The Celtics are 100% against the New York Knickerbackers this season. It didn’t matter when the Knicks had Amar’e Stoudemire +. It didn’t matter when they traded that “+” for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. The Celtics took the Knicks on in all forms and ultimately dispatched them each time.
There will be much more analysis on this game, and this series (hey, we have to stretch out a week somehow) later. For now, there are only a few things you need to know:
- Before I say anything about any Celtics, I must stop and give immense credit to the Knicks. They were down by more than 20 in the second half, and they refused to roll over. They could have. They did in the regular season. But even with Stoudemire tentative (at the very least) with his back, the Knicks did not give up. Props.
Okay, now I have to brush my teeth.
And we’re back!
- The Celtics won this game largely on their ball movement and defensive intensity. A welcome sign considering the Cs will most-likely face the Miami Heat next series and will most-assuredly need everything working well.
- The bench is still struggling, and the most depressing thing about it is the fact that the only guy on the Celtics that had a negative in the +/- column was super-sub Jeff Green. I’ll make the small caveat that his primary role this series was to slow down Carmelo Anthony. The only problem: he didn’t do that particular well either (3 fouls in 17 minutes).
- Glen Davis had an amazing first half! I checked the box score at halftime and said to my friend Bernie, “Glen Davis is on pace for 24 and 10!” He finished the game with 14 and 5. Eeeesh.
- Hello JO! Jermaine O’Neal had six boards and one nice jumper today. He also had the highest +/- in the game. Before the playoffs started, Avery Bradley was more likely to have a playoff impact. This is such a welcome sign; especially if Shaquille O’Neal can come back and play 15 minutes a game (sorry Krstic!).
- The Celtics outrebounded the Knicks by 11 today. A lot of those boards had to do with New York missing a lot of shots. Still, the Celtics were not gang rebounding today so to see the Cs still win the battle of the boards is reassuring to say the least.
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