The Boston Celtics came as close it gets to sending Atlanta on summer vacation as it gets without finishing the job last night. They had the ball with a chance to win and if the normally brilliant Rajon Rondo pulls up for a shot the Celtics might be prepping for round two of the NBA playoffs. However, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers should not be worried because is Atlanta is done next game. Last night’s game left zero doubt in my mind that the Hawks just do not have what it takes to beat Boston.
I will give the Hawks a little credit in the fact that they survived the Boston onslaught. I know 86 points is hardly an offensive outburst, but the onslaught was something different. The Boston Celtics were like Michael Myers from the Halloween movies last night. They were beaten up and left for dead multiple times and they still kept coming. Every time Atlanta pulled away, Boston would stalk right back into the game. The Celtics were down double digits in the second half and down seven with under three minutes to go in the game and both times jumped right back into the game. There is zero way any of the Hawks players had nothing but the thought of what do we have to do to put this team away running through their minds last night.
The sad part is Atlanta should have blown Boston out. The Celtics had the cushion of a game six in Boston in their minds where it has been a house of horrors for these Hawks. The Hawks were playing for their lives in front of a home crowd that was jacked and pumped for playoff basketball. They had Al Horford come back and play the game of his life. They had a slower than normal due to his knee injury Paul Pierce playing for Boston. They had all the intangibles and still had to survive to get a win to stay alive.
In Boston there will be no luxury of a home crowd for the Hawks. In Boston the Celtics know they do not want game seven in Atlanta. In Boston Paul Pierce will have had a day of rest and treatment for his knee and he will be looking to prove that he is capable of beating a team with his offense despite the injury. In Boston Rajon Rondo will look to atone for an offense that sputtered at times. The game is also a national broadcast which means Rondo should be in rare form in a must win game in Boston’s mind. I put all these facts together and that spells for me it is time for the Atlanta Hawks to be setting up tee times for the golf course. Remember Go Green or Go Home!!!!!