We have a series, now? Are you kidding me? I can’t stop saying that to myself…are you kidding me?
I said before this series started that the Hawks had a chance to make some noise if they got on a hot streak, given that their streakiness has been their most defining characteristic this year. They’re on one now, that’s for sure. How did we get here?
Your Defensive Player of the Year, Kevin Garnett, has played like crap on the defensive end. The Hawks–whether it has been Josh Smith, Al Horford, or Zaza Pachulia–have dominated the middle on both ends of the floor. Garnett has largely been a non-factor (even in Games 1 & 2…Horford owned the paint in those games) defensively. Oh, and good move by Garnett to elbow Pachulia for no reason (a guy that wouldn’t back down to anyone, especially Garnett. Choose your battles carefully, KG. Remember Anthony Peeler?
Has Ray Allen always been just a jump shooter? I know that his jump shot is his specialty, but I thought there were other parts to his game…I guess not, though. Granted, he hit numerous daggers throughout Game 4, but the Celtics need some more slashers to weaken and wear down the Hawks in the middle. And it’d be nice for Boston if Ray played defense, too. Oh, and Paul Pierce–where was he, exactly? As I said on The Big Lead before Game 4 started, if I had a dollar for every person that said “Paul Pierce is gonna go off for 40 tonight” because Al Horford talked trash to him in Game 3, I would be able to retire very early. Kirk Herbstreit guaranteed today on Tirico’s show that Pierce would go for 30+. As I also said on TBL before the game, I don’t think Pierce is the kind of guy that would get motivated by something like that…it’s not in his makeup. Garnett might be that type of person – he’s a little more emotional…but not Pierce.
I said in my previous post (see below) that Bibby needed to score more, and that Johnson had to take over. Both of those things happened. Before you say anything, I realize both of those points seem obvious. But Joe Johnson is this team’s leader; he has been all year long. And at times like this, the rest of the team needs to know that they’ve got that one guy to go to when the going gets tough. Joe wasn’t that guy through the first three games, but he was definitely that guy in Game 4.
Look, here’s the deal: the Hawks have evened the series at two games apiece. I never imagined I’d type the previous sentence. When they made the playoffs, my attitude was “Hey, I’m just happy to be here.” When they won a game, my attitude was “I’m just glad they played well and showed the world that they’re not as bad as they looked in Games 1 & 2.” Now that they’ve won 2 games??? That’s it. I’m all in, now. Don’t let me down, Hawks. Don’t let me down.
Get your sleep, Joe. You deserve it.