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Game 2: Celtics (0-1) @ Knicks (1-0) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0408/bos_g_bbassts_400.jpgBoston at New York
8:00 P.M. ET
Madison Square Garden

TNT/CSNNE

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

  • IBleedGreen

    Jason Terry for 3!!!!

  • GymRat

    Terry and Crawford in together…Doc is definitely mixing it up tonight and taking chances. Paying off so far. Go Celts!!!

    • hydrofluoric

      I LOVED this.

  • GymRat

    I love Pierce, but his decision making the past two games is terrible. He's isolated against J-Kidd who can't jump over a quarter and takes a wild circus shot instead of backing him down or facing up for an uncontested jumper…then with 5 seconds left he rushes into a defender and throws a lead pass to the ref…giving NYK the final shot…they make a big 3 and take momentum into the 2nd and fuel the crowd.

    Right now I trust Crawford more with the ball. C'mon Pierce, wake up, it's game 2 of the playoffs…!!!

    • GymRat

      Pierce jumping in the air for no reason and throwing the ball away trying to force a 2 for 1 isn't helping his case.

  • IBleedGreen

    My boy Jason Terry has shown up

    • CelticsBIG3

      Ya and then no….

  • GymRat

    Wonder if this game will finally stop all the Jason Terry hate. GO Jeeeeeeeetttttttt!!!!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Ya that ended quick

  • GymRat

    Love seeing this team run with success. Told you the Knicks are old and slow…keep running them into the ground….!!!

    • janos

      i can feel this one for us

  • IBleedGreen

    Still way too many careless turnovers from PP

  • IBleedGreen

    I am sad Courtney Lee has fallen out of the rotation.

    • plugnumb

      Is there a reason he hasn't played?

  • GymRat

    Really wish Terry had his confidence going. Even after hitting 3 – 3 balls he passed up a good look to give PP the final shot. Not the best close out of a quarter, but at least we still have the lead. Here's to a strong second half and a 1-1 series.

  • janos

    very verygood.

    i sit down with box chocolate fruit and was so happy half, ate almost whole box them.

    very good.

  • hydrofluoric

    Refs are not treating the C's well tonight.

    • someguyinsac

      I agree, it seems like right from the start they were going to make the mole hill turn into a mountain and make it a harder climb.

  • Stephen

    Play Terry plenty in the second half. Starting to feel it ,

  • Jonathan

    Who else saw J.R Smith cool down once the 2nd quarter started and Doc unleashed Bradley on him?

  • IBleedGreen

    Not liking the first two shots KG took in the 3rd

  • hydrofluoric

    Jesus… Pierce is getting MUGGED out there and hasn't even attempted an earned free throw… this game is not being called fairly.

  • anon

    When the C's lose tonight (and they are going to lose) remember that they ran the same two plays (isolations) for PP and Garnett five times in a row and got 2 points out of it.

    Sometimes Doc Rivers drives me mad. No matter what happens Doc is going to ride the two oldest players on the floor and then swear this was a good idea.

    • GymRat

      Have to agree. This team always plays best with all 5 guys in attack mode and taking whatever the defense gives instead of trying to force set plays.

      It's how we got the lead and made that run in the first half.

  • I_Love_Green

    2 points in the 3rd so far and we a little more than 4 minutes into it. Loving this right now.

  • I_Love_Green

    Also I like how our idea of getting KG more involved is having him force faders with Chandler in his face.

  • anon

    Oh, and for those that say that PP and Kevin are the C's best two players… That was five years ago.

  • GymRat

    Wow. Same kind of letdown as game 2. Terrible spacing. 3 guys standing around and watching outside the 3 point line and poor shot selection.

    Bring back Crawford!!

  • janos

    i am not happy this perfrom on current

  • anon

    The eight man rotation isn't working. The C's are an older team, but Doc only knows what it says in the coaching handbook. 8 man rotation come playoff time, leaving your best rebounder (and yes, without question Shavlik Randolph is the best rebounder on this team right now) on the bench.

    In 2010 the C's lost game 7 against the Lakers because the team was exhausted but Doc refused to play anyone else. The same is happening now.

    I'll be shocked if the C's win a game (in the interest of full disclosure, I'm betting against them).

  • GymRat

    Never understand why this team continuously goes away from what works to rely on ISO plays and trying to force mismatches.

  • GymRat

    FINALLY! Pierce gets a foul call.

  • GymRat

    Whoever turned Crawford into an unselfish pass-first player should be shot. He just gave up a 3 to pass to Bradley so he can miss yet another layup. Shoot Jordan SHOOT!!

  • GymRat

    If my math is correct…sadly it is…we scored just 11 points that quarter. Wow.

  • chris m

    Can someone on this thread please explain to me what just happened in that 3rd qtr?

    • hydrofluoric

      Unreasonably hot shooting from the Knicks and defensive breakdowns; the "feed Pierce 22 feet awy from the basket" offense.

  • hydrofluoric

    Pierce at 22 feet on the wing is NOT working and his defense is just not getting it done. #FireDoc

  • yordgreat

    end of the KG era…………

  • yordgreat

    pathetic 3rd Q

  • GymRat

    Can't think of a hall of famer and franchise player who ever got less respect from the refs than Paul Pierce. Dammit, give the man a foul call already!!

  • jerry

    do we have an offensive game plan?

  • janos

    is ruin

  • GymRat

    And the other J-Crawford…what did I tell you? Instant offense. No more ISO jsut run and gun this old team. Melo is bound to cool off sooner or later.

    • hydrofluoric

      Our defense has been SUCKING though.

      • GymRat

        I'd say it more that Melo is on fire. Nothing any defense can do when he's got it going like this. He's made 8 of their last 12 baskets and all with a hand in his face or two guys hanging on him.

  • yordgreat

    this series is over……..sorry.

  • anon

    @ GumRat… Yeah, the lack of calls is hurting the C's somewhat. But the lack of ball movement hurt them more. If they are to have any chance in the rest of this series the offense has to be opened up.

    • GymRat

      Agreed. I'm not blaming the calls. It would certainly help to get some…but this team is being exposed for what they really are – a scrappy, defensive-minded unit patched together to try and save an injury plagued season that never fully gelled and doesn't know what to rely on for offense. There just isn't the precision and trust you need to win important games.

      I honestly think we can beat NYK. But the Knicks are better coached (yup I said it) and they know their identity and exactly where to go to find their offense.

      Pierce and KG are my favorite players, but they can't dominate at this stage in their career and aren't able to put up big numbers every night. Green isn't ready to play consistently at a high level so you are basically expecting to win with role players who don't know their role.

      I'm still proud this team made the playoffs and that they didn't give up despite losing Rondo, Sully and Barbosa and being without Bradley for so long. But the spread offense that everyone fell in love with isn't reliable and not having a playmaker (ala Rondo) isn't something we can overcome with ball movement.

      I expect to win at least one of the two home games but there just isn't the consistency at either end to win for of the next 5.

      • Clay

        "you are basically expecting to win with role players who don't know their role."

        Well said.

  • james patrick

    Pathetic. Jeff Green needs to go away.

  • I_Love_Green

    We can pick apart the rotations, the offense, the players game, but when it comes down to it guys, this team just isn't very good. KG and Paul can't carry us like they have in the past, and we don't have anyone else who can step up consistently.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Doc Rivers with another shit rotation. I'm growing tired of his playoff rotations.

  • someguyinsac

    Anything's possible! I'm not giving up just because the Knicks did what the team with home court advantage is supposed to do.

  • GymRat

    To all those who jumped on the "we're better without Rondo" bandwagon – I told you that come playoff time the spread would struggle and this team wouldn't be able to score.

    Hate to be right. But this is even worse than I imagined — New franchise playoff low. Ugh.

    Barkely said it plainly – "This team can't beat NYK without Rondo".

    Miss you Rondo! The playoffs aren't the same without you!!!

    • anon

      I have to disagree a little bit with you here GymRat. It's not the spread O that's hurting them. The ball is sticking (usually with PP) like a fly in molasses. The second half was filled with possessions where no one but Pierce or Garnett touched the ball.

      I'm probably a bigger fan of J. Green than most people who comment here, but he can't help the team if he a) is hanging around the 3 pt. line for entire possessions. And b) not trying him out in the post. You've got to make Carmelo Anthony play defense 'cause he's really not that good at it.

      Otherwise, they just need to hit some shots.

      Oh, and attacking the basket would help some too. Force the refs to blow their whistles. When they are a jump shooting team, they are a losing team.

      • GymRat

        It's a bit of a chicken or the egg discussion. I see your point, but the team tends to fall back on the ISO and post game with PP and KG when the spread isn't working. I think it can work, but the team never really gelled and Doc hasn't set a consistent lineup so nobody knows who should take the shots in big moments and what are good shots to take.

        I like Green but he just doesn't have the mentality to be the player this team needs him to be. He reminds me of a more athletic Kevin Martin. Martin is a great scorer but Houstin found out the hard way he isn't a superstar. But he is a really a great 6th man. Green is in the same mold. He can score and really help a team, but he can't be counted on because he disappears consistently and that's because he doesn't have an agressive personality. With PP and KG no longer able to dominate Green has to approach the game as if he is the best player on the team and he's not willing or ready to do that.

        Do you think anyone can keep Melo from getting his shots? They only way to stop him from shooting is to trade him to another team.

  • IBleedGreen

    twenty fucking three 2nd half points??!!!!

  • WTF

    Well, I think KG should hang it up after this season, so should Pierce.

  • High Rollers

    That was rough.

  • WTF

    It's perfectly fine to score only 11 points in any quarter, but just do not let the other team score much more either.

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