This is how it was supposed to be.
Any notions of a cakewalk for the Celtics were put to bed Tuesday night when the Hawks erased a 10-point lead in the second quarter and put themselves a 27-footer by Rajon Rondo away from leading at the break. Atlanta made it a game in the first half, then won the game in the second. The Celtics are left with a pressure-filled Game 6 Thursday night to avoid an elimination game on the road.
Notions of cruising into the second round without resistance were optimistic from the start. The Celtics were always a tweaked knee or separated shoulder away from being vulnerable. Other playoff teams share that same vulnerability, but we've reached a point in the series where the Hawks are suddenly healthier than the Celtics. A week ago, the opposite was true. Such is playoff basketball.