The Hawks played great basketball all night long, played conference champion basketball, but in the end couldn't grab the "w".
Again we say, so what?
As we discussed earlier, this neither made us champs or chumps, but the way the team played, the way the team battled, they way the played like one of the toughest teams in the league proved that the outcome is a secondary story, simply another outcome of which there are 82 in a season.
This was no step back and it was no step forward. It's another brick in the wall that is the NBA schedule and there is another game on Friday against the Warriors.
What will show the mettle of the team is how they respond and how they play against Oakland.
No, there is no moral victory, they lost the game. They didn't break the Celtics streak. But, the more important outcome of the game was that despite a shooting start that might have dumped any other team playing the Celtics, despite some questionable officiating in the second half (hey, these are the champs and it's not like the L has a lot of experience showing the Birds the love), the Hawks outplayed the Celtics, outworked the Celtics, and proved that the growth--the record--the Hawk--are no fluke.
See you in April (well, March 27th), C's---Josh Smith will be waiting----