Atlanta Hawks: Celtics 90, Hawks 84 (OT)

Boston–The Hawks, against all odds and in spite of Larry Drew’s weird substitution patterns, had a chance to beat the Celtics and regain control of this series. This was because they were intense on defense and the boards, got production from unlikely sources and Joe Johnson made big shots. It also helped that the Celtics sputtered on their possessions late in regulation.

  • The Hawks lost in overtime and one way to look at is they nearly won without their top three bigs. Heck, for at least one night you can’t even knock them for not having enough quality bigs (who does, really?) after Erick Dampier had his best game of the season.
  • “We feel like we have as good a chance to win this series as they do,” Joe Johnson said. “Unfortunately we have three key bigs that are not able to play. That is a minor setback. We still had a great chance to come out and win this game. We still had a chance in the fourth quarter.”
  • Another way to look at it, though, is that three games have come down to the final minutes and the Celtics won two of them. They didn’t do it with style, but they did it.
  • “I think [the difference] is down the stretch,” Willie Green said. “Offensively, they execute in the last six minutes of the game. The games they won, we were winning they had control of the game and then the last six to eight minutes of fourth quarter and those guys know how to turn it up. They push us out, make us to take tough shots, force the catches way out until we can’t get in our offense. We’ve just got to do a better job of spacing and attacking these guys.”
  • I heard cries of “same old Hawks” after they lost Game 2 and I didn’t buy it, at least not if that implies these Hawks are like that group that laid down for the Magic two years ago. Competing hard hasn’t often been the problem for the Hawks this season and it’s the same in this series.
  • “I give them a lot of credit,” Doc Rivers said. “They are undermanned. . . . They fought. I thought early on they were playing free, loose and also with more intensity.”
  • But if by “same old Hawks” critics mean they still can’t find a way to finish off quality opponents in the postseason, then there’s no denying that even considering the injury-related holes in their roster.
  • “We had them where we wanted them in the fourth quarter,” Jeff Teague said. “We had a chance to win it. That’s all we can ask on the road. In the overtime they made plays and we ran out of gas a little bit after fighting back in that fourth quarter. We get another crack at them and we have to be better.”
  • It’s not as if the Hawks had only terrible execution at the end of regulation. I thought there were some good possessions during their comeback. . . .
  • Jeff Teague got into the lane and kicked out to Tracy McGrady, who found Willie Green in the corner for a 3. That’s good.
  • Joe Johnson made a step-back J on a quick isolation move against Mickael Pietrus. After Paul Pierce inexplicably shoved Jason Collins out on the perimeter, Joe pulled up for a 3 over Pietrus before help could arrive. Those were nice. Tie game.
  • McGrady got to the rim but let Rondo bother him and missed. That’s bad. “I missed an easy-[arse] shot right there,” he said.
  • And then Joe passed out of a double team, McGrady drove to get Kevin Garnett off the perimeter and kicked out to Green, who got a pretty good look after pump-faking Ray Allen. Not a bad process even if the result wasn’t good.
  • “It was an isolation on the wing,” Joe said. “They came with a double team and I made the right play. I thought Willie had a great look at it. Pump fake and one dribble, that’s a shot he normally makes. That’s a shot we work on in practice but unfortunately it didn’t go down.”
  • The overtime didn’t go as well offensively for the Hawks. Drew called a timeout and isolated McGrady, balky ankle and all, against Pierce. He missed. After a Celtics shot-clock violation, Joe got past Pietrus for a layup. But after a Rondo airball, Joe missed a short jumper off an isolation.
  • Garnett got a tip dunk, Joe missed a 3 and that was it.
  • “We’ve been a team that has had adversity throughout the season like everybody else,” Drew said. “It says a lot about your team when they can step up in the playoffs short-handed and put yourself in position to win.”
  • It says a lot more if you actually win. The margin is thin in this series and some of Drew’s personnel decisions were odd.
  • The game changed when Rondo attacked Jannero Pargo on three straight possessions early in the fourth quarter. Drew called a timeout but left Pargo in as Kirk Hinrich, who had done a respectable job checking Rondo, sat for the entire fourth quarter and overtime.
  • Drew eventually replaced Pargo with Green. “I thought about bringing [Hinrich] back but I really was searching for someone who could make a shot,” Drew said. “I went with Willie, he came in and knocked down a big three for us. I elected to ride those guys out.”
  • Drew also sat Johnson and Teague together for 4:20 and 10 possessions spanning the third and fourth quarters and the Hawks didn’t score: Ivan Johnson missed two Js, Pargo missed three shots and threw away a pass, Dampier missed, Green missed a 3, Marvin Williams traveled and McGrady missed a 3.
  • At least there was some rhyme and reason for Drew to sit Joe for seven minutes: Joe ended up playing the entire second half and overtime. But if that was the plan, couldn’t Drew have staggered the rest over two stretches so Joe or Teague could always be on the court?
  • Then again, I’m not even sure Drew planned to ride Joe after halftime. “I didn’t want that game to get away from us,” he said. “At the end of the third quarter asked him how he felt, he said he felt good. He wasn’t tired so I decided to ride him.”
  • This is a game where Joe needed to take 28 shots and he did well to get 29 points with just two turnovers. The eight rebounds were important, too. Yes, Joe had some isos, but I thought he was decisive and aggressive in those situations so the Celtics never really were able to smother him.
  • Teague (23 points on 16 shots, six assists against two turnovers) was great. The Hawks were at their best when he found the perfect balance between attacking to score and finding teammates. “I was just playing aggressive,” he said. “Trying to get some kind of offense going and get us back into it.” He didn’t get many touches in overtime.
  • McGrady was good, too, save for some bad turnovers that coincided with Pargo’s struggles. He gave the Celtics a lot of problems with his size around the basket. He lost some of his effectiveness after he rolled his ankle late in the first half. “It wasn’t the same,” he said. “I really couldn’t get the lift I wanted to and I hesitated to cut.” He said he was sore after playing 41 minutes but planned to play through any bumps and bruises in Game 4.
  • Marvin passed up a lot of open shots–that traveling call I mentioned previously happened when he had a clean look on the secondary break but pump-faked instead of shooting. The 11 defensive rebounds in 20 minutes were an important contribution considering he was playing on the frontline. But the the Hawks needed points and he was -10 in spite of playing more alongside the starters.
  • Pargo, in addition to his defensive struggles, took and missed bad shots and didn’t run the offense.
  • Dampier looked dang near spry while skying for rebounds, throwing down dunks and contesting the Celtics at the rim. Credit his professionalism for being ready after being on the shelf for so long.
  • Collins had a couple silly fouls and four turnovers. But four points on four shots, three rebounds in 20 minutes. Collins ended up -2 in 20 minutes even though Garnett and Bass took him outside.
  • There have been diminishing returns in the last two games with Ivan, especially on offense. He was out there without Teague or Joe there to steady things.
  • Green made some timely shots and didn’t hurt the Hawks defensively in 15 minutes.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic made his series debut and didn’t get off a shot until a 3 attempt in garbage time.
  • Rondo had a triple-double. His final line was rough (17 points on 22 shots, six turnovers) but he took over the game after halftime. “I could hear him say, ‘Let’s get to the rim,’” Teague said. “They were trying to get offensive rebounds. I guess we have to live with him scoring. We don’t want Paul Pierce and those guys to get it going so we have to live with him taking shots. He made some tonight.”
  • The Hawks will regroup for Game 4 and hope Josh Smith is back in the fold. “We are still very confident,” Joe said. “This series is far from over. We have just got to keep fighting and keep grinding. We will find some way to get a win.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

126 comments Add your comment


May 5th, 2012
1:24 am

Well well well, tired of being close.


Tmac tried to take over. Not able to, might as well pass it.


May 5th, 2012
1:27 am


May 5th, 2012
1:28 am

Najeh Davenpoop

May 5th, 2012
1:29 am

“Teague… didn’t get many touches in overtime.”

“The overtime didn’t go as well offensively for the Hawks. ”

These two things are directly related. Teague is not a perfect PG but he is the Hawks’ best option to initiate offense when Josh is injured.


May 5th, 2012
1:29 am

Give our team credit, guys stepped up in the absence of Josh, but we still lost the game..

We will win the next one.


May 5th, 2012
1:30 am

Hawks score 84 points in 53 minutes [48 in regulation and 5 in overtime].

Does anybody [else] miss Jamal Crawford now?


May 5th, 2012
1:31 am

Hinrich should have seen some play time as he really has better numbers than green over all and has played pretty well both ways. Pargo should sit and green only in spots. Finally erick got some legit time and showed he should have had more of it. Stupid Larry, stupid..


May 5th, 2012
1:32 am

Nice try high, sorry.


May 5th, 2012
1:34 am



May 5th, 2012
1:35 am

NO…..Nobody misses Jamal….We Miss Josh,AL and Zaza…They are the DIFFERENCE…Not some non-defensive playing chucker….


May 5th, 2012
1:36 am

Tonight should be a night of celebration.
I realize the Hawks will disappoint us again.
But tonight, I was proud to be a Hawks fan.

LD for all his shortcomings that we all can nit pick;
the man and his staff coached their collective asses off tonight.

The Bench;
Collins & Damp combined for 10 & 9.
Willie G hit a couple of big shots.
And of Course T-Mac the performance of the season !

Little things I notice:
How well the team performs as a unit [particularly on defense]
when Cap`n Kirk is on the floor.
V-Rad comes in and all of a sudden, driving lanes open up
for Teaguer & Joe as the c`s “have to” spread their defense.
*[V-Rad automatically spreads the floor]

I was so mad at Joe for wilting in the play-offs again;
then all of a sudden, Joe turns into Mr Clutch at the right time.

I almost forgot about young Mr Teaguer;
went head to head with the great Rondo.
At the very worst – he fought him to a draw.
Seems like Teaguer rises to the occasion during the Play-offs !

Back to LD – everytime I wish to get angry with him
the team shows up with a performance like tonight
when I was expecting a typical Hawks-roll-over-&-mail-it-in.

Kudos to LD and our Atlanta Hawks !


May 5th, 2012
1:36 am

“Drew called a timeout but left Pargo in as Kirk Hinrich, who had done a respectable job checking Rondo, sat for the entire fourth quarter and overtime.” – Michael Cunningham

Rajon Rondo’s stat line for Game 3 vs. the Hawks – 17pts, 14rebs, 12asts and 4stls in 48:40 [of playing time]


May 5th, 2012
1:44 am

i actually have hope after watching this game. “MAYBE” now caoch drew see’s hows effective T-Mac can be against this team. so josh comes back next game and mcgrady get a lot of work done on ankle tomorrow and we win the next game and tiw the series up. lets not panic guys i still believe with josh playing and macgrady getting quality minutes we can still win the series.


May 5th, 2012
1:46 am


You are watching a STAR being born.

jamal crawford fan

May 5th, 2012
1:46 am

Tmac had those two cruel in and out 3’s in the 2nd quarter which could have put the hawks up by 4 going into the second half. story of the hawks night just got all the wrong rolls and bounces.


May 5th, 2012
1:48 am


May 5th, 2012
1:35 am

NO…..Nobody misses Jamal….We Miss Josh,AL and Zaza…They are the DIFFERENCE…Not some non-defensive playing chucker….

You will, Rufus1, when Hinrich, Pargo, Green, and [Marvin] Williams score a total of eight [8] points [or less] combined [again] and the Hawks fail [again] to score 85 points for an entire game vs. the Celtics this postseason.


May 5th, 2012
1:49 am

I do not wish to criticize anyone tonite.
Rick Sund, for not having another Big on the roster
is the goat – in my opinion.

Collins and Damp far exceded any expectation I ever could concieve.

Still, w/o naming available Bigs that were and have been easily obtainable
including our draftee; inexcusable for Sund.

Yeah, LD has some unusual moments with substitutions;
but darn`it, some of those outside the box decisions have worked.

Listen; I`m still not sold on LD.

But dawg-gone ! ? !

Najeh Davenpoop

May 5th, 2012
1:51 am

Hawks would have won this game if they had Kenneth Faried (and Jordan Crawford) instead of Kirk.


May 5th, 2012
1:52 am

The Celts also attempted 25 FTs to our 15.


May 5th, 2012
1:52 am

we could have easily won if we just had a better coach but LD does a lot of head scratching things esp with his subs. Still think we would have won game 2 if LD let T-mac play and would have won tonight if he made the right subs at the right time.

but overall im proud of how joe teague t-mac and the whole team down to damp played hard tonight. now just get the win on sunday and even it up LETS GO!


May 5th, 2012
1:58 am

* [from last blog] *


I haven`t read everyone`s remarks.
So I do not know what the is the popular opine
for LD`s perfomance this eve.

Therfore, I`ll make two points only for you.

1. Game two; I was extrely critical of LD.

2. Tonight LD should be lauded, along with our entire team.
What a magnificent performance under extreme duress;
both LD / and staff plus the players, all of them.


May 5th, 2012
1:59 am

I will never miss Jamal…..I miss AL, Josh and Zaza, because they score and PLAY DEFENSE.

Because if he was playing, we would lose by 20 points a game…. He is the Classic example of the “FISH STORY”….. he gets better with time, but he was really a MINOW!

“You will, Rufus1, when Hinrich, Pargo, Green, and [Marvin] Williams score a total of eight [8] points [or less] combined [again] and the Hawks fail [again] to score 85 points for an entire game vs. the Celtics this postseason.”-High-sider

The Celtics score about 85pts, because those guys play defense….I CHOOSE defense everyday and TWICE on Sunday.


May 5th, 2012
2:00 am

Hawks win this game if we had a healthy Josh and AL.


May 5th, 2012
2:02 am

“Hawks score 84 points in 53 minutes [48 in regulation and 5 in overtime].

Does anybody [else] miss Jamal Crawford now?”

NO….. Jamal is cool but I still like the bench this year over just Jamal.


May 5th, 2012
2:06 am

proud of the guys for stepping up tonight. have to get the win on sunday.


May 5th, 2012
2:07 am

Grandad you got to be kidding.your either LDs son or your on drugs. Horrible coaching he caused us this game ,just like the second game. Wake up before you watch the games.


May 5th, 2012
2:07 am

sorry gdad, i am not going to be happy to lose. it really says something when these things keep happening. whether it is queen doing it in the finals or important games or us in as important games it still shows the collar is still on. tmac, sorry you didnt deliver when you had the chance(S). teague is still growing and jj waited for the double and triple as long as it is in his hand he either has to shoot it or get rid of it to start over.


May 5th, 2012
2:09 am

I know it`s a little thing that`s a Big thang that`s overlooked
we still lost, because the C`s scored more points than our Hawks
the Hawks outscored the Celts from the floor 72 – 68.
to the Hawks makng 12 of 15 FTs -v- Boston attmptng 25 while hittng 22.

Had there been more parity with FTs / no OT / perhaps ?


May 5th, 2012
2:13 am

Grandad let’s face it ,it was still a nasty loss,LD is a looser same as woody.


May 5th, 2012
2:17 am


Not happy at all.

Pleasantly surprised.

The folks that try to lay it all on LD are just wrong.

I`m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I`m proud to be a Hawks fan tonight.

Mistakes, certainly.
Teamwork, effort, defense, preparation … yes;
and that`s a yes that I can live with.


May 5th, 2012
2:25 am

This game pretty much went just like I expected, minus a close Hawks win. Shame on all of you who though that this team would simply roll over and die without Josh. Josh is a good player, but we do have enough talent on this team that can do bits and pieces to replace what Josh brought to the table . . with the exception of shot blocking. The same would be true if Josh were playing, but JJ went down.

Props to JJ for GRINDING. It was a Dominique-esque type of game in which he didn’t shoot a great percentage, but seemed to hit timely shots. Stars have to play games like these during the playoffs sometimes. You simply have to grind away and keep playing, doing everything possible to help your team win the game.

Major props to Jeff Teague. I pretty much knew he was poised to have a big game tonight I thought he was excellent all game, staying in full attack mode. Without Josh in the lineup, he would have more of an opportunity to play like that, and he took advantage of it.

Collins and Dampier defended Garnett well. Despite Dampier doing his Zaza fumbling the ball imitation on a few plays, he played about as well as you can expect him to play in this situation. Collins man defense was once again solid. But the thing I hate about him is that he doesn’t have the athleticism to rebound at a decent rate. A few of those offensive rebounds Boston got with Collins in the area, were absolute killers.

I had to go “ooooooooo” on that T-Mac baseline spin and dunk that he did over Pietrus. Nobody was expecting that move. I loved watching him work in that 2nd quarter. Who knows what the outcome of this game would’ve been, had he not gotten hurt before halftime. But he definitely showed flashes of his old self last night.

Props to Marvin for doing SOMETHING. If you’re going to shoot like Jamal Crawford in the final 2 games in the Bulls series ( Marvin: 3 – 17 FG so far in this series . . . Jamal: 3 – 19 FG in the final 2 games vs the Bulls in 2011 ), you might as well lead the team in rebounding. Way to pick up those same defensive rebounds that would’ve gone to Josh Smith.

Small props to Hinrich and Willie Green. Nothing offensively from Hinrich, but played good defense most of his time on the court. Willie hit a big shot in OT.

The rest of the team . . blah.

Not at all surprised how this game went. Great effort by this team tonight. Now, I firmly believe that they’ll get Game 4 . . with or without Josh.

Section 303

May 5th, 2012
2:27 am

Pargo and Green are producing nothing now that the playoffs are here. Marvin still sucks, too.

Doc Rivers can save his praise. I f’ing hate the Celtics.


May 5th, 2012
2:34 am

Mortcyde JJ didn’t have a good game,took 28 shots & took the ball out of JTs hands in the overtime.Joe & Carmelo have a lot in common. He really didn’t have a good game.


May 5th, 2012
2:37 am

Nortcyde you can’t have a sg in this league playing big minutes & not scoring,it’s like having 2 marvins on the floor.


May 5th, 2012
2:39 am

Kevin Garnett got away with defensive goaltending with 1 minute to go in regulation on tracy mcgradys shot. cost us the game. these refs are horrific.


May 5th, 2012
2:40 am


” It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool
than to open it and resolve all doubt.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

LD could not be my father;
although he could be my son, I suppose ?
As I am the elder between he and I.

I am on prescription meds;
if that is what you mean by stating:
“your on drugs”

Did you actually mean:
your *[own] drugs ?
*[you`re] on drugs ?

In other words, which did you misspell ?
*[on / own] or [your / you`re]

In either case;
the drugs/meds are prescription and I purchase them at the pharmacy,
so I reckon they belong to me.


May 5th, 2012
2:42 am

Crusty . . your opinion is moot. You, like a few other people around here, are mere tape recorders. It doesn’t matter how a guy plays, you’ll say the same things each and every game . . . in a negative tone. Even trying to explain things to you would be a waste of my time.

So if you feel that JJ didn’t have a good game, that’s cool.


May 5th, 2012
2:47 am

Grandad . . I don’t know about a “celebration” . . but it does mean that the Hawks are legit in this series. And I think the Celtics know this. I’m POSITIVE that Doc knows it.

Some of the fans may be scared of the Celtics, but the Hawks aren’t. They know that they can go toe to toe with this team. The last obstacle now is to shut them down in the final 3 minutes of the game.


May 5th, 2012
2:51 am

Rusty – with all your expertise;
please cite specific basketball related [Xs and Os] that prove
LD is stupid and coached poorly.

Something other than he didn`t play your favorite player when
or as much as you wished.

Seriously; tell us something tangible.
How would you have deployed the offense differently ?
Same for the defense ?

I`m not talking match-ups.
Tell me something about how, where, when, systematically
that you would have conceived a plan more brilliant than LD.

Remember – I`m not talking about your fav plyrs.

I wish to hear some real basketball from you ………
who continue to lambast a man.

Now give me spot on reasoning.

Dept. Of Unintended Irony

May 5th, 2012
2:57 am

“Grandad let’s face it ,it was still a nasty loss,LD is a looser same as woody.”

I know what a loser is. Maybe a looser is one who goes to the loo.


May 5th, 2012
3:03 am


I certainly could have used any number of words other than
but, it was the one that came to mind.

I did not use the word in the context of having a party.

Occasionally celebration are solemn, neither did I use it in that context.

However, I used it in the context of ‘`praise`’.
Inasmuch as we have mailed it in on some occasions in the past.
I figured some measure of praise was due this bunch.
* Especially under the circumstances [injuries].

Maybe I shoud have said ‘`rejoice`’ ?


May 5th, 2012
3:09 am


Is that what you are doing up at 2:57 in the am ?
Goin` to the water closet ?


May 5th, 2012
3:18 am

Grandad get your head out your butt. Didnt you watch the game. It seems that a lot of people on the blog blame LD including MC or didn’t you read above.

You want frys with that

May 5th, 2012
3:22 am

Highlight factory after Boston wipe out at TG Garden sunday it be a Low Light May8 when we are Tebowed out at Phillips arena where Atlanta hawks will blame media and fans for the series lost.So make it great after the 109-76 blow out May 8 the 20,202 will throw items at owners causein them to run away and hide…Josh smith will shoot a Bird make foul words at fans Joe Johnson will just run and play tupac music…and then we get a New Team slogan for 2012-13 season for Hawks….Stay away from Hawks we still ripoff fans..


May 5th, 2012
3:47 am

The number one problem in this series is Larry Drew does not draw up plays for the offense that involves players creating opportunities for each other . . . other than the spread iso. They don’t even try the two-man give and go play. It’s just Joe Johnson trying to beat someone at the top of the key with a jumper. If it looks stupid, it is stupid because Joe was feast or famine with that approach. It is unreliable.

Hawks v Celtics

May 5th, 2012
3:50 am

“I heard cries of “same old Hawks” after they lost Game 2 and I didn’t buy it”

if they lose in the first round this year, you’ll certainly have a really good case to not buy it (the old hawks would at least make it out of the first round)


May 5th, 2012
4:11 am

Damp’s production is an indictment of LD’s idiocy.

T-Mac’s production is an indictment of LD’s idiocy.

Not giving the rock to Teague to close games on ISO plays after yet another quality and efficient night and continuing to exclusively do it with JJ – playing into the hand of well devised and mechanized defensive strategies of our opponents – is an indictment of LD’s idiocy.

lex luther

May 5th, 2012
4:14 am

To quote Evelyn from Basketball Wives…”Marvin Williams is a non-muther fu€kin factor”!!!

Hawks Fan Down Under

May 5th, 2012
5:30 am

Like Van Gundy said during the game, going iso in crunch time is a really hard way to win the game. It’s not smart or sustainable. JJ played well but they simply have to run some plays and move the ball down the stretch.

Can’t see them winning this series because their mentality and coaching down the stretch isnt smart enough.

Mike D

May 5th, 2012
5:49 am

In the words of Bill Worell “Tmac to the rack” Big game tonight from Tracy thank you Ld for finally gettin my dude on the court! T mac was great before he hurt that ankle just give him consistent minutes for the rest of the series the hawks can win this thing