I kind of skipped this one Shank column from yesterday, probably because it made a lot of sense and I'm still in shock over that fact.
So, where are we going with this?I think that's been the pattern with the Hawks in recent years - perennial first round playoff opponent, easy for the Celtics on paper, tougher matchups than anticipated when you actually play the games, and the Celtics wind up winning a hard fought series in six or seven games.
Championship banner No. 18? Probably not. But in a year in which the NBA is without a truly elite team (go ahead, count the Heat if you must), the Celtics might as well make a run at the conference finals.
First, they must beat these Atlanta Hawks. And that’s proving to be a little harder than it should be.
The Celtics needed overtime to prevail, 90-84, at the Garden Friday night. They needed overtime to beat a mix-and-match team that was significantly shorthanded. They needed overtime to beat a team that was relying on Tracy McGrady and Erick Dampier. (If Artis Gilmore showed up, Atlanta coach Larry Drew would have put him in the game.)