This was the kind of game Celtics fans were expecting all along. The Knicks took a few punches early on and then didn’t feel the need to play defense with the same fervor they did in Games 1 and 2. Perhaps the Knicks enjoyed feeding off the Boston crowd. Maybe they figured the first playoff game in Madison Square Garden in 10 years would have been enough to get them going.
Not the case.
The Knicks didn’t break double digits until 2:47 left in the first quarter. Considering the Knicks only chance to beat the Celtics rests on the the prospect of out-scoring them, you can call the first quarter a bad omen for the Knickerbockers.
The Knicks defense was so bad tonight, Paul Pierce looked like he was playing against New Jersey circa 2002. Just look at Pierce’s shot chart:
It makes you wonder how many points Pierce could have averaged with Rajon Rondo feeding him the ball in his prime (his prime prime). Speaking of Rondo, he had 20 assists tonight, a Celtics playoff record (assuming I heard the telecast correctly. I’ll look it up tomorrow). The Celtics just dominated the perimeter tonight. They Celtics’ backcourt played so well, their big men and bench didn’t even need to show up. Just look at the box score for the starters:
All astronomical +/- numbers. And now look at the bench:
Still really struggling. Alas.
Enjoy this one Celtics fans. Games like this don’t come around too often. For the playoffs, they are pretty much the equivalent of seeing a Unicorn or Bigfoot in the wild (as opposed to domesticated unicorns and bigfoots, which are very prevalent).
Mike will be around later with more analysis, for now: CELEBRATION.
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