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Chair Shot! Celtics 101, Hawks 79

 
Atlanta Hawks 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce, SF 17 MIN | 10-13 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 24 PTS | +33

24 points on only 13 shots. 24 points in only 17 minutes. 24 points despite shooting with half the Hawks roster closing on him or hanging on his shooting hand. 24 points despite taking a series of difficult fadeaways and off-balance shots that you sorta only like because they went in. Well, results trump all and on this night, so did Pierce.

Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +28

Another marginal night from Bass, whose offense remains M.I.A. and not in the Sri Lankan pop star way. He was more aggressive tonight and Rondo found him some open shots but the breakthrough may not come until the second round. Worked hard on defense and, at least to me, seemed to lose himself less than usual.

Kevin Garnett, PF 27 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +33

My favorite part of KG’s whole night was that he only played 27 minutes. Also, he shot 75% from the field. That was pretty good, too.

Rajon Rondo, PG 35 MIN | 8-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 3 REB | 16 AST | 20 PTS | +27

What did you like best? The 16-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio? The dazzling array of knockdown jumpers? The best-in-ages perimeter defense to key the early run? An untouchable effort from RR, who would have gone 25-25 had this game been more competitive in the second half.

Avery Bradley, SG 19 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +22

Both teams play hard (sometimes) but nobody seems to play as hard as Bradley who, long after the game was out of reach, went to the floor three times in a minute and shoulder-tackled the upright basket support column. Related: I’m not sure upright basket support column is the proper name, but the C’s won by 22 so who the hell cares?

Ray Allen, SG 19 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +1

A really nice night for Allen, who got a lot more done than just shooting and who can put comparisons to KG in ’09 and Shaq in ’11 to rest. He’s back and unless something goes sideways tomorrow on recovery day, the Celtics have a dangerous weapon on the bench, and a hedge against Bradley snapping in half.

Keyon Dooling, PG 12 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -5

Playing his best basketball of the season and despite needing 16 seconds to unload a three-point-shot, is seeing them find twine after a long stretch of nothing. And all that seemingly spurious Doc Rivers talk about his defensive impact? Turns out there was something behind it after all.

Marquis Daniels, SG 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -2

No individual Daniels performance in the last three years sticks out. Neither did this one. But it’s nice to see him back, contributing and looking as impassive as ever.

Mickael Pietrus, SF 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

A nearly empty stat line pulls him ahead of Brandon Bass for most disappointing first round. I assume somebody will mention his defense in the comments.

Greg Stiemsma, C 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4

The numbers don’t do him justice. He was rotating and deterring to great impact in the first half. In fact, he looked more spry than pretty much any Hawk, which, given the athleticism deficit, is a pretty solid achievement.

  • High Rollers

    I think the headband provides different powers to each player. For Paul, it’s offense. For Rajon, it’s D. 9 was super pesty out there tonight. Totally agree with Ryan.

  • C's Fan 18

    Whoa, the celtics are turning scary,and Wow RR is really a beast, he got good numbers in 3 games he played. And the 3 old timers? yeah keep calling them that, but they still got game, yeah !

    Go C's…..

  • Jzm

    Stiemsma has very active hands. I counted at least 2 steals and 2 deflections.

    • Ryan DeGama

      Yup. The word I should have used was instinctive. He looks like he's just playing, unlike earlier in the season. Benefit of reps is you don't have to think as much.

      • onecowboytoo

        And benefit of feet that are cooperating too.

  • HeartofKG

    Love the Reggie Miller Chair shot reference.

    "You should never be defending or fouling Rajon Rondo when he's pulling up for a jumpshot. He's got about a good of a jumpshot as this chair I'm sitting on right here."

    Love that guy's commentary

  • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

    Stanchion, Ryan. Stanchion.

    (I looked it up so I could Tweet it out after Bradley hit it.)

  • janos

    Hi ryan, is janos
    Is fair and good post, team grade. now, come out party rondos. Whole lesgue see now what know, we long time. Rondos bring some time shake head him play, but ultimate potentials and deliver time, again to level higher , most. I am so happy, proud him tonight, game. I dont know how i will react when go deep in play of, i am so excite already.

  • Lantrell Walker

    The amount of energy the C's played with was awesome, Rondo was VERY active on D & the Captain was on fire. Great game overall, but even greater was the fact that Garnett, Pierce & Allen weren't pushed to the brink in this one(neither of them played more than 30 minutes). Great contributions from all around & Rondo just continues to spread the wealth.

    #WeBelieveIn18

  • Phil

    I'm so impressed with how much the key players for the Celtics have stepped up in the playoffs. They look relieved that they don't have to pace themselves anymore, they can just go all out. I don't know how long they can keep playing at this level (though I'm pretty confident that playoff Rondo is here for good now,) but hopefully the extra days off help.

    The awesome play from the big players has really masked a lot of 'meh' to 'bad' for the role players though. Hopefully they level off before fatigue and regression catch up with the others.

  • Phil

    Also, really tough to pick a player of the game tonight. Rondo dominated the entire game, so I'd probably give it to him, but Pierce broke the Hawks back with his hot shooting. That was one of the most devastating 17 minute performances you'll ever see.

  • felix

    best moment of the game: Garnett cheering for the benchplayers with pride and passion late in the third, when it was basically all over.
    worst (two) moments of the game: Hawks superstars on the bench, smiling and laughing despite being down by 30 something….and then walking off while the second unit is still on the floor…..tells you a lot about that team…..
    Rondo!!! Pierce!!! Garnett!! Allen!!!

    • Lantrell Walker

      Joe Johnson's disappearing act(8 FGA!?!?!?) & glum look towards the tail end have gotta be down there with the lowlights as well.

  • W2.

    Joe Johnson = Reminder of how not to spend money. Trust in Danny.

  • tbunny

    Again, I don't trust Joe Johnson.

  • CG12

    I was delighted (and stunned) to see Rondo playing some actual D out there, for the first time in approximately 3 years. This team's defense can be just amazing when they are locked in. My appreciation for the Stiemer as a defender continues to grow. He isn't just a weak-side shot blocker – he knows how to play team defense and can really make the other teams big guys uncomfortable. I love seeing KG and Stiemsma out there together.

  • zach

    You can make the case this team is better than the 2008 team. Amazingly, the big 3 have not slipped, and RR is light years better, plus with AB I think we are better defensively. The only weakness is the backup 4/5.

  • Tha_Curtlandish

    The Celtics organization needs to snap a new mugshot of the Steimboat. He looks like some kind of scrawny serial killer. Also, no soul patch. On TV he looks way beefier and steamy.

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