Hawks Blowing Out Celtics Early, Are Actually Exciting

For the last few years, the Atlanta Hawks have been the bane of NBA League Pass connoisseurs due to their isolation-heavy style, the frustration of Josh Smith, the ho-hum demeanor of Joe Johnson and the lack of visible arena fan support. It's kind of unnerving, then, to see them turn their playoff-opening game against the Boston Celtics into the Highlight Factory all over again.

The play that grabbed the loudest reaction from the home crowd was this alleyoop between Johnson and Marvin Williams. The Hawks poked the ball away on defense, and Williams pitched it ahead to Johnson, who returned the favor at the perfect time for the thunderous dunk.


But the most spectacular play was one that didn't even count for the Hawks. It was Smith chasing down Avery Bradley on the fast break and stuffing his shot, a la LeBron James. Unfortunately, the referee called a goaltend, even though it looked like Smith pinned the ball in time. At the very least, a tie should go to the guy who made the spectacular play, right?

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For news and analysis on these two teams, be sure to visit CelticsBlog, SB Nation Boston, Hawks blog Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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