Celts handle Hawks again

By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: May 5, 2012

BOSTON, MA (BASN) – With the Celtics coming back home after an emotional win on Tuesday night lead by Paul Pierce’s 36 point performance. They went to the man that was missing in action game two because of suspension Rajon Rondo. Rajon already thought that he let his team mates down when he foolishly bumped the referee and got ejected in game 1.

So (W.W.R.D) What Would Rondo Do well he would come back game three with the chance to help his team take charge of this series and he wasn’t going to let that chance slip away. Going into game three the Celtics would get a familiar face back into the line up Ray Allen who was out with an right ankle injury which had him sidelined for 11 games. Ray Allen hasn’t played in a game since April 10th and said “I wasn’t willing to tell anyone about my injury I just wanted to come back and help my team mates when the time was right”. Well Ray Allen showed up at the perfect time no better time than game three at the garden.

The Celtics came out the gate in the first quarter running and were eager to stay neck and neck with the Hawks. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Avery Bradley led the charge for the Celtics as the score was 19-17 the Hawks way with Joe Johnson scoring 8 points to add to that 19 the Hawks had. Second quarter “The Truth” Paul Pierce got into the swing of the game as he scored 8 points giving him a total of 10 points for the half. The Celtics lead 40-38 at halftime but still didn’t get Rondo involved into the game so he can make an impact. The second half that was a whole new story as Rajon Rondo had gone off ending his night with 17 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds. The thing that is so special about Rondo’s game is that once he get’s the rebound the Celtics fast break is unstoppable because, he’s either going to get fouled or make a basket or find an open player for a jumper. Ray Allen is usually that player that is open for the jumper from Rondo but, this time around coming off the right ankle injury you can tell he was still trying to get his legs back into it.

The Celtics suffered a big blow during the game also because, their best ball defender Avery Bradley had left the game with a separated shoulder and we don’t know his condition. Doc Rivers said “They usually just pop his shoulder back in but this time they couldn’t pop it back in”. So with that being said that means that we may see Ray Allen back in the starting line up or maybe even Pietrus. Bradley being out could be a big blow to the Celtics but there so deep on the bench that they can make adjustments to keep things rolling.

If the Celtics are going to survive this series they will need to put the clamps on Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague they have been having their way this series because, the Celtics can’t stop Teagues penetration to the basket and they can’t stop Joe Johnson’s isolation. Without any lost post presence from Horford or Josh Smith their is no way they should of allowed the Hawks to get any second chance points. The Hawks also got a huge contribution from T-Mac and he proved to the Celtic fans and the NBA that he can still play some basketball scoring 12 points before he tweaked his ankle. The Hawks had chances but their was just too much Rondo and too much Celtic defense as the Celtics shutdown the Hawks in the First Overtime game of the NBA Playoff’s beating them 90-84.

The Celtics veterans had played a lot of minutes being that the game went into overtime so Doc Rivers gave them tomorrow off but, the Celtics need to get used to the long minutes because the Hawks like to run and fly. In Order for the Celtics to pull out game 4 they would have to try to put a stop to Jeff Teague and his penetration to the basket on fast breaks because, he broke the Celtics defense up and had found a lot of wide open Hawks players for spot up jumpers. Also I would like to see the Celtics take advantage of the post more while Horford and Smith are out and use Bass and KG too their full potential and keep it pick and pop.

Going into game 4 the Celtics will have to keep the momentum going as they have the home crowd and the city behind them the ball is in their court because, the Celtics can go as far as the Celtics want to go and with them playing the way they did tonight they will have to try to fix up some things to improve to get past the Hawks. Game 4 is on Sunday at 7 the Celtics will have to come out with a haymaker to try to stagger the Hawks before they can get any type of offense going and clamp them down on defense and hold Johnson and Teague to a minimum and have someone else beat you.

Has Hawks flying...

Has Hawks flying...

Post Game Interview – Joe Johnson
What did you think of T-Mac’s performance in the 1st half and how tough was it to see him play with an injury?
He was great he’s a guy who’s versatile and I thought he was great because of his length and he made plays for us and the second half he gutted it out and gave us his all.
After 3 games is there very little difference between teams?
We feel like our chances are just as good as their’s but, we have 3 key big’s missing in this series so it’s a minor setback but we still had chances to win this game tonight. There is a tale of 2 half’s and they beat us up in the fourth and overtime.
What gives you guys the idea you can win the series with the guys out and Tracy’s ankle?
We just have to keep fighting and grinding and we will have to come together as a team to get a win.
Doc Rivers Post Game Interview
Talk about Pietrus defensively tonight?
He is terrific thats why we got him because he is a good on ball defender and he can deny and Joe Johnson is tough on 1 on 1 and he had to guard him on an island all night long so it gave us an advantage because we didn’t have to double him.
Talk about Avery Bradley’s injury?
It’s his shoulder it went out and he had that problem all year and usually they would snap it back in but we will find out tomorrow.
Talk about Ray Allen’s performance?
His legs were shy at the end so we used him as a decoy but we trying to get as much out of him as we can in each game and when he is on the floor we use him to space the floor and we don’t want Ray shooting in the gym because, it could aggravate his ankle.
Rajon Rondo Post Game Interview
How do you see the floor and access what the defense is giving you?
Usually Paul and Ray are in the corners and that just comes from playing together we know each other’s sweet spots and we execute from there.
What have you seen from Jeff Teague this series that makes him effective?
He’s very aggressive in the open court and he has quickness and we have to step it up and try to slow him down.
When does fatigue start to set in?
It sets in with both teams because, it went to overtime and its mental you can’t get tired you have to execute and try to score and we made sure we made stops when we needed too down the stretch to win the game.