Up until the final 41 seconds of the game, I was actually feeling quite positive about the Celtics. They'd played below their capability, fell into a deep hole, yet nearly pulled themselves out of it. Rondo had been playing great (20 points, 11 assists), KG was hitting shots (after starting 1 for 9), and Pierce had just sunk a tough 17 footer that was vintage Paul Pierce.
Then Rajon Rondo acted stupid. He screamed into the ref's face, got a technical, then bumped the ref in the back and got ejected.
I don't know if he deserves to be suspended for the bump. He does deserve to be suspended for being a moron. Hopefully the NBA won't punish him for that. It puts the Ron Artest thing into perspective. If Rondo gets 1 game for a slight bump and Artest got 7 for a vicious elbow, what does that say about the NBA's disciplinary process?
Anyway, Rondo acted like an idiot. Whatever you may think about what punishment he may deserve, he put himself in the situation to be suspended.
It was an ugly game for most of the Celtics, well before the bumping incident. They didn't play defense in the 1st quarter. KG was useless until the 2nd half. They missed all 11 of their three-point attempts. Pierce was 5/19. Garnett was 10/18. The bench only scored 4 points.
Ray Allen was missed. Especially in that bench department, and the three-point department. When one of your best players is sidelined with injury, though, it's up to the other good players to step up. Garnett and Pierce didn't. Not until very late in the game.
Rondo was by far the Celtics' best shooter last night.
Atlanta didn't pull too far away. The C's were able to reel them in a few times. The Celtics outscored the Hawks 56-52 after the 1st quarter. So this was shaping to be a loss, but a promising loss. Until Rondo put himself at the mercy of David Stern.
Game 2 is Tuesday night. And without Rondo, the Celtics don't have much of a chance. He's that important to this team, which is why what he did was all the more moronic.