Atlanta Hawks: Celtics 79, Hawks 76

  • This was a typical game of late for the Hawks against good competition. You can’t fault their effort, especially because they were missing three rotation players (not counting Al Horford) and playing the second night of a back-to-back. They didn’t fold when the Celtics took a15-point lead in the fourth quarter and their arena sounded as if they were playing on the road.
  • But you can find plenty not to like about Atlanta’s execution. Or, in the case of Jeff Teague’s 3-point try that missed everything by a good five feet, you can find fault with their failure to finish good opportunities. Josh Smith’s exasperation with that final play spoke volumes.
  • Teague: “I overshot it. I thought I was farther than I was. It happens. I knew they were going to double team Joe [Johnson] and either me or Josh would get a shot. Seeing that there was a big guy flying at me, I just tried to get it up. That caused me to shoot it higher and longer.”
  • Doc Rivers: “Teague got a wide-open shot and we got lucky on that part of it. We wanted to have them dribble it up and foul them once they got to half court. Clearly we didn’t do a good job of that.”
  • Joe’s shot-making display in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to salvage an awful offensive game for the Hawks. The Celtics remain a top defensive team and the Hawks continue to struggle to score against such opponents.
  • “We have to have good movement,” Joe said. “We have got to make hard cuts. We don’t do that against the good teams that have great defense. It’s going to be tough to score. It was tonight. I look at certain possessions, sometimes we don’t make hard cuts. Against the upper-echelon teams you have to move, cut fast because when you get a little crease and a little crack you have to take advantage of it.”
  • Larry Drew: “Noticeably, we didn’t hold screens. They were really fighting through them, particularly when we were trying to free shooters up like Joe. You have to set the screen and hold the screen. You can’t allow them to come through it. If they come through it, it’s a foul. Particularly in the first half we didn’t do a good job with that that’s why every time Joe caught the ball there was somebody there guarding him.”
  • Joe couldn’t finish some good chances around the basket early. He caught fire from the outside in the fourth quarter but it was too late. He only got 6 shots in the period while Teague missed 4 of 5 and Josh missed all three of his attempts.
  • When he came out for the postgame, Joe looked at the stat sheet and cursed out loud at his seven turnovers. He did have six rebounds and baited Paul Pierce into foul trouble.
  • Josh made his first three jump shots and then didn’t make another. But it looked to me that a good number of those misses were the function of bad offense leading to a low-percentage shot rather than settling by Josh. That doesn’t include his missed 3-point try in the fourth quarter when he was going for the kill shot.
  • Teague had eight points on 13 shots and three assists against two turnovers. Drew spent most of the night barking at him to go get the ball from his teammates and push it when he got it. You see Teague flush on Allen and show some fire and wonder why he can’t be like that more often.
  • Don’t discount the effect that Zaza Pachulia leaving the game had on Atlanta’s offensive stagnation late in the third quarter. It’s not just that Jason Collins offers little offensively, it’s also that Zaza keeps the offense moving in the high post. He had 13 rebounds, four on offense.
  • Kirk Hinrich started off strong defensively while chasing Ray Allen around the typical gauntlet of screens, but then he appeared to get lost when Allen made a pair of 3s during the decisive 17-2 run. “We had a miscommunication on one coverage, and it led to Ray making a couple baskets for them, and the next thing you know they were up 14 points. But we responded and still had a chance. It’s just a tough loss altogether.”
  • Tracy McGrady was drafted to play on the second game of a back-to-back because of all the team’s injuries. He didn’t have much lift in his legs while playing 14 minutes. McGrady couldn’t set up teammates like usual, either.
  • Jerry Stackhouse had a mismatch against Keyon Dooling and took advantage by twice scoring over him with baseline jumpers.
  • Ivan Johnson still has too many uncertain offensive moments.
  • Boston continues to creep up on the Hawks in the East while Atlanta needs to make a run to catch the Magic.
  • Pierce: “We have about 20 games left so this is the stretch run. Every game can put up one spot in the standings is what it seems like these days, so every game is big.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

114 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 19th, 2012
11:43 pm

n-trigue

March 19th, 2012
11:48 pm

2nd that Fire LD!

n-trigue

March 19th, 2012
11:49 pm

Our coach loss this gm! Now riding with the starters to start the 4th!

n-trigue

March 19th, 2012
11:50 pm

Meant not riding the starters to start the 4th that was the game changer this Gm!

Rev in Tampa

March 19th, 2012
11:51 pm

I did not get to watch the game tonight. I only got to check the score on my blackberry every 20 minutes or so, but I have a couple of observations from the box score that surprise me:

First, Marvin DID NOT PLAY even though the Hawks are so short-handed. WOW! When LD banished you to the dog house he chains you up.

Second, Josh’s stat line is horrible:

5-20 shooting
0-3 from 3pt.
NO FREE THROW ATTEMPTS!!! That’s worse than missing all your free throws – especially for a PF. Inexcusible.
Only ONE offensive rebound.
NO blocked shots.

Third, it was a low scoring game. Neither team eclipsed 80. Was it a defensive war or a sloppily played offensive game?

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

March 20th, 2012
12:00 am

Excuses Excuses

FIRE SUND

n-trigue

March 20th, 2012
12:03 am

Fire Ld!!! Fire Sund!!!

Roger That

March 20th, 2012
12:03 am

weve got to figure out a way to get rid of projects Like Jeff teague and Al horford. Its just no way we can get out of the second round with these head cases.

Roger That

March 20th, 2012
12:06 am

We lost the game in the back court. JJ,Josh and Zaza Outscored the boston front court but our back court was beaten by 18 pts.

Again weve got to get rid of Projects like Al Horford and Jeff Teague.

Buzzy

March 20th, 2012
12:08 am

ZAZA>>Horford

Jay Dubu

March 20th, 2012
12:09 am

Living in the Northeast, I watched the game on the Celtics network. All night long, Donny Marshall was saying that Josh made his 1st 3 shots and then proceeded to miss the rest of his jumpers, just as stated in the blog…that is incorrect. With the score 2 zip Hawks, Josh missed a jumper.

I know it’s a little thing, but let’s get it right.

Now…Josh takes absolutely too many jumpers. The defense lags off of him, as he hang around the 3 point line. That’s why he’s always so open out there.

He needs a couch that will position him so that he’s playing in the low block. Very few teams have playes that want to play down low on the offensive end. Everybody wants to be a jump shooter. No way 6′11” + players should be playing around the 3 point line all the time.

Josh tries to push the tempo. WHen he gets a rebound, instead of passing it to the gaurd so that the offense can get set, he brings the ball up court himself. He’s a great talent, but he needs someone that can help him reach his full potential.

If he wants to shoot jumpers, he needs to work with a shooting coach as much as possible during and after the season.

Teague has to play better than he did tonight in order for this team to have any chance at competing in the playoffs. It was more than just the airball 3 pointer at the end of the game.

And where is Marvin Williams….is he injuried also?

Najeh Davenpoop

March 20th, 2012
12:11 am

“First, Marvin DID NOT PLAY even though the Hawks are so short-handed. WOW! When LD banished you to the dog house he chains you up.”

Marvin was injured.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 20th, 2012
12:12 am

Josh shot most of those jumpers because he couldn’t get post position against KG and caught the ball too far away from the basket as a result. He should have found teammates instead of shooting many of those jumpers, but KG deserves a lot of credit for Josh’s bad shooting game.

62-39-5

March 20th, 2012
12:14 am

WTH? Teague shooting the 3

northcyde

March 20th, 2012
12:14 am

The funny thing is, we missed Marvin tonight, but no one will ever admit to that.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

March 20th, 2012
12:16 am

teague has no jumper period even before the airball 3..another acie law in the making

supaficial

March 20th, 2012
12:19 am

Where’s the identity of this team
Anyone let me know

Jay Dubu

March 20th, 2012
12:20 am

If you guess im the troll who is spewing hate on Josh, you are right.

Trolls Unite!!

Panty-action

March 20th, 2012
12:22 am

This team would win 73-75 games if Al was here to get the rebound.

EmirS.

March 20th, 2012
12:22 am

Again, we had Pierce in foul trouble….

We should have took advantage of him being off the court and extended the lead we had. They should have never even caught up to us or taken the lead. It should have been THEM fighting an uphill battle late in the fourth, not us. But it wasn’t like that.

How do you fix inconsistency?

supaficial

March 20th, 2012
12:23 am

Its funny that we can matchup with any eastern conference team but dont have an identity
Too many chiefs not enough indians

Dumb retarted Mary Broad (drmaryb) ^[*_*]^

March 20th, 2012
12:31 am

Its funny how Doc Rivers and Jeff Teague saw two different plays.

“Teague got a wide-open shot and we got lucky on that part of it. We wanted to have them dribble it up and foul them once they got to half court. Clearly we didn’t do a good job of that.-Doc Rivers

“Seeing that there was a big guy flying at me, I just tried to get it up. That caused me to shoot it higher and longer.” – Jeff Teague

Doc says teague was wide open, teague says there was a Giant in his face…. SMH but LOL.

Dumb retarted Mary Broad (drmaryb) ^[*_*]^

March 20th, 2012
12:32 am

How do you fix inconsistency?

Trade Jeff Horford and Al Teague.

Slimjr

March 20th, 2012
12:33 am

5 for 20 Josh? Huh?

Get ready, this maybe his norm in the playoffs?

You know the D steps up?

Boston wish they could play the Hawks 10x this season….LOL…

Hire Woody!!
Wavie

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

March 20th, 2012
12:34 am

http://youtu.be/Zls3S0ARDnQ

jeff teague interview on airball sho

Buddy Grizzard

March 20th, 2012
12:35 am

Rev, Marv is still out with that hip pointer. Yes, Josh had a horrible game and it seems there’s no flipping the switch with him. He has a couple games where his shot selection is good and you think he gets it, then he has two games like the last two and you think he’ll never get it.

This game was lost, however, when LD put Collins in the game in the third quarter. Ivan Johnson didn’t have a good game but at least he can jump, rebound, make free throws and make layups. Collins can do none of these things, and allowing the Celtics to play 5-on-4 with Collins in the game was the difference.

Dumb retarted Mary Broad (drmaryb) ^[*_*]^

March 20th, 2012
12:36 am

5 for 20 Josh? Huh?

Yea, but even on a bad night the man nearly had a triple double.

12 of his last 15 game have been 20 or more points. He is the most consistent hawk and im not upset when he has a bad night.

SteveW

March 20th, 2012
12:37 am

Oh well, at least Teague had top dunk on Sportscenter tonite.

SteveW

March 20th, 2012
12:39 am

It looks to me like we’ve hit some kind of wall, with all the injuries and games. Somehow gottta rest these guys, the starters anyhow.

AG

March 20th, 2012
12:40 am

great game, terrible miss by jeff. jeff and josh are set shooters. joe had a good game. at least the hawks are competitive and not getting blown out. they are also beating the teams they should beat.

Grandad

March 20th, 2012
12:42 am

First time I`ve watched `em in a week it seems.

Our Hawks are like an old wagon with one warped wheel
being pulled by two old stubbon mules.
If you ever get them mules headed in the same direction;
the ride is still bumpy as heck,
and that wheel`s liable to fall off any minute.

If you had your druthers; you`d be better off just walkin`.

Slimjr

March 20th, 2012
12:43 am

Look, when your #2 scorer shoots 25% his team is supposed lose and they did that….

Larry is the lowest paid head coach in the league, is anyone surprised he does not coach any better?

Slimjr

March 20th, 2012
1:06 am

A “set” shot is basically ineffective against decent mobile defenders:

See All NBA previous playoff game disappearances against better defenders…

Josh, if you could shoot on the move or dribble drive stop and pop you would crush Kevin Garnetts close out defense!

A mobile J is virtually indefensible..

His “set” shot will be exposed in the playoffs.. Git ready……PLAYOFF’S?

E43

March 20th, 2012
1:08 am

Josh is really a SF i think it works in the best interest of the team if Zaza remains a starter when Al returns. I just don’t like josh as the #1 option in the paint on a daily basis vs contendors. I think having Al zaza gives him room for error and gives him an extra option of powering over smaller SFs. That would also prevent teams from putting SF length on Joe. They should draft a center to back up Zaza rather than draft guards with their highest pick. Only this time they should actually find consistent minutes for that C. I just don’t see them being able to lure a true center much better than zaza unless they gut themselves elsewhere.

tyger

March 20th, 2012
1:13 am

Playoff preview…

The red hot Atlanta Hawks fold at home…
Unable to make a statement against aged Celtics…
Josh goes 5-20 abandoning his effective post game…

Tmac finally plays back to back – ineffective…
Granted, Green, Marvin, Vladi, Pargo wouldve helped but…
It was right there for them, at home, till the end…

Then one for the NBA follies, Teague cant hit the backboard…

This team is flawed, injuries have magnified its weaknesses…
And its main weakness is PG, one of the easiest fixes…

Fast is not a skill, shooting is a skill, passing is a skill…
Insignificant layups, dunks dont warrant a starting position…
Get a skilled PG before its too late…

Meanwhile a rehabbed Arenas signs w Memphis for cheap…

The Truth

March 20th, 2012
1:14 am

“Josh made his first three jump shots and then didn’t make another. But it looked to me that a good number of those misses were the function of bad offense leading to a low-percentage shot rather than settling by Josh. That doesn’t include his missed 3-point try in the fourth quarter when he was going for the kill shot.”

MC, didn’t quite see it that way. Josh made his first 3 followed by a few heat checks and proceeded to settled. Even after Josh made those shots, KG still baited him to continue to shoot out on the perimeter so Josh just settle. Shooting 5-20, those jumpers were never contested.

It was the classic defense to beat the Hawks, stop JJ and dare someone else to beat them and it worked. Josh rarely exploited his quickness off the dribble in the paint; he just shot jumpers. Josh seemed to be mesmerized by KG’s length and defense. His presence had a negative impact on Josh’s game.

I know Josh has been balling lately but if this game is a measuring stick, it clear:

JOSH IS NOT A JEDI YET

hawkfan

March 20th, 2012
1:24 am

haha how the fans in golden state booed their owner so bad when mullin was getting his jersey retired, i wish atl fans would do the same thing just to see how the owners feel about that afterward haha

northcyde

March 20th, 2012
1:41 am

Josh Smith lets KG punk him. And if you’re related to Smith, please tell him to STOP LETTING HIM DO THAT.

Go at that dude and quit being so damn soft. He wants you to take the jumper, and is probably talking (( bleep )) to you everytime you take one and miss. So go at that dude and stop shooting jumpers when you are ice cold.

Josh Smith’s last 4 games vs the Celtics:

* 5 – 20 FG . . 10 pts – 11 rebs – 8 asst

* 3 – 10 FG . . 6 pts – 4 rebs

* 0 – 8 FG . . 1 pt – 4 rebs

* 0 – 3 FG . . 2 pts – 3 rebs

Total: 4.8 ppg – 5.5 rebs – 25.8% FG ( 8 – 31 )

No other forward in the league comes close to doing this to Josh. He’s punking Josh.

northcyde

March 20th, 2012
1:44 am

My bad . . . that’s 8 – 41 . . not 8 – 31.

That means he’s shooting 19.5% FG vs the Celtics in the last 4 games.

Stop letting that dude punk you Josh.

maloy

March 20th, 2012
2:06 am

smoove goes 5-20 jacking up jumpshots, but it won’t stop him from taking more. He feels he has range, and somebody can’t say he hasn’t when he can do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVeZIO2aEFs

Buddy Grizzard

March 20th, 2012
2:29 am

“Our Hawks are like an old wagon with one warped wheel
being pulled by two old stubbon mules.
If you ever get them mules headed in the same direction;
the ride is still bumpy as heck,
and that wheel`s liable to fall off any minute.

If you had your druthers; you`d be better off just walkin`.”

Best ever description of what it’s like to be a Hawks fan.

ryan

March 20th, 2012
2:43 am

Tough loss for the Hawks, maybe they will play better when the get back home

Because that was not a home court advantage tonight- the eruption from the Celtic nation during a timeout with about four minutes to go ( lead by Pierce) was about as embarrasing as it gets

northcyde

March 20th, 2012
2:44 am

LOL @ Malloy. Seriously? A summer league game proves he has range? Anybody can get hot in a game.

Let me ask you a question . . . does this dude have “range” too, seeing that 6 threes in an actual NBA game, despite being a

Career 21% 3-point shooter

Does he have range too, and the green light to shoot when he wants.

northcyde

March 20th, 2012
2:47 am

Damn . . put up the wrong link. Here is the right one. And like I said, he’s a career 21% 3-point shooter. But he hit 6 threes in an NBA game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eiox8m_Nk3c

Rob

March 20th, 2012
2:47 am

You high school dropouts still blaming Horford for losses when he isn’t even in the game? LOL

Just accept the fact that your boy Josh doesn’t have high bball IQ and needs a coach to coddle him and give him a blankie like some child, because I guarantee you he would self-destruct under a real coach like Poppovich challenging his manhood every day!

FIVE FOR TWENTY, FOLKS!

Rob

March 20th, 2012
2:52 am

If I were Horford,. I’d stay on that bench for the rest of this season and let this ship sink on its own. If they get hammered in the first round, you wouldn’t be able to blame me. Other players want to get touches huh? Call themselves leaders? Then go out and get it done and stop whining about All Star votes and league office conspiracies. And stop getting punked by fading stars in your own building lol

maloy

March 20th, 2012
3:03 am

northcyde,

Just to clear things up, I didn’t say, nor do I believe, that smoove has range. but I think it’s pretty hard to tell josh to stop jacking up j’s when he can remember hitting 6 in a game, wherever that may be.

Like all you guys, I want to see him post up and create opportunities for him and his teammates, ’cause that’s where he’s most effective. And I think he needs to get back to that 230 lbs range, just to give him more weight to throw around down low.

hawkfan

March 20th, 2012
3:07 am

wow didn’t know teague’s dunk on ray allen meant that much:

Celtics slam back
A Hawk dunk gets Allen, mates going
- For more than two quarters Monday night, the Celtics played without passion. They screamed at officials, missed open shots, and watched as Rajon Rondo threw passes at his teammates’ shins. It was ghastly for Celtics fans who filled Philips Arena, sporting green.

Midway through the third, Atlanta’s 6-foot guard, Jeff Teague, dunked on Ray Allen and then screamed at the Celtics veteran. The basket put the Hawks up by 8, and they were threatening to pull away.

But the disrespect appeared to motivate the Celtics, who began playing defense, and more importantly began hitting shots. The resulting barrage of 3-pointers was part of a pivotal fourth-quarter run that led to a 79-76 win.

Allen scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, including two 3-pointers during a 13-0 run that put the Celtics ahead, 73-58.

As usual, Boston lost focus with a big lead and the Hawks cut it to 1 behind sparkling 3-point shooting from Joe Johnson. But perhaps in a case of poetic justice, Allen sank two free throws with 10.9 seconds left for a 3-point lead and Teague followed by airballing a 3-pointer.

“Yeah, it [ticked] me off,’’ Allen said about Teague’s taunting. “Because even if I was watching the game I would have been mad because you’re trying to show the guy [up] you dunked on. Yeah he dunked on me. I’ve been dunked on before. But it cost them a free throw [on a technical on Teague].’’

That free throw was the first point of a 36-13 run that put the Celtics ahead for good. In an emotional game that featured a flagrant foul by Brandon Bass on Zaza Pachulia, Teague, an athletic guard with jumping ability, took a Pachulia pass, went coast-to-coast, and rose on Allen under the basket. He then stood and screamed in Allen’s direction, drawing the T.

“Yeah, there was a sense of anger,’’ Allen said, “a sense of, ‘We’re going back at you guys,’ because that was uncalled for.’’

When asked if the late Teague airball was payback, Allen said, “Yeah, the basketball gods are out there, and they watch.’’

Kevin Garnett, who delivered 16 points and 8 rebounds in 37 minutes, was asked if Teague’s dunk angered the team. “I don’t even know who you are talking about. That guy’s a nobody,’’ he said.

After Teague missed the trey, scores of Boston fans taunted him, and the Celtics ran out the final four seconds to snap a two-game losing streak and even their record at 3-3 on this season-long eight-game road trip.

After demoralizing losses to Sacramento and Denver and a putrid first half on offense Monday night, the Celtics desperately needed rejuvenation. As they began that pivotal run, the hordes of Celtics fans behind the bench began cheering vigorously after every basket. Paul Pierce, saddled with foul trouble, used his time on the bench to play cheerleader, using his towel to egg on the green-clad supporters.

Pierce came back into the game and sank a free throw for a 77-73 lead with 21.4 seconds left. Johnson, who canned four 3-pointers and scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, followed with his final 3, and Allen closed out the game with those free throws.

“It was a grind, but it was a great win for us,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “It was a lot of good stretches but I thought we didn’t close the game out. They saw matchup advantages and instead of attacking it, they wanted to milk the clock. And you don’t milk the clock in an NBA game, unless it’s under 40 seconds.’’

Early on, as the Celtics contined to miss shots, frustration set in and they grew angrier at the officials, who made some questionable calls.

Despite their disenchantment, they began to play some strong defense, especially during a 6-0 run that reduced the deficit to 47-45 late in the third.

Atlanta followed with two baskets, including an open jumper from Tracy McGrady after he received a desperation pass from Josh Smith, who was flying out of bounds at the time.

But the Celtics stormed back with the final 5 points of the quarter, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Allen.

On the inbounds play with 1.2 seconds left, inbounder Rondo duped the Hawks by screaming at Garnett to go for the alley-oop. Rondo then flipped it to an open Allen, who canned the shot to reduce the deficit to 51-50.

Mickael Pietrus opened the fourth quarter with a one-handed dunk on Pachulia, Pierce drained two baskets, and the Celtics did not trail again. They sliced the Hawks’ lead for the sixth seed in the East to 1 1/2 games.

“This was a big win,’’ said Pierce, who finished with 13 points in 27 minutes. “Every game is large from this point on. It’s the stretch run, 20 games left, every game is going to put us up probably one spot in the standings or knock us down one spot.’’

vava74

March 20th, 2012
3:44 am

Yes, Josh shot like cr*p, but he was still +6 in the minutes he was on the floor. He had 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and just one turnover.

We lost the game because we are terribly short handed and still growing as a team.

Last year and the year before we were getting killed routinely with 30 point losses.

For the moment we are playing D and hanging tough on virtually all games lost.

On Josh again:

We gotta understand Josh’s mindset – he is not playing well due to the emergence of JJ.

It’s a mental issue that he needs to get over with and that is the job of the HC.

Once JJ returned jump shot happy Josh returned.

Coincidence?

I don’t think so.

nagoya hawk

March 20th, 2012
3:54 am

Wow, we can’t beat old men. Half the team we played tonight are bald, naturally.