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The Celtics' Fight For Survival
Anthony Cotton
May 02, 1983
After a lackluster season and a slow start in the playoffs, Boston showed Atlanta some muscle
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May 02, 1983

The Celtics' Fight For Survival

After a lackluster season and a slow start in the playoffs, Boston showed Atlanta some muscle

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Unfortunately for the Hawks, they didn't make enough of the shots they got. Boston double-teamed the ball up high, forcing Atlanta to chew up too much time before letting go some improbable-looking shots. Wilkins and Roundfield were only six of 21 from the field and combined for a mere 18 points. "Anytime you get into the playoffs, the whole thing comes down to defense," Fitch said. "Our guys took their pride and their intensity and came right out and did it." The guy who did it best was Bird, who had 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

And if the Celtics got scuffed up a bit, O.K. "If teams were smart, they would play us very gently," McHale said. "They'd come out and say, 'Hey, how ya doin'?' and just leave us alone. We don't play well until we get jolted out of complacency."

Well, consider the Celtics properly jolted.

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