Celtics at Atlanta Hawks Game 5: Hawks 87, Celtics 86

  • So Al Horford sits out four months because of the first major injury of his career and then comes back and has what is, under the circumstances, probably his best postseason game. But the Hawks didn’t win until Horford prevented Rajon Rondo from driving to score after they nearly gave the game away with a terrible turnover.
  • Yeah, that sounds about right for the Hawks.
  • Larry Drew: “Al Horford was absolutely huge tonight. His ability to move around at times when we were forced to make switches on defense, and his foot speed enabled him to sta with the ball. Offensively, his gives us a presdence down there, and he made some big shots for us tonight.”
  • After sending out Jason Collins, Erick Dampier, Ivan Johnson and Rusty Al Horford for four games, the Hawks suddenly now another bona fide big man to play alongside Josh Smith. The difference was somewhat noticeable
  • Watching Horford run the floor for dunks in Game 4, I realized it had been so long since I’d seen him out there I kind of forgot how good he can be. “That was the team they started the season with,” Doc Rivers said. “They now have it, so now we have to deal with it.”
  • The Hawks survived some tense final moments after Rajon Rondo stole Josh’s pass. “I didn’t think he was going to get it,” Josh said. “He’s got that long wingspan and long fingers. He was able to make a huge play for them. We came back down and I quickly washed the memory out of my head.”
  • Josh did at least have the awareness to cut Rondo off from the middle of the floor and make him turn left before Garnett took him out with a pick. Al stepped up to corral Rondo along the baseline and then stayed in front of him as Rondo tried to set him up with a move.
  • “Al sat down on him pretty good,” Josh said. “They tried to throw it to KG and I was able to deflect it, and the game was over. Thank God.”
  • “I didn’t want to lose the series that way, so I didn’t want to let Rondo shoot a jumper over me,” Horford said. “You’re fighting for your life out there.”
  • “Al makes a big difference,” Rondo said. “He can guard anybody on the floor. Other than that, it’s the same Hawks we’ve been playing the last four or five years.”
  • Zaza Pachulia did a fine job in place of Horford this season, and the Hawks certainly could still use him now. But Horford does so many things well, and he did them all tonight against the Celtics.
  • Al ran screen-rolls with Jeff Teague to get scores at the basket or pop outs for Js. He collected offensive rebounds. He switched on screens and defended guards. He blocked shots. He collected defensive boards and ran the break.
  • Al ended up playing 41 minutes after Drew abandoned his plan to limit him. “I was tired a little bit but right now I feel fine,” he said. “Maybe it’s the adrenaline from the game and tomorrow it will be a different story.
  • The screen-roll element alone with Al is a big boost for the Hawks. They were missing that badly. “Definitely,” Teague said. “He’s a real athletic guy, athletic roller. And his presence to be able to pick-and-pop and he can switch it up and roll, that’s big.”
  • The Celtics now go from being able to ignore Atlanta’s centers to perhaps having to consider doubling him. All of that freelancing by KG has to end now, opening up the floor.
  • Joe Johnson didn’t see it that way, though: “The court wasn’t necessarily more open with Al out there tonight. I was just trying to make the right play out there. It feels great to have him back on the floor.”
  • Sure, because otherwise the Hawks lose this game and the story might be about how Joe managed just four points on six shots in the second half and bogged down the offense by constantly being indecisive until help came and he dribbled away from the basket.
  • Teague was terrific. He scored efficiently again (16 points on 11 shots, five assists against three turnovers) and subjectively much better defending Rondo than before.
  • “I just feel like sometimes I have to be aggressive, pick-and-choose my shots, try to get Joe going a little bit,” he said. “I really couldn’t get anything going in the first quarter so I thought I’d be a little more aggressive as the game went on. Got the guys going and tried to make the shots when I was open.”
  • I supposed he made Joe happy by helping him get 17 shots for his 15 points while Teague made due with six fewer shots for his 16.
  • Marvin Williams finally was back to the confident catch-and-shoot game that had looked so good late in the regular season. The points are so hard to come by for the mainstays in this series he has to knock down those open looks. He still looks less solid on defense than usual.
  • Josh found his burst at times to collect 16 rebounds. He’s a tough guy but he sometimes tries to play the same way gimpy as when he’s well. The jump shots weren’t falling and there were some bad turnovers while trying to run the break but the six assists highlight his ability to make diagonal passes out of the post and interior passes to cutting teammates.
  • With Horford back, Drew almost had no choice but to keep good players on the court and shortened the bench considerably. But he still managed to find a way to play Willie Green over Kirk Hinrich in the second half after Hinrich had seven points on four shots and played solid D in the first half.
  • Drew also found minutes eight minutes for Erick Dampier and the way he handled him is typical. Dampier had a decent stretch in the first half, grabbing a couple rebounds and scoring on a nice catch around the basket. But instead of being happy/relieved that this happened, Drew went back to Dampier for a less-successful stretch in the second half.
  • Credit Drew, though, for getting Horford back in the game after Ryan Hollins beat Dampier down the court for an oop dunk. “At the end of the third quarter I asked coach if he could sit me down for four or five minutes to I can come back and leave it all out there,” Al said. “But I had to go back in earlier than that.”
  • The Hawks go back to Boston for what’s sure to be another slog with the Celtics.
  • “Whatever we did [tonight], ball it up in a cup and take it with us,” Teague said. “We have just to come out and play hard again. It’s going to be a hostile environment. We’ve just got to get past those first five minutes and we’ll be fine.”
  • “I wish we could have a game like they had on us, where nobody missed a shot in Game 4,” Josh said. “Unfortunately we haven’t had a game like that. The Boston Celtics are going to make you grind for every bucket, every point. You have to think and outsmart them on a lot of plays because their defensive I.Q. is almost perfect.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

91 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
12:48 am

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
12:48 am

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
12:48 am

big hug for drmaryb!

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
12:49 am

Yea All NBA was the difference…..

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
12:51 am

Hey Paul…..

Karma?

Hows that knee? Tough to make shots on one leg.. No Te-bowing for you Genius!

High-sider

May 9th, 2012
12:56 am

Game balls to Horford, Teague and Marvin, yes Marvin Williams. Honorable mention[s] to Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich.

Anonymous NBA Official

May 9th, 2012
12:56 am

Did anybody see Willie Green foul Ray Allen twice? Green didn’t touch Allen, but I made the calls because, well, it’s Willie Green.

JSS

May 9th, 2012
12:58 am

Man, stop saying Willie Green, I’ll be seeing him in my sleep!!!

i_am_soulstar

May 9th, 2012
12:58 am

Willie Green gets no love in this series. JJ’s secretly mad at him for missing that last shot in Game 3.

christopher mehegan

May 9th, 2012
1:00 am

HAHAHAHAHA U GUYS MAY HAVE WON THIS GAME TONIGHT BUT UNDERSTAND THIS U BUNCH OF ATLANTA PLAYOFF STEPPINGSTONE FOOTNOTE CHOKERS COME THURSDAY NIGHT THE FUNERAL PROCESSION FOR THE CHOKERS WILL BEGIN WHEN THE CELTICS WIPE THE PARQUEE FLOOR WITH THE ATLANTA CHOKERS RIGHT OUT OF BEANTOWN AND OUT OF BOSTON STRAIGHT INTO THE OFFSEASON CLOSING TIME HAWKS TIME TO PACK IT IN CAUSE UR SEASON WILL END THURSDAY FOR GOOD GREEN AND WHITE FOREVER BIYATCHES GO CELTICS C’S WIN GAME 6 AND THE SERIES 4-2

Slimjr

May 9th, 2012
1:00 am

If ZaZa comes back.Hawks in 7!

Mike D

May 9th, 2012
1:04 am

@Big Lou no racist shid Im mixed talk to ya man Buddy Grizzard!

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:04 am

Remember When?

Speaking of only 8 of 202 teams have come back from 3-1 to win a series, wasn’t Ray Allen on the losing end of one of those 8 teams?

Didn’t the Dikembe Mutombo led Denver Nuggets upset the Ray Allen lead Seattle Super Sonics around 1992 or 1993. I recall visions of a #8 seeded (Nuggets) upsetting the #1 seeded (Super Sonics) and, seeing Dikembe laid out and sprawled in the paint, with tears streaming and the ball clenched on the floor over his supine head.

Ray Allen had a look of disbelief in his eyes, I wonder if he had a De JaVu moment tonight as the game slipped away. If my memory serves me correct … The Hawks could make history repeat itself and, reset the record books to read:

9 of 202 teams have climbed back from 3-1 in a 1st round series. The Caveat is those 1st round series were only 5 games.
______________________

LETS GO HAWKS and MAKE HISTORY repeat ITSELF!!!

JSS

May 9th, 2012
1:06 am

It is what everyone expected from Horford after the 2009 playoffs… Assertive, confident, elevating the player next to him!

TMACfan

May 9th, 2012
1:07 am

RAY ALLEN DID NOT PLAY IN 1992. HE IS NOT 60 YEARS OLD.

TMACfan

May 9th, 2012
1:07 am

You are talking about Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton

najah dappenfart

May 9th, 2012
1:07 am

Great performance to take it to Game 6!

Mike D

May 9th, 2012
1:08 am

@drmaryb. You must work for espn or nbatv cause you stay coming with the stats! I see why everyone is in love with you on this blog:)

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:10 am

Perhaps that was 1995 or 1996?

MattP

May 9th, 2012
1:10 am

Sounds like someone is pissed the Celtics lost a game they should have won.

Rusty

May 9th, 2012
1:12 am

Great game to win. LD tried his earnest to lose the game.putting Willie in was really stupid.going to iso Joe at the game almost gave the game away.JJ played poor Al was just unbelievable having that kind of game after the injury & not being in game shape,a great effort from a man with a big heart.Josh was just Josh,good game inspite of many errors.it throwing away the pass to rondo was on LD,wanting to give the ball to iso Joe,coming out of a timeout it looked like a cluster fk.what kind of play was that,I think that the hawks didn’t have any timeouts & time was running out.it’s funny I’ve seen more praise for KH on here than for JT.jt played a great game ,steady as a rock on offense & defense.for a guy practically a rookie,he shows great poise.He would be much better if LD would put an end to iso Joe,iso Joe almost cost us this game & if we keep that up we will get eliminated by the celts. Great win but it was so hard because of LD & iso Joe.

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:14 am

tmac fan … i didn’t see your post, but i adjusted my calculation without provocation. i see you cant add either … 60 years old? you’re worse off than me.

anyway, in your negativity, you missed the whole point.

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:17 am

Grand Mama & The Glove … Tmac Fan? That sounds about right. The only player I remember from Seattle was Rashard Lewis & Ray Allen though. But Shawn and Gary does ring a bell now.

I had a lot going on in my life back then, I was clubbing hard! LOL

EmirS.

May 9th, 2012
1:18 am

So can we win in Boston?

A win there and we come back to Atlanta with HUGE momentum!

shua

May 9th, 2012
1:21 am

Hawks need fi go sit down! Celtics GOT THIS….they just had to make it more interesting…MOST OF ATL ARE BOSTONIANS ANYWAYS…lol

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:24 am

MikeD

HaHa … I used to watch ESPN 24/7 9 years ago. I haven’t watched that crap one minute since. I got burned out on the same re-run every 30 minutes. Thank God i moved on from that. I was starting to hear that tune in my sleep.

I did become a walking stats troll of every thing sports. from hockey to baseball and everything in between. medical school put a end to all that noise.

(no grammar tonight, im too tired to hit the shift key) LOL im just so glad we won!!!

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 9th, 2012
1:28 am

Nice-ities!

“big hug for drmaryb!” -slimjr-
_______

and, a soft wet kiss for slimjr. Mmmm Good!

CamiloAtlanta

May 9th, 2012
1:30 am

Christopher Mehouligan, nobody doubts your precious Celtics. You guys have the superior team and coach. I’m amazed we won. How could the Celtics lose two to the lowly psychotic Hawks, it’s scary. Lebron is gonna feast on your old bones.

doc

May 9th, 2012
1:35 am

Refs called a lot of phantom fouls tonight wanting change the flow of the game but failed whenn pp air balled it at the end. They also swallowed the whistle on the other end. It is really hard to be an atl fan playing against these odds.

soullrenaissance

May 9th, 2012
1:41 am

On to the next one! A fitting way for the game to end was for Horf to get the defensive stop after a Smoove gaff. We needed that hustle in the worst way. I feel we can win game 6. With Horford back the Cs better be very afraid. Saved LD his job.

Tom

May 9th, 2012
1:48 am

Was JJ an iso player in Phoenix? I think he was more of a catch and shoot kind of guy with the suns.

soullrenaissance

May 9th, 2012
1:48 am

Great job Teague!

TMACfan

May 9th, 2012
1:55 am

@drmaryb.(*_*).

I was exaggerating lol

TMACfan

May 9th, 2012
1:56 am

GO HAWKS!! TAKE IT TO GAME 7 and WIN IT ALL!!!!!!!!!

High-sider

May 9th, 2012
2:07 am

Buddy Grizzard
May 9th, 2012
12:31 am

KH is awesome! Plus he’s white! We watch all the games at our Klan meetings!
———————————————————————-

Josh Smith, Al Horford, Joe Johnson, and Jeff Teague are all awesome because they’re black! The Hawks are back to its all-black starting five – great! The Hawks have a great black head coach in LD – hip hip hooray! The Hawks would be immensely better if the [Hawks] team had Jamal Crawford, who’s black [smile], instead of Kirk Hinrich, who’s white [frown]. We watch all the Hawks games at our [New] Black Panther Party and NOI [Nation of Islam] meetings. It’s fun to be around [other] black racists and black supremacists [who think] just like me [dripping with sarcasm].

High-sider

May 9th, 2012
2:16 am

In addition, the Hawks need a black owner [or black owners], a black GM and an all-black executive management staff. That would be just dreamy; right Buddy Grizzard [sarcasm]? I know you were just joking Buddy Grizzard and so was I or was I [just joking]? Just kidding. [LOL and LMAO] I may disagree with you, Buddy Grizzard, northcyde and vava74 but it’s all good. I’m cool.

paul

May 9th, 2012
2:21 am

celtics lost this game when they took their foot off the gas in the second quarter. Gotta put Stiemsma in the game over this Hollins guy too. A good block can change the flow of the game. Anyways, Rivers wasn’t prepared for containing Horford in this game. Clearly he is a gamechanger for the Hawks. Back to the drawing board so we can close it out at home. Go celts. Tough series guys, may the best team win

northcyde

May 9th, 2012
2:23 am

Smh. I thought drmaryb typed “nice-t!ties”.

I just left Pin-Ups an hour ago, so my mind is playing tricks on me.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 9th, 2012
2:53 am

“Sure, because otherwise the Hawks lose this game and the story might be about how Joe managed just four points on six shots in the second half and bogged down the offense by constantly being indecisive until help came and he dribbled away from the basket.”

Haha. Real talk. Tell it like it is MC.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 9th, 2012
2:59 am

“Was JJ an iso player in Phoenix? I think he was more of a catch and shoot kind of guy with the suns.”

He was entirely a catch and shoot guy, and played some backup PG for them. I really think the playoff series when he broke his face, and the season ending injury he suffered in 2006 with the Hawks, changed his identity as a player. Both of those made him significantly less willing to drive inside and absorb contact.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 9th, 2012
3:00 am

drmaryb, you got everything right about that Sonics-Nuggets series except the presence of Ray Allen. Allen only made it to the Sonics in like 2005 or something. He played the first seven or eight years of his career in Milwaukee, and made it to the playoffs with Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson several times.

vava74

May 9th, 2012
3:11 am

Rebounding and Defense wins games.

We out-rebounded BOS for the second time on a tight defensive game and got the second win.

The other time the Hawks out-rebounded BOS is not relevant since they did not play any D and were routed, but the bottom line is always: play D and out-rebound your opponent and you win games.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 9th, 2012
3:11 am

Triple doubles are a great indicator of a versatile player, but they can also be a little overrated, especially when talking about the other team’s defensive effort. Rondo’s game today (6/17, 13 pts, 12 dimes, 5 boards, 5 steals, 5 turnovers) is in many ways similar to his game during the Game 3 triple double (7/22, 17 pts, 12 dimes, 14 boards, 4 steals, 6 turnovers), with the obvious exception of rebounding.

A big difference between Game 3 and Game 5, though, is that Game 3’s starting Hawks center collected 3 rebounds, while Game 5’s starting center collected 11 rebounds.

The Hawks in general, and Teague in particular, took some heat for the way Rondo was defended after that Game 3. I don’t think the Hawks as a team defended Rondo poorly in either game, despite the fact that Rondo put up a triple double in Game 3. He had an inefficient game tonight just like he did in Game 3. That is a good thing for the Hawks, regardless of what the final stats show.

hawkfan

May 9th, 2012
3:19 am

well like I said before about bringing Horford back early, he clearly won the game for us today and without him tonight I don’t think we would have won, even charles on tnt gave a shoutout to the hawks for “showing up” tonight haha

Mate.

May 9th, 2012
4:20 am

christopher mehegan takes it up the ass.
if you’re anything by which to judge celtics fans then i judge you to be a f***ing idiot. toggle caps lock off and take your stupid ranting to the celtics’ fan page where you can all have a big, stupid, uneducated, inbred orgy together.
ATL <3

Editor Superior

May 9th, 2012
4:29 am

Holy shnikes, Michael Cunningham! Are you proofreading these articles AT ALL before you post them? I had an extremely hard time reading it because there were so many words that were misspelled, missing, doubled, or in completely the wrong place in the sentence.

JustAThought

May 9th, 2012
6:01 am

So…………….the hawks decided they want to die a slow long death. But know and understand people, they will not get out the 1st round. As I said they are just prolonging the inevitable.

Mark

May 9th, 2012
6:02 am

We won this Game INSPITE of Larry Stupid Drew! What a waste! I mean for IVAN JOHNSON who was the Rookie of the Month to see no playing time is pathetic especially since he gives you extra rebounding. Drew is a DUFUS!

Buddy Grizzard

May 9th, 2012
6:16 am

MC getting all his licks in.

Splackaveli

May 9th, 2012
6:18 am

*sighs* 1992-1993 would be 19-20 years ago. It’s 2012. Someone really believes Ray Allen is a TWENTY YEAR NBA vet? Besides, he was with the Bucks until 02-03.

This why women shouldn’t leave the kitchen to attempt to talk sports.