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Knicks (0-0) @ Celtics (0-0) Game 1 Open Thread

 

New York at Boston

Here we go...

TD Garden
7:00 PM EST
TNT

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 104.0 points/100 possessions (t-17th)
New York: 108.3 points/100 possessions (5th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 97.8 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
New York: 106.9 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)

Probable NY starters: Chauncey Billups (PG), Landry Fields (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amare Stoudemire (PF), Ronny Turiaf (C)

Probable BOS starters: Rajon Rondo (PG), Ray Allen (SG), Paul Pierce (SF), Kevin Garnett (PF), Jermaine O’Neal (C)

View from the opposing bench: Knickerblogger

(Note: CelticsHub answered some first round questions for the good folks over at KB. You can find them right here).

Thumbnail: The drive for banner #18 starts today. No more excuses, no more games that mean nothing, no more SEGABABAs, and no more harping on the Perkins trade (okay, maybe a little more harping). Let’s do this.

Four Factors: Let’s have a look at Dean Oliver’s four factors of basketball success for both Boston and New York.

eFG%

Boston – 51.89% (7th)

New York51.30% (8th)

Misleading figures, perhaps? New York plays at the fourth fastest pace in the entire league. Boston is the seventh slowest team in the league. So, assuming the pace slows, as we expect, the question will be: can New York generate good looks outside of their standard uptempo offense? That’s where Melo comes into play. If you need a late-game bucket, there are few better players to put in a clearout situation. And of course, few teams defend the top wing scorers better than Boston, which will load up the strong side and then live or die based on their ability to rotate and closeout on shooters.

Opposing Teams’ eFG%

Boston – 46.92% (2nd)

New York – 51.09% (23rd)

Obviously, a major advantage for Boston. Can New York up its defensive efforts? If they’re anything near their regular season numbers, the rickety Boston offense could end up in high gear. Much of this will be focused around how New York contains Rondo. Boston will try and put pressure on New York’s transition defense and find the open man in the halfcourt. Like it or not, that will often be Glen Davis.

FTR

Boston – 30.5% (23rd)

New York – 30.4% (20th)

For Boston, Rondo and Pierce need to attack the paint rather than settle for jumpers. Pierce has been doing just that lately but Rondo’s been up and down. Their play will be crucial to getting the C’s easy points, and shifting the New York defense out of position. As well, KG can’t just linger on the perimeter for jumpers. He needs to spend more time in the post than he did during the regular season, especially until Shaquille O’Neal gets back.

For New York, Stoudemire will be rolling to the rim on pick and roll action and facing up KG on the wings. Melo’s a big concern too. Pierce and Jeff Green will have their hands full keeping him out of the paint. It’ll be key for Boston to finish off defensive possessions without fouling. Or, if I may make a request of the C’s: could you please use the hard playoff variety on guys if you are going to foul?

Key indicator: if Melo is taking a lot of long contested jumpers, C’s fans should feel good. Doc Rivers will.

TOR

Boston – 14.49% (28th)

New York – 12.61% (5th)

Boston’s Opponents – 14.84% (3rd)

New York’s Opponents – 13.78% (9th)

This stuff is all interconnected, of course. New York’s transition attack (and high eFG%) can be stifled if Boston holds onto the ball. Traditionally, this Celtics crew takes better care of the ball in the playoffs than the regular season. But they’ll have to. Because they were awful in the regular season. Again the spotlight turns to Rondo — he needs to make the smart pass, not the flashy one.

New York needs merely to hold serve on its 12.61% regular season rate. But Boston forces the third most turnovers in the league, by rate. Will that number decrease as they gamble less for steals and stay in front of their men in the halfcourt or will it increase because they up their energy and activity on defense?

ORR

Boston – 21.12 (30th)

New York – 24.25 (24th)

These are two teams that don’t get on the o-glass. This is particularly unusual for a high-performing offense like New York’s. It suggests their success is based heavily on pace and passing, both of which will be difficult to maintain against this Boston defense.

Opponents’ ORR

Boston – 25.32 (9th best)

New York – 28.07 (26th best)

Boston rebounded the ball better this year than last, particularly on the defensive boards. But with the prospect of small lineups and Davis and Nenad Krstic at the 5-spot, I’ll suggest rebounding could be the factor in how far Boston advances in the playoffs. Can they control the boards? KG carries a huge burden here, as does J.O.

Boston will probably let New York off the hook with its disinterest in second chance points. But there’s a real opportunity to attack the glass. The best bet for Boston? Probably Krstic, who had more than a few good games on the offensive glass early in his Celtics tenure.

Prediction:

A decent pace to open the game, then a slowing down and grinding out by the second half.

Sounds like a Celtics win to me.

Boston 101 New York 95

***

Final Note:

In case you missed them: earlier today, we all posted our playoff predictions. Go make fun of us while you’re waiting for tip-off.

And/or, go check out Brendan’s video breakdown which is right underneath this post.

Let us know what you’re seeing, folks. Seeya back here for the post-game!

  • LStrike

    SO EXCITED!!!

  • Batman

    After watching the best PG in the NBA remind people why he is, I better see Playoff Rondo who can try to be 3/4 as good

  • someguyinsac

    Let's keep the upsets restricted to the West today, okay. Not saying that because I have no faith, I'm saying it to rub salt in an enemy's wounds.

    Let's see Gino in the first game at the very least.

  • I_Love_Green

    SO SO SO pumped for this game!!! Fakers lost earlier, and when we win, it'll be a complete day.

    Tonight Playoff Rondo comes out, KG gets into playoff defense mode, and Paul/Ray hit 3 3s each!!

    LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOO CELTICS BABY!!! 16 wins to go!

  • Iamsuck

    Let’s go Celtics!!!! Got them butterflys going! So amped!

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • someguyinsac

    Jermaine is here to play!

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    KG with two air balls to start the playoffs…

  • nbsmatambo

    THIS IS THE RONDO I WANNA SEE!!!

  • guest

    Baby is grabbing rebounds like they’re bags of candy.

    • Morpheus

      Yeah and he's shooting, missing like there's no tomorrow

  • stephen

    I said it before and I will say it again. Krstic is the C's version of Pau Gasol on defense. Soft as a marshmellow. He's one of our bigs for crying out loud. Try flattening someone for a change.

  • Morpheus

    i'VE HAD IT WITH bABY…

  • stephen

    Offense bogging down as usual. Rondo making some stupid decisions, as usual. We better get rolling and soon.

  • Mike M

    Pretty obvious at this point that what we miss most from Perkins and Shaq is not necessarily their defensive presence but their ability to set solid screens and picks. Running through a Kristic screen is like running through paper as opposed to the brick walls that Perk and Shaq set. This would certainly explain the decrease in Ray's shots as he relies on solid screens to get open. Our off the ball action is horrific

    • Morpheus

      Blame Ainge for that

  • Mike

    Pretty much a week off and this is the best they can do?
    Promising….

    • Chris O

      Seriously Mike, lets sit a week and then play 9 deep when we should be working the starters 35 mins plus a game right now. This is a WIN NOW type of game, this is not Washington in the last week of the regular season!!!!

  • WTF

    the Cs will get swept if they play like the 2nd quarter for the series.

    • Mike

      indeed…

  • Chris O

    OMG we suck…..yayyyyyyy…39 points against the KNICKS in a half…REALLT EFFIN REALLY!?!?!? Lets walk the ball up, lets play 9 deep, let not play defense

  • kricky

    Well it look's like Doc's mini bootcamp this week was a resounding success.

  • Morpheus

    Speechless

  • WTF

    Why is big mouth Doc sitting there with his lips glued? Other coaches would have called numerous timeouts, what was Doc doing?

  • Janos

    Knick fans sport collective woody over cp performance today.

  • I_Love_Green

    Im just shocked. The Knicks defense is a lot better than ours right now. I just have no clue what is happening here.

  • stephen

    I've seen all I need to see. Doc has had a full mother fucking week to prepare this Goddamn team!!!!! They look no better then the way they played the last 2 weeks of the season. It is quite obvious who steered this ship and it sure as hell wasn't Doc. It was our previous assistant coach Tom T, who now coaches the Bulls. 39 fucking points against a team that plays no defense– are you kidding me !!!!! This is embarrasing. I fucking hate you Danny Ainge. Look what is happening to Ray's offense now, when we can't even set any picks to get Ray open. You have turned our team in to a bunch of pansies. We lose this game——series over. I don't want to hear any more defending Danny's mindless fucking trade!!!!!!!

    • WTF

      exactly right! Doc is useless and Danny had no idea what the trade was going to do to this team's spirit, chemistry and plays… we are fxxked…

      • Mike

        Yep these guys traded half their team and look at them. We trade one guy and its this s+*t for the last month and half. if we lose this (knock on wood) DA, doc, baby and rondo better be on another team next year….

  • Morpheus

    No excuses for the starters to be playing like ass. Had a whole week off and they come up LAME…..come the fuck on.

  • Batman

    What is wrong with u guys? Calm down

    • Batman

      U guys are dumbasses. Really, Tom was the reasonfor our success? The series is done? Gtfo

      • WTF

        The series is not done yet, but if they play like they did in Q2, it'll be over quickly. Then we'll see who the dumbass is.

    • WTF

      what is wrong with the team is what you should have asked, it's so disappointing…

      • Batman

        So playing one bad quarter loses us the series?

        • WTF

          I thought the Cs are playing for #18? Championship caliber put forth a stinky like Q2 is not a grave concern, especially against NY? The Cs have bad habit of playing poorly in Q2 and Q4, that's not a worry of losing the series?

  • kricky

    Before we bury our guys. Remember the Cs were down 51:37 at the half the last time they played in NYC (not the game where everyone rested their starters) and went on to win handily.

    But this unfocused and sloppy play is very dissapointing.

    • Mike

      Regular season =/= playoffs.

  • steveb

    More Green and less Baby and get Ray some shots.

  • Morpheus

    39 points againt the worst defensive team in the universe….come on give me a freaking break

  • stephen

    Man up dammit?

  • Chris O

    I didn't realize the NBA wanted the Celtics to lose in the first round this year. Jeez we can't BUY A FOUL

    • Guest

      I'm not surprised. There's always a handful of awful calls against the C's. That said, it looks like JO is gonna be the unsung hero of the game at this point.

      • WTF

        JO the man!

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    Come back begins now

  • talesofJP

    Ray is single handedly making the Celtics come back, he's turning back the clock big time. Love seeing him go to the hoop. Maybe Rondo can learn something.

  • stephen

    Keep up the pressure on defense. We win this game only with relentess D !!!!!!!!

  • Chris O

    Anyone notice when we go small is when we suck? Everyone keeps saying we don't need Shaq or to go big but we dominate the Knicks when we are big.

  • stephen

    Terrible rotation by Ray there. We must finish this quarter strong.

  • Mike

    BBD 1 for 7 has no place in the rotation with so many min… why isJO only at 17 min and KG 27min?

  • stephen

    Because Doc doesn't know what the hell he is doing sometimes. That's why. They still may win this game despite Doc. Play D——Play D

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    can we pleas take BBD out of the game?

  • stephen

    I second that @ I Bleed Green— If Big Baby worthless fat ass would finally lay off the pancakes and spagetti before each game—you never know.

  • WTF

    The offense is getting dry again and Doc is sitting his ass there without doing anything.

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    Stoudemire is eating KG's lunch

  • stephen

    Garnett a step to slow and by the way great help defense– Perk would have been there!!!!. We better go to Ray to help bail us out of this one,

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    fucking stupid RONDO!!!! Two stupid passes now!!! WTF!!!!

  • WTF

    damn, Rondo!

  • stephen

    He just gave the Knicks a golden opportunity. Damn you Rondo. There you fucking go .Get rid of fucking Rondo. We win this mother fucking game if it wasn't for his constant turnovers. He is sabotaging his team

  • stephen

    This is it—-anybody want to bet me that Rondo blows his defensive assignment here. Leaves the Knicks with a buuny?

  • stephen

    OK–Let us see what Doc comes up with here—Ray possibly==

  • WTF

    Ray!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Hooolllly sh*************t we won !!!!

  • Batman

    GOT IT

  • Chris O

    YIPPEEEE!!!!! DARE I SAY THE C'S ARE BACK!!!!

  • kricky

    Ray Allen for President 2012!

  • stephen

    That is it—- I am taking over the coaching from here on out !!!!!! LOL—–we pulled it out– a game we had no business winning—Come to think of it—- I will take over dammit——– LO—-fucking Loudddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

  • I_Love_Green

    Holy shit I'm hoarse, and I'm shaking. That was incredible!!

    Ray Allen is our savior Jesus Shuttlesworth.

  • stephen

    Sign me up people!!!!! —-I'm coaching starting tomorrow—–All kidding aside— Doc—Dammit !!!!!—-Let's get Ray in to the flow a bit earlier—–What do ya think Doc?—– Pretty good idea—Don't you think——Ray, Ray, and more Ray. He is after all– one of the NBA's all time greatest shooters. Get a clue Doc—or I'm taking over.

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