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Too Much Melo: Knicks 106 Celtics 104

 

ESPN Box ScoreKnickerbloggerPosting and Toasting

After a ragged first half marred by fouls and turnovers (and atrocious Boston defense), the Celtics and Knicks kicked it into gear in the second half. Carmelo Anthony capped a brilliant day with two final-minute free throws to put the Knicks ahead. Kevin Garnett had a baseline jumper to tie on the final possession of the game, but it caught the back of the rim and the Knicks walked off with the win.

Paul Pierce’s absence was felt not only as an offensive option on that final play, but as a check on Melo, who hit eight jumpers between 17-25 feet to go along with 15 free throw attempts on his way to 37 points (and 8 rebounds).

Rajon Rondo (31 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals) played like a megastar today. He consistently attacked the basket, took jumpers when he was open, found guys for open layups and created havoc for New York all over the court. It’s safe to say that if Rondo can even approach this kind of performance every night, the Celtics will be thrilled at the non-trade for Chris Paul.

The Celtics also got a remarkable debut from Brandon Bass, who stormed the paint to register 20 points and 11 rebounds (including 5 offensive rebounds, each one more encouraging than the last. What kind of Celtics team gets second chance points?).

From a rotation-watch perspective, Avery Bradley saw 9 minutes of ball-hawking duty, Marquis Daniels played 30 minutes and tallied 4 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Sasha Pavlovic played 15 largely ineffective minutes but don’t expect a repeat. When Pierce and Mickael Petrius suit up later this week, Pavlovic will find himself nailed to the bench.

That’s it for now but Hayes will be back later with the full breakdown of this one.

  • I_Love_Green

    I thought the headline would be "Too Much Crawford: Knicks 106 Celtics 104"

    • Bill

      Yeah, officiating was a little bit inconsistent. Thought the refs were really letting both teams play in the first half, even into the third quarter. A lot of contact in the paint both ways not getting called, then in the fourth quarter Crawford and others started calling the tickytac stuff.

      There was definitely contact when Marquis tried to strip Melo … but it was much less contact than stuff that had been going uncalled through the whole game.

      Still really liked what I saw from the Celts today. Bass was great, Rondo shooting with confidence. Defensive rotations and open looks for Ray will come with more time on the floor.

  • janos

    Hi celticshub and Ryan, is Janos
    I sorry make longer post but cannot stay quite when shit go down. I get all settle and EXCITE xmas day like i tells batman then paul dosent play? What fuck this? Now nicks get win and whole day ruin. i have one day enjoy XMAS meal kids and wines and need get ruined already? few drinks then come on computer talk NBA? IS SO WRONG ?? what next find out daughter burn suppers? better have celtic win and bad turkey then celtic lose good dinner, but still, now both can be ruin i guess.

    • Batman

      Its ok man
      We need to keep our chins up and hope Rondo will carry us

  • janos

    On the good news! I gets the HD TVS today. has you guys seen it? RONDOS IS SO CLEAR! I never seen tv like this had before older ones but now HD every detail wider more better! Like days and nights watch clear pass, rebound, shooting. Other channels HD too, not just sports. I seen abc, nbc, all the good ones.

    Commercals very loud though. I keep game on 24 but have go down 22 or 21 when car commericals comes on. Why they do this?

    I watching LEBRON now HD!! Still ugly guy but rest game clear and TV is sideways now not squares, I see more gamescreen now. Am very bless with the good kids by me nice TV over 37 inch!

    merry xmas from janos.

    • Morpheus

      Janos, they make the commercials so loud because they want you to hear them when you walk away when you try to avoid watching them.

  • Kricky

    Sheed voice: "Both Teams played hard."

  • ripsonics

    you know what.. I honestly was really impressed with todays game. Yeah we didnt win, but lets look at the positives..

    Rondo… had a GREAT game. Aggressive, jumpers, assisting.. lets see if he can hang on and do this the whole year (knock on wood)

    Ray – I'd like to meet the people that say he's done. Wow.

    Garnett – Solid game – too bad he missed that last shot.

    BRANDON BASS – WOW. I want to buy a bass jersey after that game. If he isn't the greatest big baby upgrade we could have gotten, I dont know what would have been. It is only one game, but he did everything we could have ever hoped for. LOVED his game today.

    We may not have won, but think of it this way. That daniels three in the corner that missed at the end, would have been a paul pierce shot, or a ray allen depending on who was driving the baseline. PP is the key to this team, as much as we think rondo is – it really is paul. I cant remember a game that we won where PP didn't have a significant impact on.

    When PP returns, the C's will be a team to be reckoned with. Bass brings it and rondo hits jumpers – look out.

    GO MOTHER EFFING CELTICS. GOD its good to have the NBA back.

    • Robert

      I totally agree on Bass. He looks like a really solid bench big.

      Pretty good athlete, strong enough to play decent post d, good on the boards, good-looking mid-range J. He's not long enough or tall enough to truly bother the 6'10"+ guys we'll face, but considering everything else he's bringing to the table, I think we can all live with that.

  • ElRoz

    Man! Pavlovic was non-existent! He is just plain bad…but it has to be partly mental – no confidence or something.

    Why is the DeGama so confident we will see Pierce and Pietrus soon? I recall last year he claimed that the Heat will not catch Boston for the home court with about 20 games to go…they overtook Boston somewhat handily.

    Going by the KG 2009 saga, Shaq and JO in 2011, I would expect the Pierce thing to drag out for weeks and hamper him for the season. Pietrus is a nice addition – but what's with his knee? You basically now have 3 hurt small forwards – Green, Pierce, Pietrus.
    All in all, Boston is looking at a 0-2 start right in the face…and some suspicious issues with Pierce's heel that could linger.

    • Morpheus

      I'm thinking PP's ankle might bother him for the entire season, i really hope not, but i said it before in the other thread, if that ankle ain't right and you're playing in a condensed scheduled season, that thing could never heal.

      • Morpheus

        And Pietrus' knee makes it worse.

  • Batman

    So disappointing

  • red

    I would like to see the younger guys play but with Pietrus coming and sasha with no offensive game i still think we should release him and sign house or nate just for the ability to create on a final shot

  • Jim

    Sasha will be gone before long. I believe Avery is turning into a big bust. They are now going to try him as a shooting guard but the guy can't shoot. I would rather have Nate back even with his short comings. He was hurt last year and never really got into a rythym. Besides the horrible first quarter it was a fun game to watch. Bass looked awesome!

  • guest

    Waive Sasha and bring back kryptonate.

  • Robert

    My two favorite stats from today:

    Rondo being 9/12 from the line. EXTREMELY important in making sure he's always in attack mode.

    Bass with 6 offensive boards. As stated many times before on this board, the Celtics are an average offensive team. Second-chance points are a crucial supplement.

    Also Bass, he a had a couple of forceful dunks that I KNOW Baby would have struggled to even lay-in.

    • Bill

      Bass gives you the same size in paint that Baby did (and more) plus a reliable midrange jumpshot. Upgrade in every way.

  • CG12

    There was quite a bit to be happy with today. Rondo was awesome – he is goIng to have a mOnster season. Wilcox and Dooling especially showed room for improvement. Pavlovic should not play another minute over Quisy. Bass was really good, and I think we can expect that on a regular basis. If Anthony didn’t go off like he did, the Cs would have run away with it. On to the next one.

  • CG12

    Avery will stay to play spot D. They say he can shoot, but he has yet to show it. Remember he is only 20 (21?). No Nate Robinson under any circumstances. This is a really good bench. Just give it a few games.

    • red

      I think it`s way too early to come to a conclusion with Avery Bradley if Doc continues to give him time the entire season and he doesn`t improve i`d be more open to the idea of him being a bust but right now he just seems like a rookie finding his way ,Dooling and sasha have not done anything on the other hand even in the preseason they struggled I`m willing to give Dooling time to see is it just unfamiliarity with the offense but Sasha hasn`t done anything for years and with daniels,pietrus,and pierce at the SF position why have him as a bench warmer when you can have another shooter

  • lakershater13

    Happy with the way Rondo played. Wish he had pulled up for a couple more jumpers in the forth to show how confident he is. Ray and KG had solid games. They are professionals and that is what i expected from the two of them. JO didnt look bad. Bass looked great. Wilcox showed potential to be a decent back up this season. Dooling didnt do much but no complaints. Daniels rebounded and passed well but couldnt hit a shot. I was a fan of Bradley going into the season and still want to be but he is not showing me anything, If i start a hot potato league I'm drafting Bradley #1 overall. I would rather see him miss jumpers and try to be agressive instead of throwing the ball away instantly. Sasha Im not sure I have to talk about here. Everyone knows how bad he was. Curious what the C's are seeing that the fans arent with him. On the bright side Pietrus should help a bit and Pierce shouldnt miss too much time. Over all I like what I see after game one. Game two will be a huge test on Tuesday.

  • Zee

    First half: terrible

    4th quarter…

    A: Bradley cost us two crucial turnovers. One was a blocked shot due to a forced, unconfident layup attempt. Why is he still on the team?

    B: Foul called on Daniels that was incorrecg and gave Melo his FT’s.

    That’s the game in a nutshell.

    In other news, where was the Troy Murhpy that is playing so well for LA tonight???

    • Batman

      I think he's just healthy now
      We got him at a bad time

      • Zee

        Word? Remind me of what his injury was again?

        • Morpheus

          Sunburn from tanning too much

          • Zee

            LOL

        • Batman

          back spasms

      • OKCeltic

        I think part of Murphy's problem has to do with Doc. It seems Doc give newcomers and rookies a very short leash to show him something. If they don't impress in the few minutes they get, they get buried on the bench. Then again, when you're in the middle of a playoff run, it's hard to give too many minutes to new guys when every possession seems to be crucial. Double-edge sword.

  • Morpheus

    How terrible was Avery trying to finish though, i mean he has a knack for beating his man on the drive, but once he gets in the paint GOOD LORD it's like he's too scared or he doesn't know what to do or i don't know what, but it's pathetic. I seriously don't know if Avery will ever develop an offensive game. His D is very solid, so i don't know, maybe Doc keeps playing him for that alone.

  • I_Love_Green

    Atleast we didn't lose like the lakers just did. Oh my…

    • Zee

      Speaking of which, Deng did not travel either (as some have said). He got it off just in time.

      VIDEO: http://www.nba.com/video/games/lakers/2011/12/25/

      Derrick Rose with the floater… #MVP

      • Batman

        Rondo > Rose #OneGameSampleSize

        • nbsmatambo

          I have a feeling Rondo wants to show us why we should keep him and will continue playing at a high level…at least that's what im praying for

  • Anthony

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the impact from the loss of Jeff Green. The whole rotation is thrown out of whack. Pavovlic was useless out there. Kept thinking the whole game how Green couldve stepped in for Pierce and wouldve been a nice front court with Bass from the bench.

    Rondo – Wow. Picked the Knicks apart offensively and defensively. He's playing with a chip on his shoulders.
    KG – Still pretty good for the most part. Still too unselfish on the offensive end. He had Toney Douglas on him and passed it back to Rondo. WTH??
    Allen – Still the smoothest game in the league.
    Pavovlic – Useless. SMH. Sigh
    J.O. – Played better than I expected and seems to have some hop back in his step. Hopefully he can give 18-20 solid minutes.
    Bass – Incredible finishes around the rim. I expected him to be great addition but he's even surpass that. And without the immaturity.
    Daniels – Not too bad tho it might be a bit much to ask for him to give starter mins.
    Dooling – Bleh… but at least not mistakes prone.
    Wilcox – Too soft. And giving the ball to Melo was just plain silly.
    Bradley – He's definitely very good defensively but he's it HORRIBLE offensively. He doesnt even want to be near 10ft of the ball. SMH. Much rather take the rookie mistakes from Etwaun Moore than the lack of confidence from Bradley.

    Go Celts!

    • red

      you are not the only one thinking that,but that is a useless thought Jeff Green is done for the year i kept wondering could he miraculously come back for the playoff and i just finally accepted jeff is doe this year so just wish the best for him with his upcoming surgery and put all our hopes in the people we have available to play .

    • Morpheus

      I got mad when KG didn't take advantage of his mismatches. He had a midget on him for crying out loud. So frustrating

  • Chris from Danvers

    Good to have the NBA Back.

    Early report card

    Rondo: A+ Glad to see the trade rumors didn't get to him. He's started off like MVP candidate like last year
    KG: B Not bad. Got good moments. Needed to do more on that last play….besides stuffing Bill Walker in the face
    Ray: A- Show's why he is still going strong. Did need to do more in the last play
    Jermaine: C+ Not bad. Good defense. Needs to be on the floor for more than 17 minutes
    Sasha: F – Who! I'll take Sasha Vulacic. Bad when you have four fouls, 0 shots, 1 assist, and a technical (though that was not his fault)

    Brandon Bass: A Big Baby Who. Wow, this guy was all over the place. Great addition to bench
    Daniels: B Steady as always. Should not be taking last shots of game (shouldn't even be put in that position). Playing with great fire….robbed of call vs. Melo
    Dooling: C Need more from him, but not too bad
    Wilcox: C+ looks like opening night jitters. Can't pass the wrong team. Looked nice around hoop
    Bradley: C Work in progress still. Will be better.

    Overall, this looked like a third preseason game which, in effect, it was. Unfortunately, NBA treated it that way, too. No way should Joe Crawford be allowed to officiate opening game. There really should be a campaign to get this guy out of the league. A man who determines the games as often as this guy does (not to mention had to be suspended for trying to fight Tim Duncan) has no place in an NBA trying to recover from a lockout. David Stern, try to get something right.

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