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Game 4: Knicks (3-0) @ Celtics (0-3) Open Thread

 

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2013/0427/ny_u_jr-smith_mb_576.jpgNew York at Boston
1:00 P.M. ET
TD Garden

ABC

Postseason Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 85.8 points/100 possessions (16th)
New York:
99.7 points/100 possessions (12th)

Postseason Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.7 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
New York:
 85.8 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: While the Knicks are expected to have the same starting lineup in Game 4 as they had in Games 2 and 3, New York will be without the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. The NBA waited until Saturday night to reveal that the league suspended J.R. Smith for Sunday’s contest in Boston for elbowing Jason Terry in the fourth quarter on Friday. This announcement adds a glimmer of hope for a Celtics team that has failed to string together a few strong quarters this postseason. The two best players in this series at making their own shot are Carmelo Anthony and Smith, so it will be a welcome sign for the Boston defense not to have to guard both of them in this game. Coming into Sunday, Smith had scored double-digit points in his last 22 combined regular season and postseason games, the longest streak of his career.

Although Smith will not be seeing court time in Game 4, the Celtics still need to step their play in order to be victorious at home on Sunday. Boston has now turned the basketball over 17 times per game in this first-round series while New York has less than 12 per contest in the previous three games. In addition, the Celtics’ assist-to-turnover ratio is 0.90, by far the worst of any team in the 2013 NBA playoffs. While the Knicks do not have one player who can replace Smith’s impressive skills, they are still a deep team that has been ball-hawking more than any recent Celtics’ opponent. New York’s 11.3 steals per game lead all teams this postseason, so Boston will hope to try to channel their inner-Rajon Rondo ball-handling for this game.

It must be said that no team in NBA history has ever come back from down 3-0, so Celtics fans have to believe history will repeat itself in Boston. Just about a decade ago, there were many iconic moments in both Beantown and the Big Apple as the Boston Red Sox won four consecutive games against the New York Yankees after dropping the first three. The Red Sox became the first team in MLB history to perform that feat, so maybe lightning strikes twice in Boston. The initial step comes Sunday as the Celtics have gotten a little help from the association. The men in green have yet to have a strong full game in this series, so if they want any chance at winning four games against the Knicks, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green will have to lead the way and show the TD Garden faithful why there is still hope.

Prediction: The Celtics finally get the crowd rocking as they get the close victory over the Smith-less Knicks.

Celtics 89, Knicks 86

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

  • Jim

    If only we had a guy like Nate Robinson who could come off the bench and score. Oh wait we did have Nate Robinson but he was not good enough for us so we got Jason Terry for a lot more money and a lot less production.Seems like Doc could not coach Nate but a certain coach in Chicago has done just fine coaching him. I am rooting for Chicago now for the two ex Celtics on that team who will still be in the playoffs after today.

  • Art

    I can't believe it's at the end of the Celtics season and we're still talking about players knowing their roles. Really? Despite all of the injuries Doc has had plenty of time to establish everyone's "roles."

    I like every one of these guys individidually, but as a team they just haven't gotten it done. In the past I've always been happy with the team at the end of the season and always pulled for DA to keep the squad together, but after this season with so many guys struggling with their "roles" I won't be sorry to see anyone go.

    Enough with the excuses; let's play some Celtic basketball already!!!

  • IBleedGreen

    Turnover turnover turnover

  • Josh_5

    Paul pierce is just trash.

  • chris m

    avery bradley please go sit down!

  • Art

    Where has this offense and effort been the past three games?

    Hold on to the phone the Celtics season isn't over yet!

  • IBleedGreen

    What took you so long Paul?

  • janos

    this is proper performs nba celtics but is measure happy only me becase of bad perform second halves past time now just a make a focus executes lets go

  • GymRat

    So nice to see Pierce looking like Pierce. This is the best his shot has looked in months. Great lift and arc, and it changes the entire complection of the game when he's got it going from down town.

    Also great to see Jet shooting with confidence and opperating off the dribble.

    Best part about this big lead is I don't think we've played all that well. The effort is finally there, but there's also been lots of sloppy turnovers, fumbled balls and a few silly fouls. If the effort is there the second half and we take better care of the ball we should finally get a win and send this back to MSG.

  • GymRat

    *scratching head* Makes no sense to me not to see Shavlik or Wilcox in the game. Why risk losing Green, Bass, or KG to foul trouble fighting Chandler in the block when he's getting every call.

    Let Shav bang him and foul away to tire him out.

  • GymRat

    In other news AB is still one of the worst dribbler and passers in the NBA. Put back in T-Will or let Terry run the offense.

  • IBleedGreen

    Bradley is a fucking idiot

  • MSTRKRFT

    FFS Doc, call a timeout sooner, get the squad together. At the timeout he is grilling Green out. Someone should put Doc in his place. He still doesn't know the meaning of player rotations. Terrence/Crawford/Shavlik/Lee…all sitting on the bench, laying an egg. Doc should be relieved of his duties at the end of this debacle.

  • GymRat

    I'll never understand why this team can't do anything in second halves. And AB our "defensive stopper" let fat and slow Raymond Felton light him up for 16 points…while he runs around making bad passes and contributing nothing on offense.

    That 3rd quarter just broke my heart and likely put a nail in the coffin.

    • hydrofluoric

      Yeah Bradley really crapped the bed that quarter. Lots of those were just straight up 1-on-1 trainwrecks, too.

  • Danny

    Do the Celtics like go shoot heroin at halftime or something, is Chris Heron still on this team? Theres not other explanation for these 3rd quarter collapses, that's four straight games where they have absolutely died in the 2nd half. Either they sending out their retarded clones or getting high at half. No excuse this is pathetic. Never been so disgusted.

  • GymRat

    Jeff Green is useless out there right now. He's not playing any D.

  • chris m

    i don’t know where to begin. when they got blown out at home vs the bucks in game two you knew there were problems.

  • hydrofluoric

    What a surprise – a chance to win it and we wind up with a long Pierce J, with no one crashing the offensive glass!

    We had the Knicks in the penalty for the last 6 minutes, and we shot 2 free throws. Every attempt was a J or a TO.

  • GymRat

    We're getting killed on the boards the entire second half because Doc refuses to stop playing small ball. Seriously? You're not going to play Shavlik for even a few minutes. The offensive rebounding and second chances absolutely killed us.

  • GymRat

    PP ISO to close out the game…that could be the decision to end the season. The f'ing Knicks switched and KG was guarded by Jason Kid…but instead Pierce tries to shoot over a 7 footer. Aahhhhhhgggggg.

  • hydrofluoric

    Jason Terry finally showed up!!! Only 85 game late! Welcome to the party JET!!!!

  • GymRat

    For those hating on Terry all season…THAT is why we signed him. Mr. Clutch….Go Jet!!!!!

  • GymRat

    GAME 5!!!!

  • IBleedGreen

    I never doubted Jason Terry

  • janos

    now am remembers why we are get terry jet is the playof guy now for us!

  • stk

    If Randolph And Wilcox Were Part of our rotation we wouldnt have given up a 20 pt lead. thank God carmelo was off and Jet finally hot some clutch shots. I wish Doc would use his bigs on the bench to give some energy, fouls, and get some rebounds…another similar approach will result in another 2nd half collapse…

    • GymRat

      Well said!

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