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Celtics Embarrass Themselves in Atlanta

Joe Johnson….for three!…..and for Game 7.

Yep, unbelievable. The Hawks hung in with the Celtics all game long. They were down by double digits, then battled back to four or five point deficits. The Celts entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead, but the Hawks chipped away until they took the lead and held it for good in a 103-100 win.

The C’s had a chance late: down by two points with about 20 seconds left. They ran a predictable play that saw a couple players dish the ball then throw it up to Ray Allen for the three-point attempt. Klang. Terrible play to draw up in that situation. They really could’ve used Paul Pierce in that instance, who fouled out earlier in the quarter.

The Celtics really scared me with how poorly they played in the fourth quarter. On the road, they slipped into a lull of outside shots and perimeter passing. That equates to no pressure inside, which is how you finish games against aggressive teams in the playoffs. Losing Paul Pierce for a portion of the fourth was devastating for the Celts, as they lost their one true slasher toward the hoop. Without that, they settled for outside shots all the time. Kevin Garnett just can’t do it all by himself.

KG looked like a rookie in the fourth quarter. He made a few awful passes to go along with questionable shot selection. Garnett looked like he was nervous and/or scared to win the series on the road in front of a hostile crowd. Pierce seemed like the only one that wanted to win…so much so that when he fouled out, he wouldn’t stop arguing and received a technical foul (and the technical was very childish…especially for a “captain”). To quote Celts announcer Mike Gorman at that moment: “The wheels are coming off the bus now.”

See you all in Game 7. Here are a few thoughts:

  • I don’t have much confidence at all in the Celtics winning this series, though it’s comforting to know it’s at home.
  • If the Celtics lose Game 7 in Boston on Sunday, the guy I said should be NBA Coach of the Year, Doc Rivers, could and should be fired. I strongly believe that.
  • Even if they win Game 7…I have very little confidence in the Celtics beating the Cavs. My early prediction would be Celtics winning in 7 games against the Cavs, but I’ll know more when I see Game 7. Who knows…my prediction could become Cavs over Hawks in 6.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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4 comments for “Celtics Embarrass Themselves in Atlanta”

  1. Ack…no excuses, the Celtics deserved to lose tonight. Where are the points in the paint? This isn’t the three-point shooting contest. The Celtics seemed to lose their composure in the 4th.

    We are in a tough spot for Sunday.

    Posted by Chris | May 2, 2008, 11:18 pm
  2. thoughts…


    2.) Embarrassing

    3.) Free throw discrpency has nothing to do with refs, wayyyy too much jump shooting


    5.) Sam Cassell playing in the stretch is okay in some situations, but Rondo NEEDS to be in the game because of his slashing ability

    6.) The sixth foul call on Pierce was BS, but he lost his cool yet again in a playoff game


    8.) Though they don’t show up usually, the crowd in Atlanta seemed more frenzied than any NBA crowd I’ve seen in a long time

    9.) They’ll take care of the Hawks in Game 7 and probly win by 20, but three road losses is very disconcerting

    10.) The lack of composure on the floor in the fourth quarter was staggering last night


    12.) Doc’s job is and should be on the line Sunday afternoon.

    Posted by Jeff | May 3, 2008, 8:11 am
  3. I couldn’t agree more with both KC and Jeff concerning game 6. The really bizarre part of it all is that EVERYONE can see exactly what’s going on here, with the exception, evidently, of Doc Rivers. The sight of Sam Cassell once again starting the fourth quarter by walking the ball up the court had me screaming at the television set. Once again, Doc allowed it to continue for half the quarter while Rondo sat on the bench. If you must give Rondo an extended rest (for God knows what reason) in every fourth quarter, at least put Eddie House in (yes, Jeff, you’re absolutely right) and attempt to get some semblance of attack in your heralded “attack” offense.
    I might also ask why players who make millions of dollars a year can’t play more minutes in a critical game. Are these guys just showing their age, or what? What is Doc saving them for – next year?
    Even should they win on Sunday, the Celtics are now in the unenviable position of having shown themselves to be totally vulnerable to any aggressive, athletic team. Remember how the Celts looked against Washington and Orlando in the regular season? Evidently Atlanta sure remembers, and they’re so confident now that they could easily grab a game in Boston.
    It’s suddenly looking like Doc Rivers losing Coach of the Year was actually the correct decision.

    Posted by Ken Taubenfeld | May 3, 2008, 9:16 am
  4. KC, I appreciate your candidness even while discussing your own team. It is a relief to find a blog that isn’t so homeristic that it gives no good information. keep up the great work.

    Posted by Shotgun | May 5, 2008, 7:30 pm

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