Celtics at Atlanta Hawks Game 2: Celtics 87, Hawks 80

  • Larry Drew was asked if he had any regrets about not coming back with his starters earlier when the game got away from the Hawks in the fourth quarter. But his answer reveals he thought he was being scrutinized for bringing them back too soon.
  • “I would have done the exact same thing,” he said. “I thought it was important to hold onto momentum and not allow them to get it. I tried to rest my guys as long as I could to give them a blow but I didn’t want the game to get away from us from a momentum standpoint. So I made the decision to try to bring them back and try to regain momentum. I will stick with that decision.”
  • It turned out Josh Smith’s injury overshadowed Drew’s curious decision to not always have Joe Johnson and Josh on the floor with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Smith suffered what the team said is a sprained left knee, apparently when he landed after a missed layup attempt with 5:14 to play, and appeared to later aggravate it while trying to block out Garnett for a rebound.
  • Josh walked to the locker room under his own power and a team spokesman said he left the arena the same way. The Hawks said Josh will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
  • Without Josh, Atlanta’s stagnating offense lost one of its best options at a critical time. Josh had scored 16 points on 21 shots up until that point while favoring jump shots and failing to get to the free-throw line. But the Hawks could have used some of his post-ups. He had a nice driving score and missed a clean look on a hook shot just before his injury.
  • “He’s a guy we go to down the stretch from a post-up standpoint,” Drew said. “His energy going down to the end of a game and all the things he brings to the table, we were minus it. It certainly did have an impact on the last four minutes of the game. We tried to play small to match up and try to open up the floor a little bit but we didn’t have that low-post presence.”
  • While Drew focused on resting his starters, Doc Rivers rode Pierce for the entire second half. Pierce made him look smart by delivering 20 points on 12 shots and nine rebounds after halftime (offsetting five ragged turnovers). “I wanted to give Paul a rest early in the fourth quarter but I just couldn’t with the way the game was going,” Rivers said.
  • The weird thing about Drew’s approach is that he tried to manage his starters’ minutes late in the regular season. I thought that was because he could ride them in the playoffs.
  • Watching Pierce and Joe Johnson in the second half reminded me of the story I wrote during last year’s Finals about nearly all NBA contenders have had first- or second-team All-NBA talent :” [J]ust 15 of 122 teams to make the finals — 12 percent — did so without a player considered among the league’s 10 best. That trend will continue this postseason: Miami’s LeBron James was named first-team All-NBA and teammate Dwyane Wade and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki were voted to the second team.”
  • And so there was Pierce outscoring the Hawks 16-10 as Boston turned a 65-54 deficit to am 81-75 lead. And there was Joe missing 7 of 10 shots after halftime, throwing the ball away twice at winning time (bailed out by a Pierce double dribble once), clanking a free throw with the Hawks down 81-77 and getting his driving shot blocked by KG.
  • Joe stayed away from the iso’s for the most part and made some spot-up Js but he looked pretty passive for much of the night. Now I wonder if his response to the poor finish will be to try to take over in Game 3. The Hawks should hope not because Boston’s defense is just too good for him to still get his when he plays that way.
  • The Celtics crowd Joe, bump him, swipe at the ball, clog the lane when he makes his move and generally don’t allow him to get comfortable. Joe just hasn’t shown he can overcome that kind of pressure to score at winning time in the playoffs.
  • In the fourth quarter the Hawks scored 14 points on 19 shots, had five turnovers and recorded one assist on four field goals. All but four of those 14 attempts were in the paint with Jeff Teague’s missed 3-pointer the only desperation attempt.
  • “In the fourth quarter they pushed us out of our sweet spots,” Drew said. “We couldn’t even initiate our offense the way we were supposed to. We just didn’t handle the pressure very well.”
  • “I think it’s a combination of us allowing those guys to take us out of our offense by denying, pressing up and being physical,” Willie Green said. “That and then us not getting us into our plays quicker. I think we’ve got to put pressure on those guys when we get the rebound to get into our plays right away.”
  • Kirk Hinrich was very good offensively in the first half (eight points on four shots), not so much after halftime–but who was for the Hawks? He worked hard on defense, where he has a knack for using his strength, positioning and relentlessness to be effective. He’s showed up in the playoffs.
  • Teague had some big moments until he was 0 for 4 in 10 fourth-quarter minutes.
  • Jason Collins played 22 minutes. He was plus-three but managed just two points and three rebounds and had two turnovers. The Celtics got him on the move more often this time.
  • Ivan Johnson had a brutal offensive game (six points on seven shots, two turnovers in 20 minutes). It’s not the best idea for him to shoot jumpers or try to attack KG but give Ivan some credit for trying to make something happen as Atlanta’s offense halted.
  • Marvin Williams was a team-worst -13 in 21 minutes and this was one of those times when that stat wasn’t misleading. Marvin wasn’t good defensively, couldn’t shake free to score. His six rebounds were the only highlight.
  • Apparently all it took to make Tracy McGrady sour again was a quick hook in the second quarter. He didn’t look pleased while slowly walking to the bench. He had three points on zero shots, a turnover and a nifty blocked shot of Garnett at the time but can’t blame Drew for bringing Joe back in once Rivers summoned Pierce off the bench.
  • Give the Celtics credit for winning this game, especially Pierce. If there was any doubt after Game 1, it’s clear now the Hawks are going to have to take this series from Boston. “This is a tough-minded basketball team and having a lot of veterans on your team helps with that,” Rivers said. “The only way we were going to win a game like that without Ray [Allen] and Rondo was if Paul had a game like this.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

152 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:25 am

If someone had never seen a Hawks game until this series, they would come away with the impression that Marvin Williams is the worst player on this team. It says a lot about Marvin that Collins subbed in for him and the team got better.

I haven’t read all 700+ comments, but I hope there are plenty of comments wondering what the hell LD was doing with his player substitutions. He blew the lead in the 2nd half, and Josh’s injury was the icing on the cake that precluded any sort of comeback.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:27 am

Marvin played instead of Ivan for the first 5 or 6 minutes of the 4th quarter for absolutely no apparent reason. Other than one nice box-out, I can’t think of a single good thing Marvin did today. They might have been better off giving his minutes to Vlad. He was abhorrent on offense and abysmal on D. It is sad that he can be on the floor with 4 other bench players, going up against Boston’s bench, and still can’t contribute.

Rob

May 2nd, 2012
12:28 am

Najeh,yeah there were plenty of comments about Larry Drews substitutions, and why Marvin looked scared every time he touched the ball

Mac-Town (478)™

May 2nd, 2012
12:29 am

“I think it’s a combination of us allowing those guys to take us out of our offense by denying, pressing up and being physical,” Willie Green said

Translation: “We’re soft,” Willie Green said

Rob

May 2nd, 2012
12:30 am

Were you at the game @ Najeh? If so what was the ratio of Hawks to Celtic fans? John Hollinger was clowin that the arena always plays music to pump up volume

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
12:30 am

Huge loss, and Josh is hurt..

The streak will continue:

45 and counting….

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:31 am

Ivan needs to take it upon himself to knock Paul Pierce out for this sh-t.

Mac-Town (478)™

May 2nd, 2012
12:32 am

Here we are in the playoffs again, with basically the same main core, still talking about the lack of “mental and physical toughness”

Smh

tom

May 2nd, 2012
12:32 am

wasn’t this the first celtics road playoff win in atlanta in over 20 years?

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
12:32 am

Larry may well be the worst coach in these playoffs this year…

Stan V Gundy> Larry Drew

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
12:33 am

I’ll ask again; does anybody miss Jamal Crawford?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:33 am

“Were you at the game @ Najeh? If so what was the ratio of Hawks to Celtic fans? John Hollinger was clowin that the arena always plays music to pump up volume”

John Hollinger is a clown. It was a really late-arriving crowd even by Hawks standards, but it filled in by the start of the 2nd quarter, and it was more pro-Hawks than the Game 1 crowd (at least it seemed that way to me). The crowd got louder in the 4th quarter than it ever did in Game 1, at least until it became obvious that the Hawks weren’t going to come back.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:35 am

I’m going to go ahead and say it: Josh catch-and-shoot jumpers > iso-Joe. Sad but true that Josh jumpers are one of the Hawks’ best offensive options in crunch time.

tom

May 2nd, 2012
12:35 am

the hawks had a good crowd to support them tonight…better than game 1…they blew it bigtime.

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
12:36 am

JC1 and JC2 are missed….lol

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:36 am

“And so there was Pierce outscoring the Hawks 16-10 as Boston turned a 65-54 deficit to am 81-75 lead. And there was Joe missing 7 of 10 shots after halftime, throwing the ball away twice at winning time (bailed out by a Pierce double dribble once), clanking a free throw with the Hawks down 81-77 and getting his driving shot blocked by KG.”

Pierce thoroughly outplayed Joe on both ends. I thought Joe took some undeserved heat for his D in Game 1, which was mostly good. In this game, though, his D was bad and his O cooled off after his hot start.

Mike D

May 2nd, 2012
12:38 am

MC wit all due respect get off JJ piece Tracy was playing well an LD always talks about stickin wit the guys in a rhythmn then why is it a double standard when it comes to Mcgrady. Look MC he been sitting Tracy all yr. saying that the Hawks will need him down the stretch. Here is the stretch an ya need him so whts the problem now oh yea I forget about LD an his favortism an the lack of common sense which no Coach on LD coaching staff has

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
12:38 am

northcyde is [in] hiding.

Rob

May 2nd, 2012
12:38 am

Teague was ballin in the first half, the NBA TV announcers were fair and they mentioned for Teague to take the next step his drives to the basket have to result in assist, well duh we all know that. The 4th quarter meltdown was a combination of Celtic Defense, horrific coaching, and horrific offensive possessions, not to mention Josh going down and Joe trying to be hero to no avail.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

May 2nd, 2012
12:39 am

Josh cat post up n kg for nothing josh always catches the ball near the 3 point and then he tries to drive the ball but fails while on the other end kg post josh up by the rim literally everytime…I have to give props to teague he has been playing well enough in the playoffs too bad people like joe johnson cant contribute to the team and as for marvin well we are used to that already cant really complain

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:40 am

“Apparently all it took to make Tracy McGrady sour again was a quick hook in the second quarter. He didn’t look pleased while slowly walking to the bench. He had three points on zero shots, a turnover and a nifty blocked shot of Garnett at the time but can’t blame Drew for bringing Joe back in once Rivers summoned Pierce off the bench.”

The quick hook in the first half is fine. Not using him at all in the 2nd half, playing Willie Green and Marvin more minutes than him, is mind-bogglingly stupid. I don’t understand LD’s infatuation with Green. If you are not running plays to get Green shots, he gives you nothing. Why is he on the floor so much? Why does he play in 3 guard lineups with Teague and Kirk when Pierce is in the game at SF?

LD lost Game 2 of last year’s first round series by doing incredibly dumb sh-t. Let’s hope this series ends the same way.

LT

May 2nd, 2012
12:41 am

*sigh* dont know how things would have been different but I think Tegue, Josh or Joe need tlo be in at all times… LD need to get it together, especially if nothing is going offensively. Anyways,

GO HAWKS!!!

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
12:41 am

Paul Pierce is so underrated! What a baller he is..He steps up in the big games..Time and again!

The ISO guy not so much…

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
12:42 am

Oh so now many are understanding why I bash Marvin all the time (SMH). Guy looked like he was petrified every time he touched the ball. The guy is truly one of the worst basketball players in the league.

I have also been preaching all year that this team was built for the regular season, and not the playoffs. Over two games we are averaging 81.5 ppg , and giving up 80.5 ppg, so defense is not the problem, its offense. Joe and Marvin are stinking up the joint, and Josh and Teague are balling. Where are the great Willie Green, and Pargo. I stated that playoff basketball was totally different, and we see why. We have no true scorers. My original prediction may be right. Boston in 5. I hope not.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:42 am

Teague-Joe-TMac-Josh-Ivan should have been the lineup on the floor from the 10 minute mark of the 4th quarter until the end of the game (or until Josh got injured). That really should be the game-finishing lineup for the rest of this series (assuming Josh can play) until Zaza gets back.

If Josh can’t play, all this discussion is pointless, because the Hawks are going to get waxed without him.

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
12:42 am

Wiith no JC1 [Jamal Crawford] and no JC2 [Jordan Crawford], the Hawks are left to depend on -JC100,000 [or minus JC100,000] aka Jason Collins. [smh]

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
12:43 am

Does anybody realize we just lost to the Celtics at home with no Ray Allen, and no Rondo. SMH

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:43 am

And John Hollinger is right about one thing: LD’s habit of playing five bench players together is fine for the regular season, but it is killing the Hawks in the playoffs. He has to pick three bench players (my pick would be Pargo, TMac, and Ivan) and mix them in to the rotation, while giving any and all other bench players spot minutes only.

Nanny

May 2nd, 2012
12:45 am

Mc did anyone bother to ask drew why Marvin played 5 times as many minutes as tmac? What did he do or what was he doing to earn that?

Also, why no quotes from joe or Marvin?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:48 am

The highlights of the night:

-Teague splitting the D and going in for the slam
-The dime piece who sat right in front of me the whole game (great view)
-After the game, when the Celtics fans tried to start up a “Let’s go Celtics” chant in the concourse, they got drowned out by an “A-T-L” chant

Speaking of the “Let’s go Celtics” chant, the organist must be mentally retarded. Every time he plays “doo-doo-doo-doo clap-clap-clapclapclap” the Celtics fans try to start the “Let’s Go Celtics” chant. You can’t play that sh-t when your team name only has one syllable, dumbass.

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
12:48 am

“The quick hook in the first half is fine. Not using him at all in the 2nd half, playing Willie Green and Marvin more minutes than him, is mind-bogglingly stupid. I don’t understand LD’s infatuation with Green. If you are not running plays to get Green shots, he gives you nothing. Why is he on the floor so much? Why does he play in 3 guard lineups with Teague and Kirk when Pierce is in the game at SF?”

It truly makes no common sense. I could understand if Marvin was playing decent defense, and rebounding, but he is doing absolutely nothing. TMac should always be out there in the 4th.

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
12:49 am

Repost FTPB [with minor changes]

High-sider

May 1st, 2012
10:38 pm

The Hawks bench score a total of 14 points in Game 2 vs. the Celtics. With the Celtics’ depleted roster and backcourt, Jamal Crawford could [easily] average 18-20+ppg as a reserve [player] or starter for the Hawks. This loss is on Rick Sund and the ASG for the dumb player personnel decisions made before this year’s regular season, most notably, not re-signing Jamal Crawford. Also, if the Hawks lose this [playoff] series, this [playoff series] loss will be on Rick Sund and the ASG.

Kirk Hinrich, I believe, scored 8 [eight] points in the first half and 0 [zero] points in the second half.

Marvin Williams, once again, comes up “a day late and a dollar short.”

Marvin Williams’ stat line for tonight – 3pts, 6rebs, 0asts and 1blksht in 21:02 [of playing time].

And some [idiot] blogger[s] thought Rick Sund deserves/deserved consideration for Executive of the Year.

Examples of some dumb ass Rick Sund and ASG personnel moves/decisions:

1. Didn’t re-sign Jamal Crawford
2. Re-signed/Retained Jason Collins
3. Signed Vladimir Radmanovic
4. Didn’t do whatever it took to get rid of Marvin Williams
5. Decided to go with Kirk Hinrich over Jamal Crawford
6. Didn’t properly address the lack of depth and size at the Center position; didn’t sign a quality backup center

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:50 am

Tyson Chandler won the DPOY award. Playing in a big market has its benefits.

Nanny

May 2nd, 2012
12:51 am

Enter your comments here

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:52 am

Bench: 4/18, 1 assist, 3 turnovers

Nanny

May 2nd, 2012
12:53 am

The only positive I can take from
This is that perhaps we amnesty Marvin after a new coach/gm tandem is hired. That may be the bed case scenario at this point as there is no way in hell we are winning in Boston.

Buddy Grizzard

May 2nd, 2012
12:55 am

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
12:55 am

In Game 2 vs. the Celtics tonight, the Hawks scored 44 points in the first half and 36 points in the second half; [the lack of] scoring is a problem.

“Houston, we have a problem. Scratch that; Atlanta, we have a problem and the problem is scoring.” – High-sider

Buddy Grizzard

May 2nd, 2012
1:00 am

Check out where Willie Green ranks in +/- for the Hawks:

http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=1&season=22011&split=9&team=Hawks

You can totally see why Drew goes with Willie in the 4th and not T-Mac.

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
1:02 am

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
12:50 am

Tyson Chandler won the DPOY award. Playing in a big market has its benefits.
—————————————————————

Serge Ibaka should have won that [DPOY] award this year; “Air Congo” [Ibaka] got robbed. [smh]

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

May 2nd, 2012
1:03 am

I dont think I can take another season of marvin in a hawks uni…

Rev in Tampa

May 2nd, 2012
1:05 am

I believe northcyde drove to the game from TN. That’s why he’s not blogging.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

May 2nd, 2012
1:05 am

why should ibaka have won its not defense blocker of the year

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
1:11 am

“Serge Ibaka should have won that [DPOY] award this year; “Air Congo” [Ibaka] got robbed. [smh]”

Josh deserved it over both of them in my opinion. Ibaka is a nice shot blocker but he doesn’t have the overall defensive impact that either Chandler or Josh do, and while Chandler is a really good position defender he doesn’t make the game-changing plays Josh makes.

Look where Josh ranks on pretty much every defensive stat. Only player in the top 20 in steals and blocks. Top 20 in rebounds per game, defensive rebound percentage, total rebound percentage, and block percentage. 5th in defensive rating. 1st in defensive win shares.

hawkfan

May 2nd, 2012
1:13 am

umm when does atlanta dream season start…

EmirS.

May 2nd, 2012
1:14 am

I missed the game due to work. However from just the Box Score and NBA.com highlights of the game I was able to take this away from it all:

1. Pierce stepped up in Atlanta, Joe needs to step up in Boston.

2. Teague is showing CONFIDENCE! This is wonderful, you can only hope and pray it translates into Game 3.

3. From the box score it seems obvious the Hawks had yet another 4th quarter meltdown. That being said, I also realize this is where Josh got injured. Now the question on my mind is….with Josh still playing do we come back to retake the lead and get the win? Can it be fair to say that our best player is definetley Josh and not Joe?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
1:15 am

“I believe northcyde drove to the game from TN. That’s why he’s not blogging.”

Damn. That is going to be a long and sh-tty drive back.

EmirS.

May 2nd, 2012
1:17 am

…continued

4. Are we all in agreement that if Josh is injured and can’t play or is limited to playing time, we can call this series a wrap up?

There seems to be so many factors and questions now. We NEED to win Game 3 in Boston. And Joe HAS to be the one on fire. With Rondo coming back and the momentum already in full swing in Bostons favor, we have no choice but to take at least 1 game in Boston. Boston has proven they can beat us at home, we need to return the favor.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
1:19 am

“2. Teague is showing CONFIDENCE! This is wonderful, you can only hope and pray it translates into Game 3.”

Confidence is nice, but the next step is to learn how to finish at the rim better. Some of the shots he took in the 4th quarter weren’t even close. I’d still rather he miss shots near the rim than Joe or Josh miss shots from 20+ feet away, but those misses from in close are a lot more beneficial when Zaza is around to grab offensive boards.

“with Josh still playing do we come back to retake the lead and get the win? ”

I don’t know if they would have got the offense working again, but pretty much immediately after Josh left, Boston scored 5 quick points and stretched the lead from a manageable 2 to what seemed like an insurmountable 7. I don’t think they get 5 points that easily if Josh is around. Don’t know if that would have been enough to swing the game, but I think the Hawks would have at least had a chance to tie or win at the end of the game.

“Can it be fair to say that our best player is definetley Josh and not Joe?”

It’s been fair to say that since the beginning of this season.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
1:19 am

“Are we all in agreement that if Josh is injured and can’t play or is limited to playing time, we can call this series a wrap up?”

Unless Al Horford and Zaza both have Willis Reed moments, yes. And even if they do, it might not be enough. Josh is too important to this team.