- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire
The Celtics can close out the Hawks in Game 5 Tuesday in Atlanta.BOSTON -- Following Sunday's Game 4 triumph that gave Boston a 3-1 series edge over the Hawks, Celtics players sounded off on the importance of closing this series out as early as Tuesday's Game 5 in Atlanta. A sampling of the chatter:
* Doc Rivers: "You know, I don’t talk in those terms. You’ve got to just take them one at a time. Go out and play your best, and if you win it, then you move on. But never look at the finish line; never even talk about the finish line. You talk about the next game, and just playing well. Your play will take care of that, and if it doesn’t, you’ve got to play the next game. So, obviously it’s important if we won, but we’ve just got to stay single-game focused."
* Rajon Rondo: "We definitely want to try to finish the series out in Atlanta, we don’t want to come back here and play because, obviously, we need our rest. But we know they aren’t going to lay down, so we are gonna go out there, it's gonna be a good fight. At the end of the day, we want to try to get a win.”
* Ray Allen: "Obviously, any time you can get out of the series quicker, it’s beneficial to the team moving forward. Any time you have injuries where you keep guys off their feet, you can really work on chemistry, timing. You know some things you want to do better offensively, it's always a benefit. You flirt, you toe that line a little bit with being off too long, especially when you get into a series with a team that just got off a series a day or so ago. It could go either way, we have veteran players and I think for us the rest is definitely helpful for us.”
* Paul Pierce: "You don’t want to give a team any confidence. You've got to go down to Atlanta with the right mindset. You don’t want to bring it back to Boston, because anything could happen. The NBA is a weird league, one game could give a team confidence. We hope that we can just take them and advance in the series this next game."
5dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
6dESPN Stats and Information Group