I have been so depressed since game 6. How can the team that was the best defensive team in the league through 82 regular season games completely forget how to play defense on the road in the playoffs? If the Celtics had played their regular game in Atlanta, this game would have been over in 5. But they somehow become a timid team on offense and a terrible team on defense on the road now.
I have given Doc his due this season but also said that the playoffs would prove a lot about his coaching. He has never won a playoff series in his 9 year playoff career. Once teams get to the playoffs, coaching becomes much more important as coaches have to to make adjustments throughout. Mike Woodson has out coached Doc in this series and has made the adjustments but Doc has not. Some of Docs substitutions and rotations are questionable as well. I really hope he can pull it out and take this team to the title, but so far, he hasn't given me much confidence that he can.
I have no idea why the officiating in this series has been so one sided. The Hawks have taken 71 more free throws than the Celtics in the 6 games so far. Are they trying to even the playing field since the Celtics came in so highly touted? Do they all hate the Celtics? Seems like all the other teams' fans do, so why not the refs? Hopefully the refs will call this one even.
The Hawks are having people sign up for Round 2 tickets already. That is a bit premature unless the refs have told them something the Celtics don't know yet. This reminds me of 1969 when the Celtics were an aging team that struggled somewhat during the regular season. They made it to the finals against the Lakers who were overwhelmingly favored to win the title. The Lakers figured that it was a done deal with game seven in their building. Bill Russell found a program detailing the Lakers planned celebration, including lots of balloons suspended by nets from the ceiling to be released after the certain victory. The champaign was opened and ready. Russell passed this information on to his teammates, who were all offended by the Lakers presuming that they would win the game without question. The Celtics proceeded to win the game and the championship. Someone moved the champaign to the visitors locker room and at least it didn't go to waste. So, the Hawks are taking reservations for Round 2 tickets. Let's hope this version of the Celtics react in the same way.
I have to say that my confidence in this team has been somewhat shaken. They are the only top seed to have to go to 7 games and the only top seed who hasn't won on the road. And, they have looked absolutely lost in the games in Atlanta. But, I believe they will prevail in this series and come back strong against the other teams they face. There have been series in history where teams have struggled in the first round with a team and then went on to the finals. They have to get past this Hawks team first, though. They are a very confident group now and the Celtics will need to come out tomorrow and just squash them from the start and not let them see any light at all. If the Celtics give them any hope at all, they will take it and run.
One thing I hate is the 1:00 start time. The Celtics have never played well in early afternoon games. I hope they can forget it is an afternoon game and play like they did in the evening games in the Garden. I am pretty nervous about this game. I was certain the Celtics would win game 4 and then certain they would win game 6. I never expected them to play so poorly in those games. They looked nothing like the Celtics who won 66 games. Hopefully the good Celtics show up tomorrow. My anniversary is on Monday and I want a Celtics victory on Monday for my anniversary present. Git-er-done, Celtics!!