Since I am not in the Boston area, CSN broadcasts are blacked out here and I am at the mercy of ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV to watch the games. One thing I absolutely hate about their broadcasts is how they cut away from the game you are watching to give you "bonus" coverage of another game. If I wanted to watch that other game, I would tune into it. I want to watch the game being televised. I don't care how close the other game is, I want to watch the game I tuned in to. That has become one of my biggest pet peeves. When I tune into TNT to watch a Celtics game, I want to watch the whole Celtics game and not have 4 or 5 minutes of it taken away for another team that I don't even care about.
What is it with players putting their feet in their mouth? First it was Stevenson calling LeBron overrated. Now, it is Bibby calling Celtics fans bandwagon jumpers and fair weather fans. Sure, there are some bandwagon fans because of how well the Celtics did, but I watched every game last season and the fans were cheering all the way through the 18 game losing streak. The Garden still had big crowds last season. The Celticss sold out every home game this season with an average of 18,624 fans per game. Last year, when they were 24-58 for the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the team averaged 16,843 per game, about 86 percent of capacity. so, that leaves only about 1781 fans that might be considered bandwagon fans. Not a bad average. I love Perk's response. He is always so honest and he sticks up for the fans.
Now is when we find out how good Doc really is as a coach. In the playoffs, coaches have to make adjustments from game to game and then have to adjust to the other team's adjustments within the game. As the playoffs continue, coaching is going to become more important than in the regular season. Doc has never won a playoff series, but then again, he has never had a team like this (or an assistant like Tom Thibodeau).
KG looks so nice for his press conference. Ginobili showed up for his press conference for 6th man looking like a slob. Just shows how classy KG is. But then again, Doc showed up in just a long sleeve Celtics tee shirt. I guess we can chalk that up to Celtics pride.
Preview for Game 2: Key Matchups Rajon Rondo vs Mike Bibby This was a key matchup in game 1 and will be a key match up in game 2. Rondo clearly came out on top in the first game and out-played Bibby on both ends of the court in his very first playoff game. Bibby is a veteran, though and will come back determined to play better and Rondo will need to elevate his game as well.
Kendrick Perkins vs Al Horford Al Horford had a very strong game and is one of the reasons that the Hawks were able to stay in the game as long as they did. Perk got into early foul trouble and that limited him in the first half, but he had a strong second half. Hopefully Perk can stay out of foul trouble and keep Horford off the boards.
Honorable Mention Kevin Garnett vs Josh Smith Smith is one of the Hawks best players but he had an off game due to foul trouble and allergy problems in game 1. The paper said he had an allergic reaction to something he ate at the hotel he was staying at. (When I read that, I thought of the movie Celtic Pride and some well meaning Celtics fan slipping something into his food.) Smith is a very athletic player and can block shots and defend along with grabbing rebounds and scoring inside. KG needs to make him work on both ends of the court and maybe get him in foul trouble again.
Keys to the game: Rebound The Celtics were out rebounded 41-40 in the first game and allowed the Hawks to get second and third chance baskets. The Celtics need to be more aggressive on the boards. There is an old adage that says, "Offense sells tickets, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships." I think this is because much of rebounding is effort and the team that wins the rebounding war has put out the most effort.
Don't Underestimate the Hawks The Celtics had an easy time beating the Hawks in game one but they can't take them for granted. They have to take a lesson from their last playoff appearance where they won the first game against the Pacers and then lost the series. The Hawks will make adjustments and the Celtics have to be ready for that. Be Aggressive The Celtics need to come out and be aggressive from start to finish. Even with a big lead, they can't let up. The Pistons had a big lead on the Sixers and let up and ended up losing the game. The Celtics need to come out strong and play hard for 48 minutes.
Defense Defense becomes more important in the playoffs and even though the Celtics have won with defense all season, they need to take that defense to another level now that the playoffs are here. They can't allow second chance points and they need to limit easy baskets. X-Factor Bench Play The Celtics bench out scored the Hawks bench 36-22 in the first game. If the Celtics bench continues to produce, they will be hard to beat.