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Celtics Morning Joe: The Celtics effort reason for win over Hawks

Posted by shawn cassidy on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM

"We didn’t do what we were supposed to do in the first half," said Rivers. "And I thought we made not one adjustment at halftime -- we just did it harder and better. I thought that was great for our team because, one of the reasons we haven’t been a good defensive team this year is we that we overreact and we change. The only way you can be a good defensive team is you have to be solid and consistent. It was a great lesson for our guys."

This was a must win for the Celtics. They couldn't let the Pacer win mean nothing. The first half of the Hawks game almost looked like a cautionary tale. But the Celtics put up their first real bar fight win of the season. They fought hard, and gave us what we wanted in the second half. Holding the Hawks to 9 third quarter points is beautiful to me. It goes to show us all that what the Celtics try to execute isn't initially wrong, but it's the effort that the Celtics give on a nightly basis matters the most.

"I just thought we wanted an easy night. And [the Hawks] were playing too hard to make it an easy night," Rivers said of Atlanta scoring 31 first-quarter points and building that 19-point lead. "Every shot in the first half, it was a first-option quick shot [and] contested. Everything on defense, we were going under screens, we were not body-to-body, no physicality. In the second half, both ends were completely different.

An easy night in the NBA just doesn't happen, and that's part of the problem this season. They thing by showing up that the other team will give in, but the Celtics have a huge target on their back, and the more they realize that the quicker they'll continue to turn the season around.

"We worked a set -- the first play [of the second half], we went from one side to the other on offense. On defense, they were late in shot clock because Avery Bradley] and {Rajon Rondo both were up with ball pressure. It changed the game for us. Our ability, we are not a big team, but we have two guards, Rondo and Avery, that can literally change the game with ball pressure, and I thought they did that."

Within the first few minutes, and plays of the second half you could see the Celtics wanting to win this game, and the effort, and attitude changed. The Celtics have put together two solid wins against two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. They beat both teams with defense, and effort. The calling card of the Celtics. Rondo had two solid games, and he was aggressive in both. He scored 14 Saturday night, and he missed some shots, but he was aggressive the biggest key for the Celtics. The Celtics have a huge game Monday against the Atlantic leaders. Defense, and effort should be on their minds. Executing the game plan will come along with effort, and pride.

Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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Reply Birdman33
5:21 PM on January 6, 2013 
The grit, and urgency is back with this team. They need it to carry over into tomorrow against the Knicks.
Reply paul
6:38 PM on January 6, 2013 
Aggressive Rondo isn't just about scoring. It's about passing too, about pressuring the opposing D.

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