The good vibrations from the Game 4 blowout are almost entirely gone.
Paul Pierce has a sprained MCL, the Hawks are finally starting their best lineup, Al Horford’s back to being a problem, Rajon Rondo’s coming off a raggedy performance which he followed by snapping on a TNT cameraman, Mickael Pietrus is hitting 15.7 percent of his threes in the NBA playoffs, Kevin Garnett isn’t getting enough touches and the Celtics are one more loss away from flying back to Atlanta to play for their lives on the road.
Of course, if the Celtics win tonight and Pierce shows increased mobility, all the concern would be gone and in its place would be something to the effect of: “NEITHER THE 76ERS OR THE ROSE-LESS BULLS CAN STOP US, SNITCHES! WE’LL SEE YOU IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS, LEBRON!”
I maintain that the Celtics should have just won Game 5 and afforded themselves some rest for the (potentially) upcoming second round, but they’ll have two more chances to dispatch the Hawks if they need them.
Game 6 is tonight at 8 p.m.