Celtics at Atlanta Hawks Game 1: Hawks 83, Celtics 74

  • The Hawks were brilliant early, shaky in the middle and bad down the stretch. That also kind of describes the Jason Collins Game Flow after Larry Drew decided to start Collins and then play him 32 minutes in the playoff opener after not playing him more than 25 minutes all season.
  • It all worked out in the end for the Hawks. Or at least it did after Rajon Rondo decided it was a good idea to get two technical fouls and then bump official Marc Davis with his team down four points and 41 seconds to go.
  • It’s an automatic one-game suspension if league officials determine that Rondo intentionally bumped Davis. They can also add games to the penalty.
  • “I was upset about the call, and I said something to [Davis],” Rondo said. “As I was walking I thought he stopped and my momentum carried me into him. I even think I tripped on his foot. I didn’t intentionally chest-bump him.”
  • The sequence led to three Hawks free throws and killed Boston’s momentum. The Celtics are in trouble if Rondo sits because he was the only thing they had going for long stretches tonight. It’s hard to understate the stupidity of his actions.
  • “[Doc Rivers] just told me to keep my composure, which I know,” Rondo said. “I was just out there competing. I wanted to win.”
  • Rondo was arguing the call even though it was clear Brandon Bass harangued Josh Smith. “It was definitely a foul, so that was the right call,” Josh said.
  • Joe Johnson had another poor performance in the playoffs. It’s not as if he doesn’t know he’s going to get pressured. He handled it pretty well early (it helped that the Hawks played faster) but then Joe came out after halftime and seemed to want to go one-on-one.
  • “I missed a lot of wide open shots I normally make. I’m sure Game 2 will be a lot different,” Joe said. “I’m just glad guys like Jeff [Teague] and Josh was able to pretty much carry us down the stretch.”
  • You can’t fault Joe for missing open shots. Well, I guess you can, but that happens. More problematic were all the possessions that came to a halt because Joe was dribbling aimlessly (or, worse, getting stripped by Paul Pierce) while his teammates stood and watched.
  • “I look at the stat sheet and he didn’t have a typical Joe Johnson game shooting-wise,” Drew said. “Yet we still won the game. With this team, I always try to focus on the positive with things like that. He’ll watch the tape and, like everyone else, he will make adjustments. We will continue to run plays through him, put the ball in his hands and put him in position to score the ball.”
  • Iso-Joe was a big reason the Celtics got back in the game early in the third quarter. Joe not touching the ball much was a big reason why the offense got going again soon after that stretch.
  • If Joe is going to have an off night offensively he has to play better than one quarter of solid defense against Pierce. Pierce is always moving and looking to attack and then moves the ball when he can’t find an opening.
  • Teague was Atlanta’s best offensive player tonight. He had two key baskets in the clutch to atone for that memorable airball in the loss here to the Celtics.
  • The first was a 3-pointer on a drive-and-kick from Josh. “I knew they were going to stunt off of me, because Kirk [Hinrich] had been making shots from the corner. So I knew [Mickael] Pietrus was probably going to stunt off of me. So I just tried to set my feet and knock it down.”
  • Soon after that big shot, Teague slithered to the basket to make a floater. It was a gutsy play both because of the circumstances and because he hadn’t been finishing very well. “I just tried to make plays when the opportunity presented itself,” he said. “I think the guys believe in me, and I believe in the guys. I just try to go out there and play my game. Playing with Josh and Joe and those guys makes my job a lot easier.”
  • Teague generally forced Rondo to take jumpers. He made them at a pretty good clip but better than than Rondo operating around the basket area.
  • Let’s start with the good for Collins: He made Kevin Garnett pay for his insistence taking him to the post, got five rebounds in spite of a marked disadvantage in athleticism against Boston’s frontline and scored six points on five shots. Collins even showed some nice feet when KG finally decided to try to go past him.
  • But Drew pushed his luck with Collins and the Celtics started getting him in pick-and-roll actions with Pierce and KG in the final period. That didn’t work out so well, especially with Joe constantly trailing the ball-handler.
  • Josh was making enough jumpers that KG eventually had to come out and challenge. But after a stretch where he took advantage by driving to the basket, Josh launched three jumpers over the final eight minutes and missed two.
  • Still, Josh beasted for 18 rebounds, often fighting through traffic to snag them, and played solid straight-up D against KG. Garnett was right to try to post Josh but struggled to get clean looks on his turnaround Js.
  • Kirk Hinrich had his best games in months. The good ball movement often ended with Hinrich open in the corner and he made the Celtics pay by making 4 of 6 3-point attempts. Maybe Kirk has been sandbagging, or perhaps he punished me for giving Avery Bradley the edge in my matchup box.
  • Ivan Johnson showed no fear in his first playoff game while collecting five rebounds and two steals with no turnovers in 15 minutes. It’s hard to argue with the outcome of Drew’s Collins fixation tonight but Ivan should get more than 15 minutes in a series where the opposition doesn’t have much size.
  • There was a stretch when Pierce and Garnett took turns going at Marvin Williams, who didn’t handle it well. Marvin played 14 low-impact minutes. I guess it’s a good sign that the Hawks had a 50-41 rebounding edge with Marvin getting just one.
  • My Tracy McGrady prediction already looks shaky. The best I can offer in my defense are the five rebounds, including two offensive, in 14 minutes. He’s got to stop looking for calls on those drives.
  • In 10 minutes Jannero Pargo scored five points on six shots, had no bad entry passes for turnovers and recorded an assist. That was good enough and he was solid defensively.
  • Willie Green managed to post a team-worst -15 in just 10 minutes. Defense was the issue, as it sometimes can be.
  • When Drew let his bench guys run over the final two weeks of the season, I thought it was because he was trying to get his starters some rest. Now I’m not so sure after he opened the fourth quarter with that Pargo-Green-McGrady-Marvin-Ivan alignment–and then subbed Ivan for Collins when it became clear that wasn’t a good look. That’s just one example of some odd sub patterns tonight.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

145 comments Add your comment

Big Lou

April 29th, 2012
11:40 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 29th, 2012
11:42 pm

FIRE LD

AMNESTY MARVIN

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:43 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 29th, 2012
11:44 pm

What does Joe have to say about his performance?

Let me guess: It wasn’t his fault (Same with Josh when Josh throws those horrendous Hail Mary passes). It’s never either of those 2 dudes’ faults

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:44 pm

Arenas just hit a jumper for Memphis? They cooking on all cylinders..Clippers are getting destroyed!

darrell starks

April 29th, 2012
11:45 pm

Good win by the Hawks.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 29th, 2012
11:46 pm

Observations from Game 1:
1) Joe and Josh made some of the worst passes I’ve ever seen. I could not believe how they could not even anticipate a defender intercepting some of those horrendous passes. I almost feel like Smoove’s 22 & 18 was one of the worst 22 & 18 games I’ve ever seen. MAKE SMART PASSES!!!!!!

2) Bench: Where were you guys? MARVIN: What the hell were you doing out there? I see this guy during warmups SWISHING *EVERY* single jumpshot. Then he gets those same shots during the game, and that’s when he puts up 2 points for the game and does nothing else at all to impact the game. He did not make one jumpshot tonight (nice alleyoop finish though). But let’s keep hearing northcyde defend this guy, citing some stats that show him as the 17th best SF, even though I’m sure they’re largely inflated since he plays AGAIN SECOND UNIT OPPOSITION mostly

3) T-Mac really needs to try be shoot-first. I know Willie and Pargo are allergic to passing, but T-Mac had good looks he passed up

4) Teague played well but needs to be more bold at times. On a few sequences, he had wide open 10 footers with KG on him and he inexplicably passed them up. STOP BEING TIMID

5) Collins was spectacular until the 4th when KG went to work

6) KG was bloody good tonight. This guy put up very decent averages this year and he can still play this game. Pierce was dreadful. His 3s weren’t even close and he looked awful out there

7) I underestimated Rondo’s jumpshot. He made 3 or 4 in the 2nd half that really helped keep the game close

8 ) We REALLY need to try to win game 2 and get this thing to 2-0. If Boston ties it, this will be a bloody long series

9) Flip Saunders was about 25 feet behind the Celtics bench taking notes the whole game. He was behind 2 guys who might be affiliated with the Celtics. I wonder if he’s a consultant for them now

10) Saw more open seats than I thought I’d see.
SUMMARY: Bench needs to step up, SMARTER passes, Marvin sucks, Marvin sucks

Played well tonight but can play even better. Just stop settling for jumpshots and do not play Marvin if he is going to be useless for us
Put in Joe and T-Mac at 2 and 3 and they should just attack whoever doesn’t have Pierce/Pietrus on him. If that guy is Bradley/Ray (when he returns), just keep attacking those guys.
BTW, That Stiemsma dude is freaking awful. Why not let Hollins play?

darrell starks

April 29th, 2012
11:48 pm

With out Collins Hawks would lose this series, He is the best big body defender on this team in the paint, also making it very dificult for Boston 2 score so easy down low in the box great job by Collins.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt

April 29th, 2012
11:48 pm

I love it when the Hawks win playoff games so that we can listen to the national media talk about the other team for the rest of the night. You know, as opposed to when the Hawks lose playoff games and we can listen to the national media talk about the other team for the rest of the night.

Big Lou

April 29th, 2012
11:49 pm

I knew it wasn’t just me.

LD was horrible with the subs.

Yet, we have fans here saying he did a good job. Lol

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:49 pm

Agree Grandmaster, Josh throws lazy passes all of the freaking time more than once…He needs to get those eyes checked out? lol!

High-sider

April 29th, 2012
11:49 pm

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:34 pm

Marvin was MIA!

What else is new with the worst #2 lottery pick in Atlanta Hawks history….
——————————————————————

There is, after all, a[n] MIA in M-A-R-V-I-N. There’s also a[n] MIA in W-I-L-L-I-A-M-S. [LOL]

Just like “the gift that keeps on giving,” Marvin Williams is “the scrub that keeps on scrubbing.” [LOL]

Adam

April 29th, 2012
11:52 pm

Joe Johnson’s MVP run continued tonight.

He continues to own each and every one of you.

darrell starks

April 29th, 2012
11:52 pm

Like i say before if the Hawks are going to do somthing in the Playoff this year it startes with interior defense, and Hawks did a dam good job tonight defending the paint and rebounding.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:52 pm

Hehehehe^^^^^

i_am_soulstar

April 29th, 2012
11:54 pm

I didn’t even think we played well besides that hot start in the 1st. Way to not give the game back though. JJ played was Ray Charles out there tonight. Hopefully, he knows the Celtics won’t play that horribly every game in the series, and he steps his game up.

prison mike

April 29th, 2012
11:54 pm

Josh Smitty B+ – the nation will see how good he is once he displays his A+ game.
Joe – D- I’m afraid he’s a got a couple more of these type of games left this series.

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:55 pm

Larry gets high marks because he coached his guys into dictating the game not the other way around…

Now I will admit losing Ray Allen for this playoff series is a huge loss for Boston..But injuries do happen..See All NBA…

i_am_soulstar

April 29th, 2012
11:56 pm

But the starters did a great job on D, so hats off to Teague, Joe, Josh, Kirk, and Collins on that end of the court. Just happy to get a win.

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:57 pm

Joe shut down Paul.. Paul was dreadful….

UGA

April 29th, 2012
11:58 pm

Anyone with a clue has to be excited tonight!! Go Hawks!!

Slimjr

April 29th, 2012
11:59 pm

Man Woody better step up tomorrow night. Another beatdown like the previous game and he will not get the job next season….

darrell starks

April 30th, 2012
12:00 am

Joe must get more touches down low, he is trying make so many long dificult jumpshots and it’s not working, specially come playoff time when he become almost M.I.A in every playoffs games in his career.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Section 212

April 30th, 2012
12:00 am

Hey Hawks Fans….did you all have as much fun on the blog as we had at the game tonight?

prison mike

April 30th, 2012
12:01 am

“Iso-Joe was a big reason the Celtics got back in the game early in the third quarter. Joe not touching the ball much was a big reason why the offense got going again soon after that stretch.”

Calling it like it is I see. Will the real MC stand up!

KevinM

April 30th, 2012
12:02 am

Joe with another whiff….he can’t keep this up can he?

Josh still has some decision making film to watch….he can waste a few possessions for us with his isolation game.

Ivan, T-Mac and Jason Collins all deserve game balls….they just scrapped.

That a boy JT! My adopted UK WIldcat simply stepped up when he needed to.

Bye Rondo, you got what you deserved and and one game hiatus is also coming.

Anybody wanna defend Marvin’s rebounding rate or his jump shot tonight? Good thing we don’t depend on him anymore.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

April 30th, 2012
12:03 am

MC can you pleaseeee tweet the inside the nba crew and tell them to stfu…well dont say that but put them in check!

darrell starks

April 30th, 2012
12:03 am

Joe PLAYOFFS career FG% .418

Just horrible in the playoffs

Joe must take closer shots around basket more.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:04 am

Remember they got an iso stopper in Pietrus…Gives Joe fits when they meet up..Not surprised are you?

northcyde

April 30th, 2012
12:06 am

Damn . . I wanted to predict JeJe’s post before he made his great observation. But I knew it was going to be about JJ, Marvin, the Bench, and Drew. I was almost about 10 minutes from finishing this. I’ll just post half of it now.

*******************************

Let me do an Eminem from 8 Mile, and try to predict Jeje’s ( epic ) post later on:

(( playing Mobb Deep “Shook Ones” instrumental )

Now everybody in the AJC, put your Dirty hands up and just follow me
Now everybody in the AJC, put your Dirty hands up, Look, Look

Now while he talks tough/
Notice that Joke Johnson didn’t even show up . . ( oooooo )/
The ASG’s got him gassed up/
But missing all those 3’s makes me wanna throw up/

One, two, three and to the four/
One brick, two bricks, three bricks, four/
Four bricks, three bricks, two bricks, one/
His shot, Josh shot, Marv’s shot . . DONE/

Marvin can’t hit no mutha ( bleepin ) threes see/
He’s quackin like a duck stung by a bee/

He can’t fight, he IS a ( bleepin ) bum/
He DO get defended by his mom/

He can’t post up guards like Lebron/
He do fumble with the ball like a nun/
Then falls down when he’s touched cause he’s a dum dum/
He did get torched, by all 6 of them bums/

He did hit a shot off a curl/
I’m still standing here saying ( bleep ) I’m gonna hurl/

************************

Then I was going to talk about Drew and the bench. Oh well.

LT

April 30th, 2012
12:09 am

Joe played pretty good D against Paul. He has to work on that offense

northcyde

April 30th, 2012
12:09 am

LOL . .Clippers vs Grizzzlies almost looking like a carbon copy of Hawks – Celtics. But the Cilps have literally come back from the dead, down 27 . . now down by 3.

Let’s see if Chris Paul will bump a ref and get ejected. Nick Young saving the Clips right now.

22 – 1 run by the Clips . . wow.

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:10 am

Clippers down 27 in the 2nd half at one point!

Go on 22-1 run to cut it to 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1:47 left in the 4th! Oh S*it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a comeback! U got to love the playoffs!

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:12 am

cut it to 2!

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:12 am

northcyde

April 30th, 2012
12:13 am

JJ completely shut down Pierce. He had to, as bad as he was shooting after the 1st quarter.

Clippers have the lead . . WOW

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:13 am

Clippers up 1 on a 26-1 run in 7:50mins

Teedub

April 30th, 2012
12:14 am

Jeff Teague!!! Biggest shot of the night.

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:16 am

Butler fractured his right hand? Big loss for the Clips…

Rusty

April 30th, 2012
12:17 am

Nortcyde make excuses for your choker JJ & boy did LD play great.

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:18 am

Clips up one with 9 seconds..

Najeh Davenpoop

April 30th, 2012
12:19 am

My NBA Finals pick just pulled off one of the biggest choke jobs in NBA history. I don’t think they can recover from this.

brigadierjerry

April 30th, 2012
12:19 am

soullrenaissance

April 30th, 2012
12:20 am

The Grizz’s choked big time. No real playoff experience will do that to ya.

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:21 am

28-3 run! Clippers win! Had to be one of the largest playoff comebacks in the History of the NBA!

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

High-sider

April 30th, 2012
12:21 am

The Grizzlies with an epic [playoff] collapse. Clippers beat Grizz, 99-98.

Mike Conley, Jr., is a terribly overrated point guard – 5yrs, $45mil. contract player. Teague has surpassed Conley, Jr. in my opinion.

Slimjr

April 30th, 2012
12:22 am

Memphis fans are stunned!

northcyde

April 30th, 2012
12:22 am

Crusty, read the last blog. I was slamming JJ all night.

Damn . . Griz lose. What a devastating loss. What should’ve been a late night celebration on Beale Street, might literally turn into a few homicides tonight after the game.

REBOUNDING FOLKS . . . Reggie Evans won that game for the Clips. He limited the Griz to one and done with some huge defensive rebounds, and kept that team in the game.

Haha @ Chris Paul cracking jokes. Feel bad for the Griz tonight.

Mr.E

April 30th, 2012
12:23 am

Memphis just took choking to a new level, even the Hawks wouldn’t have been able to pull that one off…

Rusty

April 30th, 2012
12:24 am

God bless JT, he has to play with a coach constantly fk with him,after playin great in the first quarter he sits him early in the first quarter letting KH who played at the sg finish the quarter out then let’s Pargo play pg late into the second quarter,what is LD trying to accomplish,Rondo played 43min.