Our Boston Celtics found themselves down in a big way tonight in Atlanta – down 19 points to be exact. Earlier this season – like, anytime pre-Avery Bradley to be exact – a deficit of this magnitude would have spelled doom for the C’s. Well, Bradley is back, and while his stat line was pedestrian (6 points, 4 boards and an assist), his defensive intensity proved to be the catalyst for this Celtics uprising.
Instead of folding like a cheap suit, as our C’s had been prone to do earlier this season, Bradley & Co. put together a comeback against the Hawks that may very well prove to be the turning point in this season of disappointment.
Credit Paul Pierce (26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) and Rajon Rondo (14 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) for coming up big on a night that saw the Hawks jump all over us early. Just when you think Pierce is ready for a retirement home he puts up stupid numbers for a player his age. And Rondo? Urged to be more aggressive by his coach, Rondo responded by producing his 25th triple-double since the 2008-09 season, tops in the NBA over that span.
Yes, this was a big win on the road against a very good Hawks team. Our Celtics won the rebounding battle (44-36) and owned the offensive glass (16 to Atlanta’s 8). And they were able to do beat the Hawks despite the continuing struggles of two very important rotation players – Jason Terry and Jeff Green. The were a combined 3-of-12 from the field tonight.
So, what to make of this win? A second straight quality effort, two wins in a row, and some very encouraging signs to build on.