The Last Time We Played Atlanta At Home…
April 3, 2009

(Paul Piece heroics at the 1:30 mark)

That was back on Nov. 12 – Celtics prevailed 103-102.

And KG said this in the postgame:

“Get the ball to Paul Pierce, get the hell out the way, Superman is in the booth.”

Ahh…good times.

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Gettin’ It Done
March 27, 2009

The Celtics outplayed and outhustled the Hawks for 3 1/2 quarters tonight and held on for the 99 – 93 win.

Big Baby (19 pts, 12 reb) lead the charge in the first half. You need to see his block on Joe Johnson.

Every time the Hawks cut into the lead in the 4th, Ray Allen (22 pts) was there to hit one of those mid-range floaters.

The bench guys did a helluva job. Here are the numbers:

Eddie House: 12 pts, 2-4 3FG

Stephon Marbury: 11 pts, 3-4 3FG, 2 assists

Mikki Moore:  2 pts, 10 reb

Not sure how the officiating was in the first half (took the kid to see Monsters vs Aliens in 3D), but I was treated to a terrible display in the 3rd quarter. My favorites:

– Offensive foul on Perk (his 5th). He never touched Pachulia and took a shot in the eye. And the ref was a foot away from the play.

– The charge on Big Baby. Josh Smith got to the spot late and was partially in the circle to boot.

– No call on Josh Smith’s double dribble and/or palm

Box Score | Recap| NBA.com Highlites

Pics from the game….after the jump.

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KG out tonight
March 27, 2009

KG will sit this game out as he has taken a step back in the recovery process.  Glenn Davis will be starting against Atlanta in KG’s place.

C’s Look to Bounce Back In A-Town
March 27, 2009

54-19 @ 42-30
Friday, March 27, 2009
7:30 pm ET
Phillips Arena (Atlanta, GA)

Coming off of a tough loss in Orlando, which handed away the rights to the Eastern Conference’s second slot, the hobbled Celtics will look to bounce back against last season’s first round playoff opponent, the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta has had a solid year all around, and as of late, Mike Woodson’s club has been surging. The Hawks have won eight of their last 10 games, with all but one of those contests being played at their comfortable home of Phillips Arena. Perhaps one of the largest components to Atlanta’s recent hot streak is the play of Al Horford, who has been racking up double-doubles like a mad-man once again. Since the All-Star break, the former Florida Gator has put up 13.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. More importantly, he has become more aggressive on the offensive end, creating more inside-out opportunities for the Atlanta’s attack.

Neither team will be at full strength for tonight’s battle, however. Atlanta’s starting three-man Marvin Williams is expected to miss his 10th straight game due to lower back soreness, while Acie Law could be sidelined with a similar ailment. As for our beloved men in green, Rajon Rondo says that he expects to suit up, despite the re-sprained left ankle, but Doc Rivers recently noted that both he and Kevin Garnett are game time decisions. Garnett did not move as well as the coaching staff would’ve liked in Wednesday night’s loss to Orlando, and “The Big Ticket” reportedly failed to get through the full shootaround this morning.

Healthy or not, here we come.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.2)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.9)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Joe Johnson (21.7)
RPG: Al Horford (9.2)
APG: Joe Johnson (5.9)
SPG: Josh Smith (1.4)
BPG: Josh Smith (1.6)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (precaution/extra rest – game time decision)
Rajon Rondo (sprained left ankle – game time decision)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Marvin Williams (sore lower back – out)
Acie Law (sore lower back – questionable)
Speedy Claxton (hamstring – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Ball Movement
  • Transition Defense
  • Sense of Urgency

Rondo Dismisses Hawks
March 27, 2009

“I don’t think much of it really,” he said. “I don’t like to talk trash, but in my eyes it’s not a rivalry. I don’t know if anybody else looks at it as a rivalry. People consider Cleveland a rival. We just went seven with Atlanta. That’s about it.”

Suck on that, Hawks.  Just for fun, here’s him torching Atlanta.

“This Is Not A Rivalry”
December 18, 2008

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Garnett clearly wanted to make a point.  When the Globe asked him about a Celtics-Hawks rivalry, he said:

“This is not a rivalry.  [The Hawks] are a very good team, they play with a lot of confidence and swagger. Joe Johnson is one of the best in the business and they cause a lot of hell and havoc. But you have to win for it to be a rivalry.”

OK.  At some point, the Herald apparently asked the same question.

“This is not a rivalry, and I want that on the record.  You have to win some games first. But they’re a very good team.”

I know Hawks fans are going to come back with the 3 games they won in the playoffs last year… but in the end… it was the Celtics that won the series.  So let’s nip that in the bud.

I don’t know how many people noticed it last night, but Rajon Rondo took the next step in being the leader of this team on the floor.  Not only did he calmly lead the team in the clutch, but he outwardly took the leadership reins when he stood and addressed his team during a late time out.  He actually got KG to calm down.  If you don’t think that’s connected to him burying shots late in the game, you’re nuts.

By the way, on November 16, I wrote Rajon Rondo might be regressing.  At that point, he was averaging 7 points a game and he’d only taken 10 shots once.   Since that post, he’s averaging 14 ppg and he’s taken 10 or more shots 10 times (he dropped 15, 8 and 7 in the game immediately following that post).  In December, he’s averaging 14.5 ppg, 8 asst and 7 reb, while shooting 53% from the field.

Am I trying again to take credit for lighting a fire under Rajon Rondo?  Of course I am.

Globe:  Rivers confirms interest in Mutombo |  AJC: Celebrity hype largely unneededAlmost enough |   Press-Enterprise:  Lakers-Celtics ticket prices soaring |  NBA.com:  Sophomore Celts reflect on champion journey |  TrueHoop: Thibodeau the mentor of the Secretary of Education |  SI:  Debating the pecking order atop the NBA |  Sporting Blog:  Celtics Quest for Immortality |  ESPN:  Daily Dime- Another night, another challenge for C’sChris Paul sets steals record Elton Brand dislocates shoulder Boozer will opt out of contract

KG = Clutch, Joe Johnson = Choke
December 17, 2008

Joe Johnson missed a potentially game tying free throw with 2 seconds left, paving the way for the Celtics 16th straight win. KG (18 pts, 8 reb, 2 blks) was the man for the C’s, dropping 10 points in the fourth quarter including a half-hook shot that put Boston ahead with :30 left.

“Beastondo” teamed up for a helluva play with 9 seconds left as Perkins (8 pts, 10 reb, 4 blks) blocked Joe Johnson and Rondo grabbed the loose ball and got fouled. Rondo (15 pts, 7 assists, 6 reb) did miss one free throw but fortunately for us, Johnson gagged.

Rondo really showed his maturity on that possession which ended with the lob to KG for the dunk with 1:30 left. He could have easily hoisted an awkward shot in the lane, but he remained patient even with the shot clock winding down and eventually found Garnett.

Dramatic finish aside, this was an ugly game for 3 quarters. Both teams found their offensive rhythm in the final quarter.

More to come….

Box Score | Recap

“….feels good to come in here and spoil their dreams.” – Kendrick Perkins

After the jump, some pictures of the Hawks dancers….

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Unfinished Business
December 17, 2008

AP Photo/Gregory Smith

AP Photo/Gregory Smith

It’s the go-to digg at the Boston Celtics.  Any time people want to bring up any possible weakness.

“Remember… this is a team that was taken to 7 games by the Hawks last year.”

My initial reaction is to tell those people to go fornicate themselves.  But, the truth is, they have a point.  The Celtics were uncommonly bad in that building.  Their play in Atlanta was disjointed, lackluster, and mind-boggling.  How could they play so poorly against a team they were destroying at home?

Tonight won’t be easy.  I know Paul Pierce says he’s fine, but we’ll see if he’s truly 100%.  Meanwhile, the Hawks are 9-1 at home.  If the C’s really want to get this monkey off their back, they have to defend and rebound.  Not only are those the keys to any Celtics domination… the Hawks are 10-1 when they out-rebound their opponents and 12-2 when they have a better shooting percentage.  When the Celtics are getting offensive rebounds, they demoralize opponents.  If they let Atlanta limit them to 1 shot, this becomes a tempo Atlanta likes.

I, of course, think a motivated Celtics team is impossible to beat… so I’m going for the win.  But I don’t know if this will be one of those “over-motivated” type of scenarios… where KG is SO emotional, he takes himself out of the game.  The big difference this time around, though, is Ray Allen.  We remember how horrible he was early in the playoffs.  He’s been the opposite of that this year.  I think he alone can change the dynamic in that building.

Hey… it’s our birthday!  RedsArmy.com is now three years old!  We started this piece of crap in December of  ’05.  We’re still evolving… and managing to do so without getting any better.  That takes talent.  We were going to celebrate by taking a bus trip to Scores… but that’s out the window.  So instead I’m going to stay home and get my dog drunk.  Speaking of things being done while drunk… onto our 4th day of Christmas.

On the fourth day of Christmas the Celtics gave to me…

4 monster blocks from Kendrick Perkins

3 point bombs from Ray and Eddie

2 straight Finals losses by the Lakers

and a ring for Tony Allen’s pinky!

Herald:  Celtics wary of Hawks |   Hawks scouting reportStart of something bigAugestin outplays Rose |  Globe:  Adding to web of intrigueHawks thumbnails | Pierce expected to playIs Pierce the Bostonian of the year?Lakers barely beat Knicks |  Camerato:  Ainge helps Pruitt win waiting gameThis week in Celtics history |  Patriot Ledger:  Celtics face tough test |  Desert News (Utah):  Rondo’s speed and ability to finish not up for debate |  Daily News:  Pruitt proves worthy |  SouthCoastToday:  Ainge’s patience with Doc has paid off (Note… doesn’t that column read a lot like the one I wrote on the Examiner yesterday?)   |  C’s top RCS Power Ranking Averages (Lakers/Cavs tied at 2) |  CNBC:  NBA’s “Big 3” domination is bad

Rajon Rondo Droppin’ Dimes
November 13, 2008

Nothing but Rajon Rondo highlights from last night.  He made some sick passes.  That first oop to KG was awesome.

The Paul Pierce Buzzer Beater
November 13, 2008

(via The Sports Dollar)