May 10, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) reacts to being defeat by the Boston Celtics 83-80 in game six in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Playoffs 2012: The Boston Celtics Take Series From The Atlanta Hawks


Kevin Garnett was a man child on Thursday night, scoring 28 points and ripping down 14 boards. For Atlanta, Josh Smith was just a child. The box score might read 18 and 9, but his ability to be his own worst enemy surfaced in key situations (ex. a technical foul and poor shot selection in the 4th quarter). With vintage Garnett to go along with Josh Smith being Josh Smith, the Celtics won the game 83-80 and closed the series 4-2.

Snap Fast Reaction

This whole series was a bunch of ugly games. That doesn’t mean they weren’t semi-entertaining. Tonight was the perfect example. During late in the 2nd, most of the 3rd, and parts of the 4th, it seemed as if Boston was ready to pull away. Atlanta “fought” their way back into the game and made a go for it towards the end.

For the second game in a row, the Hawks got no help from their bench. Atlanta’s 4 players who got minutes off the aluminum combined for a whopping 9 points. Boston itself only had 11 points coming from their bench. But theirs seemed to contribute in every other way that doesn’t show on a stat sheet. Ryan Hollins played the most important 18 minutes of his NBA career and did not look rattled. The 6th year man from UCLA only had one field goal, yet it was his rebounding(2 biggies) and defensive presence late that made an impact. Marquis Daniels was a defensive sub, put into the game with only seconds left. Deciding to front the much taller and stronger Al Horford was a horrible idea. Except, with the luck of the Irish on his side, Daniels pummeled Horford, sending him to the line with the Celtics up 2.

What happened next could have been a made for TV movie. You know, the guy who missed all season due to injury. Only to fight back and beat the odds to rejoin his team during the playoffs. With the game on the line, our hero ties to game, sending it to overtime. Well that movie never happened. Instead Horford missed the front end of his free throw attempts. While that might have been a choke job, what followed was even more amusing. With only 2.3 seconds on the clock and everyone knowing Horford needs to miss the free throw on purpose. Atlanta instead got a swoosh. He will have to hear about this for the rest of his playing career. But without Al, the Hawks would have not found themselves in a competitive game 6. Big Al had 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Celtics Star of The Game

Kevin Garnett played like it was 2006. Not only did he have 28 points and 14 boards, he had 5 blocks! The man is 35 years old but with the NBA legs of an 88 year old.(For the love of god, Betty White has more hops left) Efficient from the floor, going 10 for 19. Even hitting from the charity line, 8 for 10. He was their offense and their defense. On a night where everybody else seemed to be just along for the ride, Garnett was there for the Celtics all night.

Hawks Star of The Game

There wouldn’t have been a game 6 without Al Horford. His 15-9 box score doesn’t scream awesome, but he seemed to do something for Atlanta every time they needed a boost. Down 74-65 with just 8:4o to go in the game, Horford sparked his teammates with an alley-oop. Breaking a scoreless streak stretching the first 6 minutes of the 4th quarter. Sportcenter and the like will show the missed free throws over and over, but they wouldn’t be down just 2 at that point if it were not for him.

The Hawks Are Underachievers

I hate on the Hawks from time to time. Mostly due to the fact they have talent, however never seem to let that talent manifest into success. Sure, in the regular season they will win games. Hey, if you goal is only to make the playoffs every year just to be bounced in the 1st round. Well by all means, keep this team together. Josh Smith is one of the biggest dopes going today. His shot selection is at best “iffy”. Like “iffy” stopped taking so many bad shots the Hawks could win. And why Josh is getting technical fouls late in a competitive game is beyond comprehension. Josh Smith has Rasheed Wallace talent. Except somehow, he is an ever bigger child. So while everyone else bashes Joe Johnson for being overrated, which he isn’t,(If everyone thinks your overpaid and stink, you can’t be overrated), I will solely blaming Josh Smith. Smith might have backers at Sir Charles, Walder, he is not welcome to the “Great Power Forward” conversation until he at least acts like a 14 year old. Oh yea, did you guys see Marvin Williams in the 1st quarter? Me too! Then just as quickly as we remembered him, he was gone. I hate this team.

Going Forward

Outside of my obvious hatred for wasted talent, the Hawks need to break that team up. I said it, it’s over. I am not wasting anymore time talking about a team who cares less about their success then I do.

The Celtics on the other hand are meeting the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. I like Philly’s team a ton. But they are a little young. Boston has the experience and better players to boot. Our Lead Editor, Polar Bear Walders, will be coming out with 2nd round predictions shortly. So I won’t break down the series just yet. Keep an eye out for the Polar Bear, he tends to catch fire.

Game 7?

No game 7 for this series. The Hawks would prefer to go home. I don’t think they knew a loss meant their season was over. If they did, maybe they would try harder. Wait, what if they did, and this is actually how immature and selfish this team is? Yao Ming have pity on the Hawks players’ souls. Okay, really I am done now. Atlanta has a few players I like. Jeff Teague(who disappeared from this series after I praised him), Al Horford, and Ivan Johnson(DNP). Did I mention the decaying corpse of Eric Dampier got a technical too?

Joseph Nardone is a Writer/Blogger for Sir Charles In Charge who just happened to watch a brutal playoff series and cover it for you. You can follow him on the twitter machine@JosephNardone

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Joe Johnson Josh Smith NBA Playoffs 2012