Josh Smith had Boston's fair-weather fans saying, "Who?!" all night long.
The young Hawk came up with 27 points and frustrated the Celtics on the defensive end. None of this could have been done without Mike Bibby deciding to show up ready to play for the first time in the series.
All night, the Celtics parted like the Red Sea giving open looks for layups and dunks to Smith, Johnson, and Horford.
Bibby's jump shot still looked uglier than Zaza Pachulia, but it was the fact that he had eight assists and only two turnovers which made him a factor all night.
At times, the Celtics looked bad... the rest of the time, they were downright awful. A casual fan might see that Garnett put up a 32-10 performance and assume it was a good night for him and his team.
Unfortunately, KG's no longer on the Timberwolves, and a night with numbers like that suggests a breakdown of the Celtics' usual unselfish ball movement.
Doc Rivers mismanaged his time outs and failed to use them properly to slow a Hawks run in the end of the third quarter where the Celtics went without a field goal for over six minutes.
Bibby must be pleased now that even those "fair weather fans" in Boston know who Josh Smith and most of the Hawks starters are.
Unfortunately, he's still on the youngest squad in the NBA and Atlanta celebrated their first playoff victory since 1999 as if it was... well, their first playoff victory since 1999.
Playing poor team defense and allowing Smith open paths to the basket, gave Smith the opportunity to teach the Celtics a lesson.
Unfortunately for Smith, who taunted Paul Pierce and called him a "bitch," in the waning seconds, Game Four will be his turn to be taught a thing or two.
I was excited to see that the refs completely missed and/or ignored the blatant technical-foul offense by Josh Smith because that can mean only one thing...
"The Truth" is coming out Monday night with a severe chip on his shoulder. The Celtics lost a game they should have won.
It took Brian Scalabrine and other members of the bench to keep Paul Pierce from chasing down Horford and putting a hurt on him in front of the (barely) sellout crowd in Atlanta.
Instead, Monday night look for flashes of the old Pierce. Game Four will be the most physical meeting of the series to date, and the Truth is going to come out with both guns blazing.
This is why I watch this team, why I love the playoffs, and why I just bought tickets to Game Five!
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