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2012 NBA Playoffs, Hawks Vs. Celtics: Atlanta Shows A Surprising Amount Of Passion

A day after the Hawks' second win of their first round series against the Celtics - three Boston wins removed from their last victory - the greater Atlanta media is less than genuine with their praise.

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution characterized the lead changes and maddening final minutes of Game 5 as a microcosm of the Hawks' season - a hiccuping, frustrating bout of inconsistency, where even in victory Atlanta seems destined to blow it at any second.

Like so many things Hawks-related, it was an agonizing tease. They built a 12-point lead in the third quarter, only to implode. Four turnovers enabled the Celtics to close the quarter on a 10-0 run and the lead to 66-64. They did that with Rondo leading the way and Pierce on the bench resting his sore knee.

But the Hawks made another run. Teague fed Horford inside to break an 83-all tie. The next time down the court, Horford made a 6-foot floater to make the score 87-83, setting up the final frantic seconds.

Mark Wiedmer of the Chatanooga Time Free Press framed the win with an even more cynical edge, pondering that the Hawks that showed up in Game 5 really do care about winning after all:

Could it be that the feathered fighters who silenced the Celtics 87-86 at Philips Arena on Tuesday night and pulled within 3-2 in the best-of-seven series are capable of reaching the second round of the postseason for a fourth straight spring?

For more on the Hawks-Celtics playoff series check out Peachtree Hoops and CelticsBlog. For more news and notes regarding the NBA Playoffs head over to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.