Jeff Schultz discusses the Hawks without Joe Johnson and the reasons they have been successful:
Coach Larry Drew: Yes, you mocked his hiring. But don’t discount that the Hawks are sharing the ball a lot more now than they were under Mike Woodson. That helps when a team loses its leading scorer/perceived best player because everybody is conditioned to not be dependent on one guy in the offense.
"I want to play Al at the four," Drew said. "The rookie [Semih Erden] is real long. I like the matchup better moving Smoove to three and Marvin to two; it gives us an advantage on the offensive end. We will match up Smoove on Pierce [to] put a little length on him to see if that bothers him. We will try to do some thing offensively with Allen having to defend Marvin. See if we can create an advantage size-wise with that."
I'm not sure if the Celtics would have done anything differently as far as match-ups went if the Hawks had chosen the small lineup but I thought Kevin Garnett did an excellent job defensively on Al Horford.
"It hurt to even lift the ball over my head, so I knew if I was going to play at all I was going to have to just facilitate as best I could," Crawford said. "I couldn't move. I didn't even want to shoot." "It is a day-by-day thing," he said. "I don't think it is long term but we will see how it goes."
Post Game Comments
"He came out that first half, really really aggressive on the floor," Drew said. "That’s what he has to do every time he steps on the floor. That’s what I am looking for. I need that. He’s the only guy that has that speed and has that type quickness that can change the flow and tempo of the game. He did a great job again."
Does that mean that he will be returning to the rotation?
With Teague leading the way, Atlanta's bench players built a 35-28 lead in the second quarter and the Hawks were ahead 41-34 five minutes before halftime. The Hawks couldn't hold the lead as Boston closed the half with an 11-2 run and led 44-43 at the break.
That 11-2 run enabled the Celtics to go to the locker room with all of the momentum which they were able to sustain in the second half.
Haynes Davenport of Celtics Hub talks about the Celtics and the regular season:
Tonight was enough to make me believe the claims that this team won’t give away the regular season like they say they did last year. Actually, I’ve always been inclined to believe that the "veterans wait for the playoffs" defense from last season was A) a defense mechanism in reaction to genuine bad play and B) led by Rasheed Wallace, whose face should be on a poster in Celtics security headquarters this season so he can be forcefully ejected from the building if they see him coming near this team.
Proceed with Caution
The Cs toyed with Atlanta for the first half, but cranked up the offense in the 3rd quarter (36 points) and clamped down the defense (allowed 21 points) in the 4th quarter.
The news doesn't get better for the Hawks either. They're a team that appears to be stuck in neutral. They're not bad, but they're certainly not the Celtics right now. Or the Magic. Or the Heat. Or even the Bulls. They've got talent - just not enough. And they don't have nearly enough money to buy some either.
Finally Some Notes Going into the Bobcats game
NBA Facts and Rumors Blog reports that the Bobcats are reportedly shopping their two co-captains:
Probably an over reaction as a lot of NBA teams "gauge the trade value" of various players throughout the season but it just speaks to the struggles that Charlotte is going through lately.