This one was about effort. The Celtics didn't bring it. I usually look at the rebounds to see what kind of effort this team is putting out. They are perfectly capable of out-rebounding every team every night. Rebounding is about effort and desire. That's how a 6'1" guard like Rondo can out rebound centers and power forwards. The Celtics were out rebounded by the Hawks 47-29. When a team is out rebounded by that much, they just weren't putting out the effort.
The Celtics are still over relying on the 3 point shot. Like the old saying goes, "You live by the 3 and you die by the 3." In this game, the Celtics were definitely not living by it as they shot just 1-14 from beyond the arc. When the long ball isn't falling, the Celtics need to abandon those shots and take the ball inside. To his credit, Ray has been doing that. He was 0-2 from beyond the arc and 5-8 overall and had a couple of very nice layups. Paul Pierce was 0-4 and Sheed was 1-5 shooting the 3. When they are falling it is great but when they aren't, it's ugly.
The Hawks bench out played the Celtics bench both on offense and on the boards. The Hawks bench put up 28 points to 20 for the Celtics. And the Hawks bench had a 13-5 rebounding edge also.
Although it wasn't the reason the Celtics lost (their lack of effort was) the officiating was pretty bad. The calls mostly went the Hawks' way in the second half.
Individually, none of the numbers stand out. Perk had 14 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block in 29 minutes (fewest of the starters). Rondo had 4 points, 9 assists and 1 steal. He was 0-2 from the free throw line and his free throw percentage is just 38%. I don't think we can talk about Rondo in the top 5 point guards until he improves his free throw shooting. He will be a liability at the end of close games until he can make his free throws. Pierce had 24 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in spite of leaving the game with a knee injury. He came back to finish out the game and I hope that it was not serious and that he won't have to miss time because of it. KG had 14 points and 5 rebounds. Ray finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists.
Now they go on to play the Pacers on the road in the second of back to back games. It is their 4th set of back to back games already this season. If they looked tired and lacked effort in the first game, I really don't know what to expect in this one. Thankfully they have another 3 days off again after the Pacers game.
Just an aside...I always hate seeing my Celtics lose, especially at home, but the blow was softened a little by watching the Fakers get totally out-played and trashed 105-79 by the Denver Nuggets. It's always fun to watch Kobe get frustrated and scream at his teammates.