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Boston Celtics vs. Atlata Hawks - Recap: Game 3

Game 3

- Back in the day I watched wrestling from time to time. And every now and then a "favored" wrestler would absolutely get destroyed. And yet I would think he was going to pull it out until the very end. But at every turn something bad happened. Powder in the eyes. Ref knocked out. Chair shot from the opposing manager. A ridiculous counter move. You get the point. Well Saturday's game felt a lot like that. I'm not saying the Hawks did not play well. They most certainly did by rebounding, running and shooting the lights out. But all of the missed shots by the C's, the selfish play, the inability to get stops at key times, the questionable offensive foul call on Rajon Rondo late in the fourth (real momentum killer) and of course Atlanta playing well, were too much for the Celtics to overcome.

- I rarely if ever blame the referees and I'm certainly not going to do that now. In fact at times Boston benefits from getting away with bullying and physical play. However, Bennett Salvatore and Violet Palmer, who both called the game, are on the list of officials that make me nervous. Joey Crawford and Ken Mauer are there too.

- Man Josh Smith was all over the place. The guy can flat out play. I wasn't happy to see him lead the Hawks to victory. But I did feel somewhat vindicated for all of the positive press I've given him. For the record I prefer Celtics victories to vindication. And I don't think Smith can shoot that well from deep again. But he will dunk all night long if you let him.

- I don't understand the argument that Al Horford and company should be careful about talking so much trash. Why? They needed to something after the beat downs with complimentary verbal abuse they received in Boston. I'm not calling out either team. It's playoff basketball. But would you let Kevin Garnett swear at you for 30+ minutes and not say a word? Meanwhile, I like to think that Paul Pierce will have a big game tomorrow because he's Paul Pierce and it is the playoffs. Does he really need Horford to motivate him?

- Sam Cassell's shoot first, second and third strategy works well when he hit shots. Otherwise it is disastrous.

- I know Eddie House has been disappointed about his playing time. I was disappointed by him passing up open shots. He's paid to have no conscience on offense.

- Overall it was the ultimate "can't get over the hump" kind of game. Hats off to the Hawks.



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