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Monday, April 21, 2008
Good Night and Good Luck Atlanta
The Boston Celtics made their return to the playoffs after a three-year absence last night and by all accounts, it was a rousing success as the top-seed Celtics dispatched of Atlanta, 104-81 in game 1.
Boston came out firing, the Hawks came back a little bit in the second quarter but the C's put it into full-gear in the second half.
Six Celtics reached double-figures led by Ray Allen (18 points). Kevin Garnett had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Paul Pierce had 16 points. In his first career playoff game, Rajon Rondo was spectacular with 15 points, nine assists (0 turnovers), six rebounds and two steals. He only played 28 minutes, otherwise he probably would have had a triple-double.
Off the bench Sam Cassell and Leon Powe notched 10 points. Leon had a couple sick dunks (including one where Garnett got right in his face and yelled for a good 20-30 seconds as they went to the bench for a timeout). The savvy Cassell made some hoops while also giving Rondo a breather.
Rookie Al Horford was really the only Hawk that played well, he had 20 points and 10 rebounds, showing off some nice moves around the hoop. Joe Johnson scored 19 (on 7 of 22 shooting) with seven assists and Josh Childress had 10 off the bench. Mike Bibby was terrible, he had five points and one assist in 34 minutes. Rondo dominated him and if that continues, the Hawks have even less of a chance to win.
Boston led 29-21 after one quarter and 49-40 at the half. It was 73-55 after three as the C's put it out of reach and got all the starters out.
With the Pistons choking in game one to the Sixers last night, it was nice to see the Celts take care of business and not give the Hawks any hope. Atlanta has to win Wednesday night in game two or else this one will be over soon. The Celts are much deeper and more experienced than the young Hawks.