing the league’s best defense on a single-minded mission, the chance of him leading his team to victory are all but zero. The other option here is Jeff Teague, and with Bradley proving he’s more than up for the assignment, Atlanta will find themselves facing an uphill climb with no horses to ride.

UPDATED Prediction: Celtics 92, Hawks 78

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

  • High Rollers

    No horses, and the C's aren't about to lend them their grappling hooks. Gotta be single-minded tonight. One mind, one goal.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    12 grits, 24 balls

  • skeeds

    Well, there's about 0 chance we can be worse on offense from what we've been as far. Especially from range. It's much more likely that gradually (and with Rondo in the driving seat) our guys will start finding a rhythm with their shots. Ray or no Ray. (Yes Ray. HELL YES Ray)

    And since we've proven all season long, but especially in the last game, that our defense is the best in the league no matter what, (no Rondo, no Pietrus for 3 quarters and Bradley's bad job on Teague corrected by Dooling), we SHOULD NOT lose a game, definitely not at home.

    Actually, if nothing unexpected happens, we should be able to win a series against any team in the east, except maybe Miami. They're the only team in the conference who's offense might be better than our defense. So let's see what we do against them in the Conference Finals. Oh yes. I'm calling it.

  • ElRoz

    1. Play with urgency on defense
    2. Take care of the ball on offense

    3. Stay healthy and avoid any mishaps – come out as healthy as you came in (that's more of a hope rather than a task).

  • darren-a

    We should expect to see a motivated Rondo tonight and 4 quarters of suffocating D.

  • srb

    Pina I like your writing so far on CelticsHub, but wow, cliche much?

    If Josh can't play are they likely to give Radmonovic some minutes?

    • High Rollers

      Can't speak for Mighty P, but you gotta bring up the cliches in order to pierce 'em. Just ask The Truth.

  • I_Love_Green

    Rondo is gonna come back with a vengeance tonight!

    16 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds!

    LETS GO CELTICS!!

    • janos

      this very smart post , and true post.

      • High Rollers

        He was boardin' like a maniac by the end. 14 big ones total!

  • Tha_Curtlandish

    That prediction seems a little modest. I want a double-digit win.

  • Anthony

    Just watch NBA countdown on ESPN and according to Chris Broussard's "source", he said Ray is highly interested in going to Miami next season. Just adds to my dislike of Broussard's reporting which hasn't been correct for

  • Anthony

    much of this season. But nevertheless, it has got me thinking what if Ray actually does go to Miami next season? Just want to know what are other people's take on this hopefully incorrect rumor.

    • High Rollers

      Sounds like a plant to me.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Chris Broussard is an asshole. Numerous thumbs up welcome.

  • someguyinsac

    It's so AWESOME to see Ray back on the floor and scoring too!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Fo sho. I was wearing my pierce jersey until i heard ray was gonna play. made an insta-change

  • LStrike

    Stiemsma is playing some pretty bad defense tonight.

    • CelticsBIG3

      I disagree. His turnback on McGrady was ill

  • CG12

    Cs are going to win big tonight. Just a feeling.

  • CG12

    Bass is having another lousy night. If he isn’t hitting 15-footers, he isn’t giving you anything.

  • tomrod

    a lot of match up problems. Gotta bring in more effort to beat them.

  • JR99

    some truly frightening offensive droughts… that one between the 2st and 2nd quarters… wow, that was bad

    • JR99

      *1st and 2nd

  • skeeds

    Ah damn… Even though he was having a great game against us, you gotta hate McGrady going down again. Such a shame, for a guy that in his healthy days was the closest thing to MJ this league had seen…

    It's a lethargic game, both ways. Someone has to up the energy levels. (hint:Rondo)

    Other than that, RAY'S BACK BABY!!!!

    • JR99

      Yeah… hate to see Tracy go down like that. Enough's enuf. Cs need competition, not gifts

  • I_Love_Green

    Man that was a sluggish first half! I mean lazy turnovers, no effort on the boards, barely any ball movement, some SOFT ASS DEFENSE, and it just looks like we expected to come out and win this easily.

    WE CANNOT LOSE THIS GAME COME ON GUYS

  • Chris

    Anyone else feel like Rondo is really laboring with his back? He's not running with the pace he's capable of, and most of his movements look really stiff. There have been a handful of opportunities for him to use his speed to push the pace in transition but he's not accelerating to CREATE passing angles, he's passively waiting for them to open up instead…

    Celtics needs All-Star level Rondo to make any real noise.

    • Chris

      Mmmm – he turned it up in the 4th quarter. It's amusing how he can seem to casually waltz into a triple-double sometimes…

      Still worried about his back =[, though it should the be the sort of thing that'll improve as the playoffs move along…

  • tomrod

    Finally some offense! way to go Rondo!

  • CG12

    PP with a monster 3. Rondo has raised his game. He is even playing a little defense.

    • skeeds

      that better be the assist of the night!

  • WTF

    Damn, it's all started with that Rondo crazy air ball.

  • JR99

    Unbelievable. It's like the Celtics just don't give a damn. Like they WANT to lose. Just unreal. WORST GAME YET

  • someguyinsac

    Ray for the game winning shot, right?

    • someguyinsac

      Guess my psychic skills need more practice. =)

  • WTF

    overtime almost definitely.

  • tomrod

    damn it PP, about time

  • someguyinsac

    YES! And a high five for Rondo for getting his triple double as someone else here said he would.

  • skeeds

    whew… Bad, bad game all around, but hey, a win's a win!

  • WTF

    Finally! But unnecessary burn on the old bodies may comes back hunt the Cs Sunday.

  • CelticsBIG3

    HELL F' N YEA LETS GO. THAT WAS NERVE RACKING I NEED A BEER AND A SHOT

  • Anthony

    Wow… a lot more difficult than I anticipated but all grits and balls.

    Hope it's easier on Sunday.

    Have a good nite everyone!

  • High Rollers

    Won that one with our grappling hooks for sure. More specifically, KG's unbelievable put-back slam off of Rondo's missed okydoke. Now that's teamwork, baby!

  • Switcharoo

    WOW!!! Definitely pulled that one out of the fire. I thought they had it locked towards the tail end of the 4th, maybe they did too which allowed just enough room for ATL to tie it up. Glad to see Allen out there tonight, he didn’t look all that rusty for someone who hasn’t played in 3 weeks and still has ankle issues. Rondo with the triple dub gotta love that, but he did look a little stiff running the floor. All grit and balls man, now up 2-1 I can’t wait for Sunday, and with Smith probably coming back it’s gonna be tight. LET’S GO CELTICS!!!

  • JR99

    KG played hard. Rondo was sometimes great (mostly late in game). Bradley always works hard. Everybody else — sleepwalkers. Worst playoff game I've seen in a long time

  • ElRoz

    Brandon Bass – WHERE ARE YOU?!

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