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Our good friend, Shotgun, over at the Blue Workhorse Blog recently put up an article where he addressed 33 points about the Hawks and Celtics round one playoff match up. There were several of these points that I agree with and I think most others who watched the series would also agree with. However, there are a few other points I would look in the opposite direction that Shotgun has.
1. Point 7 had to due Mike Bibby’s comments about the Boston fans being bandwagon jumpers this season. It’s true that there were probably more fans this season than last, but it’s hard to watch a team that only wins 24 games in a season. It’s very frustrating for the die hard fans, like myself, to torture themselves by watching their team lose game after game after game. So the Celtics start winning again and the fans come back. These fans may have jumped on some sort of bandwagon at the beginning of the season but at least they have been there all year long. The Hawks seemed to just draw fans when they clinched the last seed in the playoffs.
2. Point 5 had to due with the suspension of players in this series that did not happen. In last year’s playoffs Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw were suspended during the playoffs, for something similar to the events in the Celtics/Hawks series. The fact that no player was suspended does not have to do with Commissioner David Stern wanting a Celtics/Lakers NBA finals. I think it has to due with him realizing that this is not the regular season anymore. This is playoff basketball where sparks fly and tensions rise between the teams that can often lead to some scuffles. If actual fighting had broken out, I think there may have been need for some suspensions. However, most of the things that happened were not incredibly out of line.
3. Point 12 by Shotgun is one that I agree with and I think needs to addressed. He mentioned that Ray Allen’s legs looked tired late in some of the games, but yet he would still be the one taking the shot at the end. I really disagreed with Allen shooting the ball in the final seconds for the win in game 6. The team could have easily tied it with a drive to the basket, and even when Allen did shoot the ball he did not take his time and left about 15 seconds or so on the shot clock. This is where Eddie House needs to come back into games and start getting some minutes again. If the Celtics are that determined to get late three-pointers, then bring Eddie in for the fast paced three point shooting. As much as I love Ray, I know he cannot always be the savior.
4. The flagrant foul on Marvin Williams in game 7 was Shotgun’s 22nd point. He believes that it should have been a flagrant 1 foul as opposed to the flagrant 2 foul that it was called. I think the right call was made in giving out the flagrant 2 foul. Rondo and Williams were all by themselves at that end of the court and there was absolutely no need for the way he fouled Rondo. If you look at Williams’ arms, they are wrapped around both sides of Rajon and he brought him down hard to the floor. I can see Williams possibly trying to grab the ball and fouling him and bringing him down to the ground which would result in a flagrant 1 foul, but this was too much.
5. Point 23 had to do with local announcing and broadcasting. Now I cannot speak for the Hawks local announcing but I do know that the Celtics local announcing of Mike Gorman, Tom Heinsohn, and occasionally Donny Marshall is a pretty stand-up act. Gorman does a very good job of announcing and calling the game as it happens and usually lets the color commentators, Heinsohn and Marshall, get involved in their emotions. I believe that local broadcasting is the best way the games can be called and that the big networks usually have horrible commentators. I hate watching baseball when Joe Buck, Jon Miller, or Joe Morgan are involved. In any sport I’ll take local broadcasting over anything else.
6. In point 26 Shotgun talks about Boston being more aggressive when they drive to the basket. This is another point that I completely agree with. Throughout the series I noticed the Celtics are much more effective when they drive to the basket and at points they seemed to forget that. A lot of jump shots were taken in the games they lost. The Celtics need to realize that when they drive they can score in the paint a lot more than most other teams, plus they’ll usually draw a foul as well. Which leads me to Shotgun’s next point.
7. Shotgun mentioned the difference in the amount of free throws from both the Hawks and the Celtics. The Hawks had many more free throws because they were able to draw more fouls by getting to the basket when they needed to. In Game 7, however, they did not do that and just put up useless jump shots. The Celtics will need to attack this way in the rest of the playoffs more consistently if they want to go anywhere.
8. Finally, Shotgun mentioned something about the future of these teams in point 31. It’s true that the Celtics are an aging team, minus players like Leon Powe, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, Gabe Pruitt, etc. The Hawks are a young and athletic team that I have said before will go somewhere with a little bit more development. They are going to a be team to watch the next few years once they have all the right tools. This playoff series was a good learning experience for some of their young guys and now they will be ready for the future.
Shotgun made some good points and some bad points in his article. Some of these concerns can probably be carried over once the final results of the Cleveland/Boston Round 2 series are in. That, however, is something that we will just have to wait and see.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Celtics, David Stern, Donny Marshall, Eddie House, Gabe Pruitt, Glen Big Baby Davis, Joe Buck, Joe Morgan, Jon Miller, Kevin Garnett, Lakers, Leon Powe, Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby, Mike Gorman, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Tom Heinsohn