New York at Boston
8:00 P.M. ET
Postseason Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 84.0 points/100 possessions (16th)
New York: 96.5 points/100 possessions (11th)
Postseason Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 96.5 points allowed/100 possessions (6th)
New York: 84.0 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)
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: The Celtics have been by far the worse offensive team in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Their offensive efficiency in the first two games of the series is more than 13 points worse per 100 possessions than the Washington Wizards’ 30th-ranked efficiency during the regular season. According to Elias, Boston is the first team in the shot-clock era to score 25 or fewer second-half points in consecutive regular season or postseason games. The Celtics have outscored the Knicks by a combined 10 points in the first half this series, but a few historically bad quarters doomed the men in green at Madison Square Garden.
The series now transitions to Boston, as the Celtics will have the TD Garden crowd behind them for the first time in more than two weeks. Dating back to the regular season, the Celtics have played five straight games away from home. Boston has to hope that home court allows Jeff Green to be effective for more than a half on Friday. Just as he did during the regular season, Green has been a stronger player in the first two quarters of the game than he has in the final two. He has continued this trend against the Knicks: in 40 second-half minutes played, Green has scored only eight points on 1-of-11 shooting with just one assist and four turnovers.
The odds are definitely against the Celtics with only six percent of NBA teams having been able to overcome a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff series. No team in league history has ever come back from down 3-0, so Game 3 is extremely important for Boston. However, this has already been an odd series thus far, so the possibilities are endless. The Knicks are the first team to win consecutive games with fewer than 88 points scored in the last six postseasons. For the Celtics to have a chance at winning this series, they will need Green to provide a consistent offensive punch. He has been effective when driving to the hoop, but Boston needs more from him because of the team’s lack of offensive weapons.
Prediction: Green steps up and has his best overall game thus far this series to send the TD Garden crowd home happy.
Celtics 97, Knicks 92
For more Celtics coverage and pertinent statistics, follow Celtics Hub and Stats Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam