Boston's defensive rotations were very slow in the first half and that allowed the Knicks to shoot 11/16 from three-point land, the exclamation point being the aforementioned Raymond Felton half-court heave. This is unusual for the Celtics considering they are second best in the league at defending the three-pointer, with a .335 three-point against percentage. In the second half they did appear to step up their defensive rotations, as the Knicks "only" finished 14/27 from three.
Paul Pierce had a monster night with 24 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. He also continued to cut down on his turnovers, with only two. Pierce's ankle was being iced as he set on the bench during the fourth quarter, but reports are that he was only resting it. In the first quarter, Boston spent a lot of time attacking Raymond Felton. When Felton was on Pierce, the Knicks doubled. This didn't work out for New York, as Pierce would pass out of the double team and that led to various open looks for the C's, most notably for Jeff Green.
Speaking of Jeff Green, he was able to take advantage of his size by attacking Felton and Iman Shumpert. He ended the game with 27 points, shooting 10/14 from the field, in 35 minutes of play. In my opinion, his best play was a spin off the block that led to a nice hook shot.
Besides Green and Pierce, Celtics starters only had a combined six points. Avery Bradley had one of his worst games in recent memory, fouling out of the game late in the 4th quarter. He played only 24 minutes and had two turnovers along with only two points.
Shavlik Randolph was the first big off the bench tonight and struggled as he was unable to stop Chris Copeland, who had nine points in the first half. In terms of defensive rotations, Randolph was slow to close out on Copeland, who sank his two wide-open three-point shots. He didn't play in the second half until the game was well out of hand with 4:45 to go in the fourth. He finished the game with no points, two rebounds and one block.
Carmelo Anthony struggled early, starting out 2/7, but that didn't continue. Melo finished with a double-double, shooting 9/19, with 24 points and 10 rebounds. He only played 27 minutes due to picking up his fourth foul at the 8:12 mark of the third quarter. Considering the way tonight went, he really didn't need to play too much anyway.
65 is the most points the Boston Celtics have given up in the first half, eclipsing the mark of 64 that the Los Angeles Lakers posted on the C's earlier this season. The Celtics were unable to cut the lead in third quarter, trailing 86-69 after three quarters.
Boston switched to a 2-3 zone to start the fourth quarter but it didn't make a difference. The Knicks maintained the lead and at the 6:43 mark of the quarter had a lead of 24, leading 97-73, as the Celtics turned to the reserves to complete the game.
Not a lot went well for the Celtics tonight, but there is a quick turn-around as they face the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night.