I’m still not sure exactly how an 11-point lead dissolved into a tie game in less than three milliseconds, but only a cruel god would have subjected us to five extra minutes of that sludge. Thankfully, the Celtics prevailed in overtime against an Atlanta Hawks team that brought a lot of effort if not a lot of talented players healthy enough to compete.
For all the interesting side notes this game gifted us (T-Mac’s first-half revival, an Erick Dampier sighting, multiple “Erick Dampier still has hands made of brick” reminders, Avery Bradley’s block on Joe Johnson to end the second quarter, Ray Allen’s impressive return to the parquet, a fun stretch where Brandon Bass was the only big man on the court, Rajon Rondo’s “I can still do this on my worst day” triple-double), I feel like somebody just put out a cigarette on my retinas.
The Celtics are lucky there are no Russian judges sitting courtside to detract points for style (or, in this case, utter lack thereof). Boston made a habit of winning ugly games this season, but very few of them were that ugly.
I would feel a lot better about Boston’s win if A) Bradley had returned after suffering a shoulder injury or B) the Celtics’ offense had looked anything better than miserable. But the series is now 2-1, which I suppose was the goal tonight regardless of the route taken to achieve it.
As I’m currently at the game, more to come later.
P.S. — I feel like Rondo just played his worst game since the All-Star break, but he came pretty damn close to a 20-15-15 triple-double. Sigh.
P.P.S. — That last play of regulation was the second time (the first being Boston’s overtime win against Atlanta a few weeks ago) the Celtics forced Willie Green to take a shot with the game on the line. I imagine that was their goal.
P.P.P.S. — Kevin Garnett’s putback dunk to pretty much seal this one was pretty awesome, in a “didn’t he do that same thing in Pau Gasol’s mug back in 2008?” type of way.