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Game 70: Knicks (42-26) @ Celtics (36-33) Open Thread

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0305/ny_a_pierce_200.jpgNew York at Boston
7:00 P.M. ET
TD Garden


Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 100.6 points/100 possessions (22nd)
New York:
107.5 points/100 possessions (3rd)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.6 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
New York:
 103.1 points allowed/100 possessions (15th)

Probable Knicks Starters:
Raymond Felton (PG), Pablo Prigioni (SG), Iman Shumpert (SF), Carmelo Anthony (PF), and Kenyon Martin (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: KnickerBlogger

Thumbnail: The Celtics must be happy to be home after their rough road trip. They have lost their last five away games. In addition, Boston is riding a four-game losing streak overall, both of which are the worst current losing skids among projected playoff teams. The Celtics now shift their focus from the Western Conference to their very own division. They will play the Knicks twice in the next six days for the first time since 1997. Tuesday’s contest against the Knicks is the beginning of a 13-game stretch in which Boston will face 12 Eastern Conference opponents to finish the season.

However, the absence of Kevin Garnett, who is out for up to two weeks with inflammation of the ankle, might prevent the Celtics from moving up the standings. Over the last four seasons, Boston has played .500 basketball in 34 games without the Big Ticket. His importance to the 2012-13 Celtics might be even greater than it has been in the past because of how much he has had to shoulder the load. With Garnett just 34 minutes away from passing John Stockton for the sixth-most minutes played in NBA history, this rest is vital for him.

The Celtics will have to play without Garnett for the time being, so Paul Pierce will now have to carry more of the scoring. Coming off one of his most effective shooting performances this season, Pierce will have to continue his impressive scoring at 35 years old to give the injury-riddled Celtics a chance against the old and broken-down Knicks. In 2012-13, the Celtics are 10-5 when he scores at least 25 points and are 15-5 when he makes at least three 3-pointers. Pierce’s best career scoring average against an Eastern Conference team is his 23.5 points per game against the Knicks. This is an important night for him to surpass that.

Prediction: Pierce scores 25 points and makes at least three 3-pointers to give the Celtics their second win of the season against the Knicks.

Celtics 96, Knicks 95

For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • melo fan

    let's go knicks

    • Kafel

      get lost and get a life… Man, this knicks and heat fans are really annoying, I hope they will get what they deserve for in playoffs – 2 early exits coming up!

      • melo fan

        would you like please shut the fuck up
        celtics are old news

    • Switcharoo

      To man take that stuff back to the Knicks blog,no need for that. You don’t see any Celtics fans harassing you board so why do you have to come on this site and troll?
      Stay classy Knicks SMH.

  • hydrofluoric

    What's with all the response to trolls?

  • hydrofluoric

    Kenyon Martin is ripping us appart. What a surprise.

  • hydrofluoric

    Avery is killing me. Fails to make the catch, resulting in a fastbreak layup. Then he dribbles into traffic, loses the ball, and another transition basket for NYK.

    This game just sucks.

  • boston bobby

    Doc's spacing tonight is ridiculous. 5 guys on the 3point line is easy to defend. We need more cutting, crashing and running. Watching this game is painful we look like a lottery team.

    • KillerGymRat

      Seriously. What was that? NYC doesn't even have to bother playing defense when the ball never goes below the 3-point line while 5 guys who all are mediocre to average shooters from that range decide who gets to take the bad shot.

  • Kafel

    OPEN LAYUP missed by bradley – this just hurt my eyes…
    And Doc should put in White or Shavlik, we need to rebound better on defensive end – they have 11 offensive boards already!!

  • hydrofluoric

    One of the worst subplots of the season: Paul Pierce's declining FT-shooting ability. Ugh.

  • boston bobby

    Bradley has taken a backwards step in this offensive growth.

    • Morpheus

      Double shoulder surgery will do that to ya.

  • hydrofluoric

    For the love of God, take Brandon Bass out of the game.

    We miss Lee so much right now.

  • fabzzz

    Can’t watch game? Is green playing as well as his numbers?

    • hydrofluoric

      Green's not playing terribly. Our guards can't stop penetration and Brandon Bass is a joke. Also JR Smith went ballistic.

      • hydrofluoric

        Green just got stopped by Kidd in single coverage taking him to the hoop.

    • KillerGymRat

      Not really. I just checked them and he looks like he's having a beast of a game. But save for the opening stretch of the 3rd where he scored 9 straight points and we went on a mini-run its been a disappointing night of YMCA ball for everyone in green.

  • KillerGymRat

    Somebody dare tell me you wouldn't rather have K-Mart then Brandon Bass after watching this game.

  • KillerGymRat

    Really wish Randolph would get some run when it actually matters. He looks strong in garbage time but that's really tough to gauge.

    • Anthony

      That's why I question how good a coach Doc is. His in-game adjustments aren't very good. I mean, wasn't it obvious that they were getting killed on the boards by a team that isn't even that good rebounding themselves? Why not bring in Wilcox, Shavlik, and DJ for a few more ins? Also, why play Pierce and JCrawford so many minutes when they were constantly turning the ball over?

      Who gets the blame for all these guards torching us lately? JR, Bayless, Henderson, etc.

      The CBA crew is now 6-22 or 27% at the FT line. How in the world did Shavlik avg 32ppg when he can't make a FT?

      Celts need to get all the injury in order so we can start the playoffs. The last few games has been tough to watch.

      • KillerGymRat

        I have to agree with you on Doc. To his credit I don't know any team (save for maybe Minnesota last season) that has had to deal with so many injuries to key players.

        That said, his strength seems to be play calling out of time outs. I agree his in-game adjustments are terrible. Bass has lead feet and was turning the ball over like crazy. Why not try Shavlik or White. Or even try Wilcox with Green. NYC was without Chandler. What if instead of playing small…we go big. Put in Wilcox and Shavlik with Green, Pierce and Bradley or JC or Jet.

        If it isn't working, find something that is. We were losing big most of the game. What could it possibly hurt to try the same line up that made a come back against Dallas?

        Also the sets were ridiculous. The one boston baby mentioned where every single player stayed deep outside the 3-point line on several possessions and then waaaaayyyy too much hero ball.

        I can always take a loss, but one's like this when it seems like Pierce is running with a JV squad that just wants to go home and play video games kill me. It's on Doc to right the ship and he just wasn't doing it tonight.

        • Anthony

          I think you meant the line-up that came back against Memphis but I know what you're saying. Doc is too stubborn in his approach. In the past few games, Doc seems determined to give lots of mins to JCrawford. Possibly , he's trying to get JC's confidence up before the playoff starts. Also, JGreen needs to play majority of his mins at the 3 instead of at the 4. The CBA crew may not be quite there yet but how much can it hurt considering there has been numerous blowouts in the last 2 weeks.

          I still question whether the line-up shuffles from last's year's run was a result of injuries or whether it was premeditated.

          • KillerGymRat

            I did indeed mean Memphis. Good catch.

            I like Crawford getting run, as his offense is really valuable, especially with Jet underperforming, but yeah, would it kill us to give the CBA bigs a few minutes throughout the game. How else are you supposed to gauge them, in practice? I can't imagine we beat Indiana 4 times by playing small ball.

            Let's hope after one more loss we go on another run, as has been the way with this team all season.

          • Anthony

            I mean going into the season, Celts were still a bad rebounding team yet Sullinger their best (or 2nd best) rebounder gets less than 20 mins a game. And this was at a time when Bass was under-performing in every aspect of the game.

            I can't understand whenever coaches refuse to play rookies because they are rookies. I always thought the purpose of drafting a guy is because he can play.

  • Stephen

    No, I doubt anyone would tell you that. What a horrible game. Let's face it, the C's slip to the 8th spot we are toast. Worst rebounding and ball handling you will ever see.

  • I_Love_Green


  • KillerGymRat

    I have to say I'm also confused about AB's rep as a lockdown defender. He's great at pressuring the ball handler coming up court, but is he really a good defender? If so, why is it guards on opposing teams can routinely go off against us.

    Has he locked anyone down since Steph Curry, who is really just a spot up shooter?

    • Anthony

      I have to disagree. AB is great all around defender especially on-ball defender. I think the problem is he has to compensate for the poor defense of the other guard playing alongside him.. Rondo, JET, JCrawford, Barbosa. Usually him and CLee are great together defensively which is why it's baffling the opposing guard has been torching us lately. JR is a super streaky shooter and I don't really question his 30+game but there really should be no reason why Bayless and Henderson get 30+.

      • KillerGymRat

        I respect you disagreeing. I'm not saying he's a bad defender. But I do think he struggles against quick guards who can also shoot from outside. Kryie Irving, Westbrook, and sadly, yes, Bayless and Henderson. This is a tough game to gauge because, I agree, without Lee anytime there is a switch AB is out of the play and the other guards are no match.But he hasn't really shown me he can shut a guy down at will. And there have been plenty of plays were I've seen a guy blow right by him because he overplays and gets beat on the first step.

        • Anthony

          I missed the Cavs game when Kyrie went for 40 and I can only assume AB was the one guarding him. I know Rondo was still playing at the time though.

          He actually plays Westbrook and DWade surprising well but you would have to watch the game to notice because you won't get a good assessment by looking at box score. Those guys will always get there #s. The only players I remember him struggling against were Kobe (who doesn't), Lawson (super speedy) and Andre Miller (very strong and crafty).