New York at Boston
7:00 P.M. ET
Postseason Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 91.7 points/100 possessions (14th)
New York: 96.3 points/100 possessions (13th)
Postseason Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 96.3 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
New York: 91.7 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: After Doc Rivers cemented his 475th career victory as the Boston Celtics head coach on Wednesday, the only man who has won more games for the green is Red Auerbach. Rivers reached that achievement by tightening his rotation to just seven players. The only bench players who saw floor time in Game 5 were Jason Terry and Terrence Williams. Back in February of this season, the Celtics signed Williams to increase the team’s backcourt depth, but no one expected him to be a key cog for the Celtics in the playoffs. While Avery Bradley has not being able to manage the offense consistently, Williams has shown solid ball-handling skills at important times. In addition, the Celtics need him to keep up the strong defense.
There will be another interesting twist to Friday’s contest in Boston. Steve Novak, one of the league’s best 3-point shooters, is out for Game 6 because of back spasms. His 43-percent shooting from downtown during the regular season was 11th-best in the NBA. However, the Celtics have allowed the catch-and-shoot specialist to attempt only six 3-point attempts this series. It will be interesting to see whether Mike Woodson lets Chris Copeland out of the doghouse to play or if Woodson decides to shorten his rotation like Rivers has from the other bench. It remains to be seem how the Knicks will respond to this injury with them coming off their worst 3-point shooting performance in 44 combined regular season and postseason home games in 2012-13.
One of the reasons that the Celtics were so successful on Wednesday was Brandon Bass’s impressive defense on Carmelo Anthony. Anthony shot 31 percent from the field and 0-of-12 from 3-point in Games 4 and 5 after putting up 32 points per game on 46 percent shooting and 50 percent from 3-point in the first three contests. With Anthony’s recent shooting struggles, he must be seeing flashbacks of his days with the Denver Nuggets, where he only moved past the first round once in seven years. Coincidentally, since the Knicks acquired Anthony in 2011, both New York and Denver fell in the first round of the 2011 and 2012 playoffs. The Nuggets did their part again on Thursday by losing their series to the Warriors. The Celtics now have the opportunity to push this series to a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden and possibly continue the symmetry between Anthony’s two NBA teams.
Prediction: Get ready for Game 7 on Sunday.
Celtics 94, Knicks 89
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