RECAP: Celtics 115, Hawks 104

Bo Churney —  February 27, 2014

FINAL

BOS(20-39) 115 – 104 (26-31)ATL

Key Performers:
R. Rondo (BOS): 22 pts, 11 ast, 3 stl
D. Carroll (ATL): 24 pts, 7 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Ah, another year, another time the Hawks hoodwink us into thinking they can win in Boston. Atlanta came out red-hot in the first quarter, sinking their first six shots from the field. At one point, the Hawks led the Celtics 23-8. However, Boston then used their own run to get back into the game, finishing the quarter 17-4 to only trail by two point by the end of the quarter. The game essentially stayed within a couple of possessions for the rest of the game until Jerryd Bayless and Rondo were finally able to sink enough shots to pull away. Bayless finished with 29 points, just two shy of his career high. He hit a couple of contested looks, but the Hawks just simply lost him on some screens where Bayless was the ball-handler and he just pulled up and knocked down open shots.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Jeff Teague: This was very similar to Jeff’s game against the Bulls. He was able to get switched up against a Boston big-man and then used his speed and tricky dribble to get into the lane and score. Jeff finished with 26 points on 18 shots, which is great, but he couldn’t use his same dribbling tricks to create for his teammates. Boston did well at forcing Teague to put the ball up in several situations and because of it, Jeff wasn’t really looking to make plays as much. He also let Jerryd Bayless torch him. Jerryd Bayless!!!! 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre was carrying the team’s scoring load in the first half, where he had 17 points in just those two quarters. The Celtics did a better job at preventing him from getting open looks in the second half, but having DeMarre score 24 point should usually be a coup for the Atlanta offense. On defense, Carroll got most of his minutes at power forward and even played center for a stretch. That reminds me, have I talked about how injuries have decimated this team yet. THEY WERE FORCED TO PLAY DEMARRE CARROLL AT CENTER! 8/10

Kyle Korver: The streak is off to 126, as Kyle got that problem out of the way rather early. He hit four threes against the Celtics and finished with 17 points overall. He also had a weird, Dream Shake-ish looking up-and-under in the third quarter that I didn’t even know Kyle was capable of doing. 7/10

Elton Brand: No 40 minutes for Elton on this night. Nope, he only played 34 against Boston’s relatively small frontcourt… and it probably would have been better if he could play more. Without Brand, the Hawks were playing either Mike Scott or DeMarre (like seriously, they actually had to do this) at center and it just didn’t work; the Hawks were absolutely destroyed on the boards when Brand wasn’t in the game. Elton’s overall line of 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five blocks was pretty great, but the three turnovers are a bit too much and he really just looked exhausted at the end of the game and his defense finally started to yield points. 7.5/10

Shelvin Mack: With Teague getting mismatches for a bunch of the night, Shelvin was more in the role of the team’s primary playmaker and it didn’t work out that well. He did have eight assists, but the added responsibility also meant that Mack couldn’t be the more conservative guy that he wants to be; he had four of the Hawks’ 18 turnovers, which is way too many giveaways. Shelvin also had an off night from the floor, only going 1-for-5 from the field. 5.5/10

Mike Scott: Mike missed all six shots that he took and was playing a lot of his night at the center position… that’s just not going to work. Hopefully the Hawks can get one of their bigs back for the game against Phoenix so Scott his play his more natural power forward spot. 2/10

Lou Williams: 13 points, four assists, and three rebounds usually sounds really good from a player off of the bench… until you realize that it took 13 shots and four free throws for Lou to get those points. His playmaking has improved, but his shot still isn’t there yet. 6.5/10

Dennis Schröder: Dennis has been often compared to Rajon Rondo and Dennis finally got a chance to go up against one of his favorite basketball players. It didn’t bode so well for Dennis, who was on the floor for that first quarter run that the Celtics made to essentially tie up the game. I thought it was weird that Dennis randomly played 17 minutes after not playing against the Bulls, but I guess Teague, Lou, and Mack need to be spelled a bit. 5/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier only played seven minutes and got four points during his time. Anyways, remember that lineup I talked about that had DeMarre Carroll at center? Well, Cartier Martin was at the power forward for that lineup. Miss you, Al… and Paul… and Pero… and Goose. INC/10

Mike Budenhozler: I get that Pittman is not very good, but playing Cartier and DeMarre at your PF and C seems like a worse idea than giving Pittman a few minutes to bang around with the Boston frontcourt. Also, after that 23-8 start by the Hawks, they were outscored 107-81; that’s not good for any game and it’s even worse against THIS Celtics team. 5/10

The opposition: When Bayless scored 29 points and Rondo is having an efficient night both scoring and running the offense, Boston is likely to win. The 46 to 29 rebounding advantage was probably nice, too. 7.5/10

Next: Atlanta at Phoenix, Sunday, March 2nd

Yes, the Hawks have several days off before their next game, which is on the road against a tough Phoenix team. There’s a chance that the team could be adding Paul, Pero, and Gustavo back into their rotation by then, plus the team could still be signing Mike Muscala. Tough schedule over the next two weeks, but things should be a bit on the upswing for the Hawks.

Bo Churney

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