"People say it’s only one win or one less, but it’s more than one win," said Crawford. "We know it’s a team we’re always measured against."
I don't watch Houston enough to compare Carl Landry to Jamal Crawford, but I don't have to. I watch Jamal Crawford. And that is enough to know he should win the sixth man award if the season ended today. Not because of some stat he has over Landry, but simply because the exact definition of sixth man is Jamal. No, not the other way around. The word does not define Jamal. He defines the word. They need to just change the whole entry in Webster's to "Jamal Crawford." Game after game, he comes in and provides an energy. He gets his shot whenever he wants. And yes, that can sometimes be a very bad quality for Jamal, but when your other volume shooter lives and dies on "tough shots" actual open 22 footers start to feel like good. Crawford is having "hot Flip" moments nearly every night. Who is going to vote against that?
Mike Bibby, nine minutes of greatness
But this conversation about Jamal, in some ways, leads me into a conversation about Mike Bibby. He played nine minutes. It was a great nine minutes. I mean he played horrible, but the fact that it was only nine minutes was great. And I type that sincerly.
You see Mike Bibby should continue to start. He needs to start. He makes the offense run better, the Hawks actually play better defense with him on the floor, and most nights (not that last two, but most) he is good for a few clutch jumpers and an alley-oop. On other nights, a team is going to come in with a gameplan that switches Bibby onto someone who is as good enough, big enough, and smart enough to know how to immediately take advantage. Considering the Hawks do it every game, that happens few times than you would think. Most guys are, at best, like Joe Johnson and dribble around enough for the Hawks to switch back or they dribble into help defense. Pierce has a unique skill in that fadaway mid-range jumper. Bibby could do nothing but foul, and he played nine minutes. Great. That is why we pay Crawford.
Some nights Woodson is going to just have to tip his cap, and play Jamal big minutes. That is fine. I know Jamal doesn't care, but knowing Bibby's importance to the team is knowing when he is horribly unimportant too. Last night, nine minutes was plenty. Tonight we may need Mike for 32. Because in the end, he is that important.
via a delightful recap from CelticsHub
Josh Smith may be the 2nd-most terrifying player in the league when he accelerates on the dribble in the open court. (LeBron is easily the most terrifying)
via Red's Army
Atlanta's bench produced 44 points (Crawford - 28, Pachulia - 9, Evans - 7), while Boston's bench generated 18 points (Sheed - 6, Tony Allen - 8, Glen Davis - 4). The Celtics second unit was a collective -74 in plus/minus.
Behold the power of Zaza! (By the way, they showed the Zaza as Rocky video and Pachulia ignored Woody and watched the entire thing.)
And from the granddaddy CelticsBlog:
Chippy game, as expected. Technicals, flagrant fouls, the whole works. These teams really dislike each other. I gotta admit, I kinda like that. Reminds me of the 80's.
Bringing it home from home:
Bret gives out appropriate kudos for something I admittedly forgot but cussed jubilantly about in the moment.
Even more impressive than Teague's eighth block of the year was how he got back in the play to run the ensuing break and find Crawford in the corner for a three.
Third Quarter Officiating. Look, I know the officials need to control the game, but they went from controlling the game in the first half to micromanaging it in the third quarter.
Shoot, I had to call my wife and tell her I was going to be late that thing took so long.
The Human Highlight Blog articulates what we were all thinking,
Sure we know it doesn't mean as much as a playoff series, but we would like to know how the Celtics care to spin how much more athletic and effective the Hawks are against them. Sure the playoffs take it up another notch but these games have sure seemed playoff-y to us. Chippiness, physical play, and lots of minutes played by the key players. We're guessing that Boston has seen enough of Atlanta and would wish not to have to face the Hawks in any round of the playoffs this year.
Amen to that.
A great win last night, which will only be made awesome by another one this evening. Go Hawks!