By most measures the Celtics have the best defensive team in the league yet they allowed 118 points to a team that was missing two of their best players. What gives?
"We talked about maybe overreacting to Carmelo (Anthony)," said Pierce. "We allowed them to swing the ball to open shooters. It ignited the other guys and gave them a lot of confidence. Sometimes we have nights like that. They shot the ball and made some threes. We didn't defend the three at all tonight and we dug ourselves out of a huge hole."
"We panicked," Rivers said about his team's defense. "We trapped too early. We were doing things that we shouldn't have done. It happens. We talked about it at halftime. I thought we were better at it, and then we did it again in the fourth quarter out of nowhere ... I told the guys this was a good lesson for us, don't overreact to a great player. And I thought we did that."
So basically they overcompensated in one area and that created a snowball effect on the rest of the game. Certainly credit the Knicks for getting hot, but the Celtics clearly didn't have great execution. It wasn't just the long jumpers either. There was way too much Tyson Chandler driving in for wide open dunks or fouls.
It is just one game though, and as lopsided as it felt, it turned out to be just an 8 point loss. Still, when the Celtics score over 100 points, that should be an automatic victory because of the defense. They will make the proper adjustments and gear up for the next foe.