The scouting report on New York was 1) lots of Carmelo Anthony, 2) lots of 3's, 3) lots more Melo. What we didn't count on was defense and heady play down the stretch. Of course, the Celtics didn't help with some costly turnovers (including 9 in the 4th quarter!) and some bad shooting (25% from 3). According to the ABC broadcast, that was the lowest point total in a half for the Celtics in any playoff series. I would assume that includes pre-shot clock era. Yuck.
The good news was that Jeff Green played like a man and proved that the success he had in the regular season was no fluke. Also, Paul Pierce was all over, doing what Paul Pierce does. For other highlights, check out the 1st half recap, because the 2nd half didn't have a ton.
Lowlights: Jason Terry came up small with a goose-egg in the scoring column (on 5 shots). The bench as a whole contributed just 4 points, all by Courtney Lee. Jordan Crawford was just a short time sub for Avery Bradley when he got into foul trouble. Apparently Doc didn't like the matchups enough to trust either Chris Wilcox or Shavlik Randolph as neither played a minute.
Kevin Garnett came out shooting, which is usually a good sign, but he was quiet offensively for the whole game. He was just 4-18 from the field and he just didn't look like he was in top form. All of which makes me wonder (once again) if he's really not all that healthy. In fact, I don't think he's ever said that he's back 100% and he's probably playing through discomfort and pain. Something to watch as we really need the big guy to win games.
On the New York side, beyond Anthony it was J.R. Smith (of course) that chipped in with 15 points and Kenyon Martin added 10 points and 9 rebounds (plus two big blocked shots and some very solid defensive play).
Game one is in the books and it was a loss. The home team is supposed to win at home, so the Knicks did what they had to do. The Celtics need to figure out a way to steal game 2 to get things swinging in their favor. They had some opportunities in this one, so that hurts. It was entertaining at times and nerve wracking the rest of the time. It should be a close, back-and-forth series the whole way through.
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