Celtics take down Hawks as they move on to the 76ers


Erik Drost

Celtics All Star Jayson Tatum leads the team to a series win over the Atlanta Hawks. (Courtesy / WikimediaCommons)

Christopher Mills, Crier Staff

The Celtics have started their playoff run, hoping to reach the finals again. However, the Celtics struggled to make it through the first round, with the Hawks extending the series to 6 games.

 The series started strong in the first game with a 13-point victory at home against the up-and-coming Hawks team. 

In this game, Tatum, Brown, and White played phenomenally. Brown ran the offense with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. 

Jayson Tatum also had a strong performance, with 25 points and he dominated the boards with 11 rebounds. 

Derrick White also ran the offensive play throughout the game with 24 points and 7 assists. 

The 3 man combo led the Celtics to their overwhelming victory. Game 2 the Celtics played even better with a 13 point victory. 

In the second game of the series, Tatum again had a strong outing, with 29 points and continued to control the boards with 10 rebounds.

 White stepped up again with a solid 26 points. However, game 3 turned out to be a step back with an 8 point loss in Atlanta. 

Tatum and Marcus Smart came to play, leading the team with Tatum’s 29 points and Smart’s 24 points. 

However, the relentless scorer Trae Young got the better of the Celtics with his 32 points. 

Another notable Hawks player was guard Dejounte Murray, who finished with 25 points on the night. 

The Celtics struggled to rebound throughout the course of the night with the Hawks beating out on the Celtics in offensive rebounds.

 In game 4 the Celtics narrowly beat the Hawks by 8 points. The team was carried to victory by the dynamic duo of Tatum and Brown as they led the floor with 31 points each. 

Part of the victory was due to the massive presence the Celtics had in the paint, as they scored 54 points. 

Game 5, the Hawks came out swinging, forcing a game 6. Yet again Trae Young buried the Celtics with 38 points and 13 assists. 

The loss proved to be far more disappointing with it occurring at the Garden and forcing the Celtics to play the next match in the series in Atlanta, especially since the Celtics could have finished off the series and they lost by 2, despite Jaylen Brown’s effort putting up 35 points on the night.

The Hawks also had a great defensive performance as they forced 9 turnovers against the Celtics. 

Game 6, the Celtics finished off the series with again the dominating duo of Tatum and Brown as they led the team in scoring: Tatum with 30 and Brown with 32. Tatum again held the boards with 14 rebounds. The old big man Al Horford still proved to have some gas in the tank with 12 rebounds. 

The game proved to be closer than expected as the Celtics took the game to overtime. In the end, they were able to close out the series despite the effort of Trae Young who had 30 points on the night. The Celtics beat the Hawks in dramatic fashion in Atlanta. 

The next challenge the Celtics are up against are the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The Celtics have two major concerns in the upcoming series: Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. Embiid is the major concern as he exposes the Celtics lack of true big men.  

However, an injury in Philadelphia’s first round series has plagued Embiid and he was listed as doubtful for game 1 and it is feared to be a worse injury. 

Fortunately for the 76ers this proved to be insignificant as they went on to upset the Celtics 119-115 in game 1. 

In the Philadelphia win, Jayson Tatum scored 39 points and brought in 11 rebounds.

But what brought the 76ers over the hump against the Celtics was the performance by former NBA MVP James Harden. He tallied up a playoff career high 45 points and seemed to show flashes of his dominant scoring self. 

Game 2 of this matchup is Wednesday May 3rd at 8:00 at the Garden. 

The question now remains, will the Celtics be able to bounce back and even the series? Or will a potential return of Joel Embiid pile on to the 76ers momentum? Only time will tell.