Monday, March 19, 2012
The Atlanta Hawks Will Never Change As Long As They Employ Josh Smith
It's good to know that some things in the NBA never change: namely that Josh Smith is still the dumbest player in the league. By association, his Atlanta Hawks (I can't believe they never traded him) will fail to get anywhere with that knucklehead.
The Boston Celtics (24-21, 8-13 road) took advantage of Atlanta's (26-20, 13-7) lack of smarts to win a sneaky big game tonight, 79-76 at Philips Arena.
Sure the C's almost blew a 15-point lead in crunch time, one of their specialties, but thankfully Jeff Teague airballed a 3-pointer then failed to foul, allowing Boston to run out the clock. Teague is the same guy that got called for a taunting technical in the third quarter after he dunked on Ray Allen. Atlanta led by eight (47-39) at the time.
Allen led the Celtics with 19 points. Kevin Garnett had 16 points and eight rebounds, Paul Pierce scored 13 and Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 13 assists and six steals. Every point counted in such a low-scoring contest so it's notable that Brandon Bass added eight points and 10 rebounds, Mickael Pietrus scored nine off the bench and Greg Stiemsma blocked four shots.
Joe Johnson (25 points) might as well be Ray Allen 2.0, what an incredible shooter. He got Atlanta back into it as he was 4 of 5 on 3-pointers. Zaza Pachulia had 16 points and 13 rebounds while Smith put up 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Good numbers if you have him in fantasy but not when you consider he was 5 of 20 from the floor.
This was the first of three meetings between the Celtics and Hawks (Apr. 11 in Boston, April 20 in Atlanta) so it was big for the Green to prove right off the bat that they could win at Philips Arena.
Only two more games left on this endless eight-game road trip for the Celts (3-3 so far). Even better, they get two days off before their next game: Thursday in Milwaukee. The Celtics beat the Bucks 102-96 on Leap Day but since then, Milwaukee has been playing better plus they traded for Monta Ellis. Him and Brandon Jennings with Ersan Ilyasova-maybe the NBA's most improved player-is a tough matchup for the C's.
Zombie Jermaine O'Neal officially is out for the season as he's opting for wrist surgery. Let's all pour out a goblet of blood for him.