Celtics Slam Door on Hawks Season
If there were any questions about who the better team is coming in to game 7, the Celtics answered it loud and clear, as they dealt the Hawks a good old fashion thumping to end their season, and their magical playoff run that many thought would end in 4 games and not 7. The final score was 99-65. And really that score is kind of deceptive - it could have been much worse. There were several reasons why the Hawks lost this game. To me, the biggest was the Celtics complete dominance on defense. The Hawks simply got very few goot shots off. The Celtics contested everything - and hard. They shut off Atlanta's ability to drive the ball, and instead turned the Hawks into a shooting team, and a timid one at that. The shooting numbers say it all - 29.3%. The bright spot for the Hawks was Joe Johnson, who hit some incredible shots, and finished with a team high 16 points. But if the Hawks were going to have any chance to win this game, they would have needed him to put up 60 points. Marvin Williams, who left Friday's game with a knee injury, started the game and scored 7 before being ejected with a flagrant 2 on Rajon Rondo for slamming him into the ground on a breakaway in the 3rd quarter. So now the Hawks come home and get ready for next season. I'm sure they enjoyed their first taste of the playoffs the franchise has had in almost 10 years. Hopefully the excitement of the 3 home wins against the #1 seed will leave them dying for more next season, and a trip past the first round. I think they have grown a lot in the last week and a half, and they will take that into training camp next season. If they can bring the same level of intensity every single night that they had in games 3, 4, and 6, they have a chance of getting one of the top 4 seeds, which would give them home court advantage in the first round. And as was proven in this series, home court means everything in the NBA as they home team was 7-0 in this series. I would like to thank the Hawks for giving me the 3 most exciting games I've watched in a long, long time. I'm already counting down to training camp for next season.