Boston at New York
8:00 P.M. ET
Madison Square Garden
Postseason Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 86.3 points/100 possessions (14th)
New York: 95.9 points/100 possessions (9th)
Postseason Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 95.9 points allowed/100 possessions (8th)
New York: 86.3 points allowed/100 possessions (3rd)
Probable Knicks Starters:
Raymond Felton (PG), Pablo Prigioni (SG), Iman Shumpert (SF), Carmelo Anthony (PF), and Tyson Chandler (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: KnickerBlogger
Thumbnail: There have been almost 250 different instances in which NBA teams dropped the first two games of a seven-game series. Just 15 times have those teams came back to win that series. In each of the last two postseasons, the Celtics have lost to the Miami Heat after falling in the first and second games of those series. Boston does not want to be in that position again. If the Celtics lose Game 2 in New York, they will be hoping to accomplish something that they have not done in more than 40 years. Boston lost the first two games of the 1969 NBA Finals to the Lakers, but the Celtics then won four of the next five games to win the championship. That is the last time that Boston won a series after being down 2-0.
However, as evidenced by the horrendous second half on Saturday, this is no NBA Finals. It looked very much like the first round as the two teams combined for a whopping 61 points in the last two quarters. By comparison, the Clippers and Grizzlies together scored 90 points in the second half on Monday at Staples Center. The most glaring part of the horrid finish in Game 1 was the fourth quarter. After the Celtics committed 13 turnovers in the first three quarters, they turned it over eight times in the final 12 minutes. Not too many teams, especially one that is without Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger, can win when having the same number of turnovers committed as points scored in a quarter. The Celtics’ offense in the fourth quarter was arguably even worse than the Nets’ third quarter on Monday. Brooklyn shot 2-of-19 from the field in that quarter and still scored more points in that third quarter than the Celtics did in the fourth on Saturday.
Another important part of the final quarter was the Knicks limiting their own turnovers at the most important time. New York did not commit a turnover in the fourth quarter, which was the main reason that the Knicks attempted 10 more shots than the Celtics did in those 12 minutes. New York’s backcourt will now be even stronger as Pablo Prigioni is expected to start Tuesday night’s game. During the regular season, the Knicks were more than five points worse per 100 possessions without their 35-year-old guard on the floor. The oldest rookie in the league’s last 40 years is especially a strong asset for New York’s defense. The Celtics hope that he will not be able to duplicate his regular season performance as Boston already struggled with their midrange jump shots in Game 1. After the Celtics led the NBA in midrange shooting percentage in the regular season, they shot just 7-of-19 on Saturday, which currently ranks 10th overall in the 2013 playoffs.
Prediction: The Celtics find their way from the midrange and continue to stifle the Knicks’ 3-point shooting to avoid being down 2-0.
Celtics 86, Knicks 85
For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam