The Good: Kendrick Perkins - For the second night in a row Perk was a beast. He had 8 points (4-5 from the field), 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, one of which almost broke Josh Childress in half. Perk also had the best +/- (+22) of the game.
The Bad: Rajon Rondo's field goal percentage - The second year man out of Kentucky went 2-11 (18%) from the floor.
The Ugly: Tony Allen's four minutes of time - He missed one shot, had a steal and turned the ball over once as well. Other than that Allen did nothing statistically of note and his playing time coincided with the Celtics offense falling apart. It was that point in the second quarter that Atlanta climbed back in the game. Now it wasn't necessarily Allen's fault as the rest of the second unit looked sluggish throughout that stretch as well. However, he definitely is not back from his recent calf injury. Also with Allen I always wonder how much of it is mental.
Stat of the Night: - Ray Allen, Pierce and Garnett's scoring and shooting percentage - They combined for 67 points on 54% (26-48) from the floor and 90% (9-10) from the line. That efficiency murdered the Hawks.
Highlight of the Night: You could definitely make the case for the ally oop dunk that Josh Smith threw down after winning the tip. But I'm going to pull a Tommy Heinsohn here and go with Kevin Garnett's 2 assists. The first came when Paul Pierce threw KG a lob in traffic that the Big Ticket could not throw down. Instead of forcing the issue Garnett batted the pass one-handed right to Perk for a dunk. The other assist was a left-handed, behind the back pass that led to a Glen Davis layup.
Turning Point: Paul Pierce's' third quarter. After struggling in the first half the Truth came out of the break on fire and scored 17 points. Check out this sequence. Pierce layup, Pierce dunk, Pierce for three, Perkins three-point play, Pierce jumper, Pierce jumper. The Truth scored 11 points in 2:04. From there the Celtics built a big lead, got bored and held off a Hawks rally to get the victory.
Surprising Development: Right towards the end of the game there was an ill-fated "SCAL-A-BRINE" chant that just didn't have legs and quickly faded away. That's how you know the team is rolling (5 wins in a row) and the fans are happy. There are no "SCAL-A-BRINE" chants when times are tough.
Closing Thought: I realize the Hawks don't have a lot of size and depth. However, they should be better. They're tall, athletic, play pesky defense at times and create match up nightmares on offense. But something is not right. It may be that they are still getting used to Mike Bibby. And they do fall into one-on-one play. Also Josh Smith should not be allowed to fire jump shots. You have to wonder if the Mike Woodson rumors have any impact, regardless of what the players say,