Yesterday may have been the worst I have ever seen the Celtics play. But when you really look at it, for them to play as bad as they did and only lose 83-74, there are a few positive signs. The Celtics were able to hang with the Hawks throughout the entire game, which if you look at it is somewhat of a miracle. Starting shooting guard Ray Allen was unable to suit up due to the same injury that has been nagging him for a while now, and the Hawks looked like they were playing in an NBA Jam game catching fire, watching everything go in. What made that even worse was the Celtics couldn’t have hit water if they fell out of a boat, two mixtures that ultimately made them fall in game 1. And yet, amid all the commotion, the Celtics nearly stole a game they had absolutely no business winning and, despite the frustrations, the team rallied around the notion that it’s merely one game — as abysmal as it looked for the visitors. The veteran Celtics knew that this was only game 1 of a 7 game series and they still know they can win the series. Game 1 was a disaster and there were about 15 times the team could have packed it in. Instead, the Celtics came back with charge after charge, almost climbing out of the enormous hole they had dug for themselves in the first quarter. I give the Celtics credit, they showed me that they aren’t going to give up or give in to any team throughout the playoffs.
The biggest story of game 1, unfortunately, was the ejection of PG Rajon Rondo. In an integral part of the game, Boston had rallied to within 4 with less than a minute to play when Rondo got the heave for vehemently arguing a foul call and (intentionally or not) bumping referee Marc Davis. Many people have argued the point that Rondo did not intentionally bump referee Marc Davis, which I somewhat have to disagree with. It had looked as if Rondo was trying to bump Davis, trying to show how “tough” he was. I agree that he had made a bad call and Rondo had reasoning to be upset but to bump the referee in a close game, that the Celtics could have won, is just unacceptable. As a Celtics fan, I am just hoping that Rondo is not suspended for game 2. If the Celtics can steal one in Atlanta, they have a great chance of taking the series and moving on.
With all of this said I still have great confidence in the Celts. I still see them taking this series in seven and moving on to the next round. I just hope the seven games don’t wear out these old vets and cause them to play poorly in the next round. Because when all is said and done, this could be the last time the Celts make a run for a long time, and will be the last run many of these players are able to make.