Atlanta 121 Boston 97
The final score says it all. Boston was outmatched and hardly stood a chance against the Hawks. The Cs were down five at the end of the first, and then nine at halftime. Once the 4th Quarter rolled around, the Hawks were on fire, and ran away with an easy win.
Thanks to Avery’s red hot (4/8) three-point shooting, the Cs finished shooting 42.9% from long distance, but just 41.5% from the field. Avery had 25 Points on 10/17 shooting. Isaiah managed only 14 Points on 3/11, and off the bench, R.J. had 12 Points, 2 Rebounds, 2 Assists and 2 Steals in 21 Minutes. D-Lee added 10 Points, 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists and 2 Steals in 25 Minutes. The rest of the team were duds.
Having now lost two consecutive games against opponents they’ve already played, not having Marcus is becoming painfully evident. Atlanta had seven players in double-figures, and shot 56.4% from the field and 50% from Three. They had their way with Boston’s paltry D and lack of offense.
Brad was pissed, and rightfully so: “We’ve got to be a team. And I think that’s first and foremost. It’s very subjective and it’s hard to pinpoint, but I know this: When your defense is a sieve, you’re not a team.”
Boston’s lack of D shouldn’t fall solely on the absence of a 21 year-old, but that seems to be the convenient excuse at the moment. When they played Atlanta last time, Smart essentially made Korver a non-factor, which forced them to put the ball on the floor. That leads to steals, by way of active hands in the lanes. But there was none of that on Tuesday night. Just sharp-shooting and easy buckets.
At the moment, Marcus isn’t walking through that door, so the rest of the guys are going to have to kick it up a notch. At least to cover the sieve.
Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and weight room attendant for the Boston Celtics. He spots players benching, and keep a buzzer on hand to call for help if the players find themselves in a compromising position. His Celtics analyses and spotting techniques graphic are available right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.