The Atlanta Hawks dropped Game 3 of their first-round series against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, losing 90-84 in overtime. The Hawks now trail the Celtics two games to one in the best-of-seven series. Though the Hawks played the Celtics close on Friday night, SB Nation Atlanta's own Kris Willis said over at Peachtree Hoops that this isn't the time for moral victories.
However, there is little time at this point in the season for moral victories not that this Hawks team is deserving of such at any rate. This team has long since moved past being the squad that hung their heads in four blow out losses to the Orlando Magic. What does remain for this team is to prove that they can grind it out with a quality playoff opponent and capture a win especially on the road.
Willis also notes that rebounding has played a big role in this series as well.
A few thoughts from Game 3 begins with rebounding. Atlanta more than held their own with Boston on the backboard with the Celtics holding a 51-48 edge. It's no coincidence in my mind that whichever team that has won the rebounding battle has won the game. It's important to remember that Boston was dead last in the league in rebounding entering the series but the Hawks depleted front court situation has negated that somewhat. I am impressed with the team effort Atlanta put up on the boards last night but they are going to have to find a way to be just a bit better.
Up in Boston, Celtics fans aren't too terribly impressed with the win. Jeff Clark over at CelticsBlog shared some of his Game 3 thoughts last night.
Ugly ugly ugly. It took overtime to break 80 points. There are some games where you get great defense. Some nights it is just bad offense. Then other nights it is just being unlucky. Tonight was a perfect storm of all three.
A play in overtime was a microcosm of the entire game: Rondo stole the ball, was running the other way with a clear path to the hoop, slipped or took a misstep, and somehow blew the layup.
The Celtics should have won this game by 20 but let the Hawks hang around and hang around. In the 2nd half the Celtics had an 11 point lead and it felt like 20. Then all of a sudden the game was tied and headed to overtime.
So, there you have it. Neither fanbase appears to be happy with the game, though Celtics fans can at least bask in the victory. We'll see if the Hawks can make this a series, as they look to even it up at two games a piece on Sunday.
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