For the second consecutive night, the Boston Celtics (16-17) find a way to come out victorious in a back-to-back setting beating the Atlanta Hawks (20-12) 89-81.
Doc Rivers’ team experienced a tale of two halves tonight. To start off the game, the Celtics were horrific with no rhythm on offense and a lack of defense.
“That was terrific,” Doc Rivers stated after the victory. “It was a great lesson for our guys tonight.”
In the second half, it was a complete contribution for on and off the ball defense, spectacular shooting, and the supporting cast provided a ton leverage for Boston.
Consistently, in the past two games, Avery Bradley’s defensive knack became contagious within the team. The defensive rotations were spot on. The ball pressure early in the shot clock was terrific as the Hawks broke down from the friction of Boston’s defense who caused 18 turnovers.
Led by Rondo’s triple-double performance (14 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds) and Paul Pierce’s 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists contribution allowed Boston to finish the night posting 46% from the field.
Celtics captain, Paul Pierce, did it all tonight from driving to the basket looking for open guys and taking his bread and butter elbow fall-away jump shot.
When Rondo is aggressive, the rest follow suit. It was evident in the second half that the Celtics felt more urgent and energetic from the point guard’s aggression.
Once again, Boston’s supporting cast was outstanding specifically Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass. The two power forwards posted for a total of seven offensive rebounds. Sullinger finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Bass tallied for 10 points and four rebounds.
Celtics have been looking to stay consistent all season, but couldn’t find it in previous games. Last night and tonight’s contests were enormous as the team will now look forward towards Atlantic Division’s best New York Knicks (23-10) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.