Boston Celtics 101, New York Knicks 89
Well, that's 4 down, 12 to go.
The Knicks didn't go quietly. While the last minute was pretty anti-climatic, the Knicks played hard in the second half. I seriously considered calling the game recap "Hey Mister Carter, Tell Me Where Have You Been?" in honor of Anthony Carter's absolutely inspired play in the late 3rd, early 4th quarters.
But, the game was a blowout by halftime, and it ended just as uncompetitively. 20 points in the second half for Kevin Garnett (26 points, 10 rebs, 10-16 shooting on the game) earns him the game ball, and the Celtics sweep the Knicks while Miami has to win one more against Philadelphia.
Some things we learned this round:
1) Rajon Rondo is still actually Rajon Rondo: Nobody wants to talk about what happened after the trade deadline, but we're happy it's not happening anymore. Rondo averaged 19 points and 12 assists over these past 4 games, and it has been a joy to watch.
2) Ray Allen Went To Sniper School: Ray Allen was shooting 75% from 3pt land coming into tonight's game. SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT. He only shot 2-6 from range tonight, but considering the slump he was coming into the playoffs with, that is great news. Ray Allen is making teams pay and making us smile.
3) The Starters Can Still Carry This Celtics Team, But The Bench..Not So Much: Coming into today's game, the 'Big 4' were accounting for 80 points per contest. The rest of the team? Around 18. Glen Davis had a very important 14 points tonight on an efficient 6-8 shooting, but over the other 3 games in the series he was shooting 31% from the field and averaging under 4ppg. This has to change, because teams will start getting better and deeper (well okay, Miami ain't that deep) as the playoffs go on.
4) Jermaine O'Neal Was An Absolute Bargain...A 6.5 MILLION DOLLAR BARGAIN!: I don't care about the regular season. Jermaine O'Neal was the biggest difference maker on the defensive end for the Celtics in this Knicks series. Sure, Amar'e went off Game 1 (and was injured in Game 3), but Jermaine O'Neal we just absolutely a menace to any Knick in the paint, and when he wasn't blocking shots he wasn't scared to foul hard. O'Neal even showed us some offensive skills, proving that he can still hit a 7ft jumper (and shooting 62% from the field doing it).
5) Paul Pierce Is Still The Man: Today was the perfect example. Whenever the Knicks would start to make a run, Pierce would make a bucket to shut them up. Last game he had 38 points, and even though he only had 13 today (on a miserable 5-18 shooting), all 13 points were big ones that pushed the Celtics ahead or helped them keep the lead. The Captain is in rare form. Can't wait to see what he does against LeBron.
Happy Easter, and Get Well Soon, Shaq!