Celtics Overtime is a postgame feature providing analysis from each game. Boston lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 83-74, on Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Paul Pierce isn't all too concerned after his Boston Celtics lost to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday night. Why should he be? It's only one game, and it's not the end of the world, as Pierce put it. Actually, it just might be.
Even though Pierce is right, the stakes are a lot higher now. After all, they can now only lose two more games. Also, there's a bigger (likely) loss: Rajon Rondo. After a lose ball foul call went the other way late in the fourth, Rondo blew a gasket and lambasted referee Marc Davis, only to get a technical. Making matters worse, Rondo then "unintentionally" bumped Davis, which got him tossed. Now, Rondo is likely facing a suspension.
Rondo insisted that his momentum carried him into the referee, and that he didn't mean to chest bump Davis (he knows the rules, as he told the media). See for yourself. It's understandable that, in the heat of the moment, players can lose their cool. Rondo was upset about a pivotal call in an important game, and he snapped. This display is just another example of Rondo's maturity. He's 26 years old. If put in the same situation, I'd put money on the fact that Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen wouldn't do that. It was an unfortunate occurrence, but at this stage of the season, that just isn't acceptable.
Not only are the Celtics in an 0-1 series hole, but they must now try to tie the series with Rondo likely wearing street clothes (a side note on this phrase, which I'm sure you've all heard: when do you ever see people on the street wearing the pricey suits that inactive players wear on the bench that are qualified as "street clothes?"). That means reserves will have to step up, and that's a lot to ask since the Celtics' bench only pumped out four out of 74 points in Game 1. Keyon Dooling will likely step into the starting lineup, and a combination of Dooling, Avery Bradley and Pierce will be left running the offense. Pierce is capable of doing so, more than any other, but losing Rondo hurts. It hurts a lot.
Sean Grande of WEEI had this for us: "After going 4-0 in 2008, the Celtics have now lost 6 of 9 Game One's. They won 2 of those series but haven't come back from 0-2 since '69." That isn't comforting, and with Rondo possibly out, winning Game 2 becomes a lot harder.
Right now, we wait for a decision on Rondo. Until then, we can only hope for the best.