|Jeff Green, PF 35 MIN | 3-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -22In the first quarter ,Green guarded everyone from J.R. Smith to Carmelo Anthony, and he did a solid job.
Green was also the only Celtic attacking the basket early on, but for whatever reason (possible reason #1: it’s Jeff Green), he disappeared for most of the game. It’s who he is, an inconsistent, uber-talented player. Gotta take the good with the bad, and tonight wasn’t much fun.
|Brandon Bass, PF 34 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -7Bass looked like a poor man’s Karl Malone in the game’s opening five minutes, hitting a turnaround jumper with Tyson Chandler in his face, then knocking down his signature spot up a few plays later.
Really, he picked up where he left off in Game 1, playing outstanding defense on Carmelo Anthony and grabbing eight first half rebounds.
Then the second half happened and just like everyone else on this team, Bass never left Boston’s locker room.
|Paul Pierce, SF 38 MIN | 8-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 18 PTS | -28In what might go down as the most cataclysmic sentence I’ve ever had to write: the Celtics used Paul Pierce to target Pablo Prigioni on switches throughout the first quarter…and it didn’t work.
The Celtics were patient with it though. They kept going back to switches throughout the second quarter that placed Pierce at the foul line with Ray Felton on his hip, and the result was a team-high 10 points on 50 percent shooting.
But Boston never went away from this as the hub of their offense. Maybe it was due to Garnett’s foul trouble? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Pierce isn’t good enough at this stage in his career to carry a basketball team for 48 minutes, by himself, against a solid defensive squad like New York.
|Kevin Garnett, C 24 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -5Heading into tonight’s game it was repeatedly said that Kevin Garnett would be a focal point of Boston’s offense. This was a cool strategy until Garnett picked up two fouls in the game’s opening three minutes. (The second one: utterly ridiculous.)
He played 24 minutes and attempted nine shots, even though it felt like he missed at least 25. There was no rhythm or flow for a player who thrives on energy. A sad outing for sure.
|Avery Bradley, PG 34 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7In the second quarter Avery Bradley did what he does, hopping inside J.R. Smith’s molten hot jersey and completely shutting him down (save for one corner three).
On the other end, Bradley’s offense was non-existent. He scored six points and drove to the basket precisely two times, drawing one foul and missing a layup. The defense was extraordinary, though. That needs to be repeated.
Unfortunately, only one Avery Bradley exists in this dimension. Two were needed to cover both Ray Felton and Smith tonight.
|Shavlik Randolph, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2He played?|
|Chris Wilcox, PF 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8Literally did nothing except enter the game before Shavlik Randolph.|
|Jordan Crawford, SG 25 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | 0Jordan Crawford made his first career playoff shot (just like he wanted). Then he didn’t do anything but get abused by Raymond Felton for awhile.
In the fourth quarter Crawford began do score off the dribble, attempting a few “NO NO NO PLEASE GOD NO…I guuuuuuess that was OK” shots that make him who he is.
|Courtney Lee, SG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0It only took 83 games for Courtney Lee to play himself out of Boston’s rotation.|
|Jason Terry, SG 34 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +1Terry missed his first wide open three-pointer, turning my knuckles a deep shade of magenta. Then he made his second wide open three-pointer, and my eyes began to water. Then he made another, and another. It was glorious!
Also, a mirage. Terry wouldn’t score another point the rest of the game. It was fun while it lasted.
|Doc RiversFor the second straight game, Boston’s second half offense looked like a bucket of vomit sliding down a wall. Part of this is on Doc Rivers, who stubbornly kept feeding Paul Pierce with mismatches instead of working the ball around or even running something creative, like a Jeff Green/Pierce pick-and-roll. Hopefully they switch it up a bit in Game 3.|
Two Things We Saw
- Boston scored 23 points in the second half. This was a thing I saw.
- The Knicks and Celtics actually attempted the same amount of three-pointers, which is extremely difficult to believe. New York made 7-of-19. Boston made 5-of-19.