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Your Morning Dump… Where the C’s still like a Knicks playoff matchup

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 1, 2013 The Morning Dump 7 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

“We like how we match up with the Knicks,” captainPaul Pierce said. “We like how we match up with Miami. We like how we match up with pretty much anybody in the East.”

If the playoffs started today, the second-seeded Knicks would host seventh-seeded Boston in a first-round matchup. New York unleashed a 3-point barrage Sunday night at Madison Square Garden en route to a breezy 108-89 triumph, this after a 15-point triumph on Boston’s home turf on Tuesday.

[...] But asked if the Knicks were a potential bad matchup, Celtics coach Doc Rivers bristled at the suggestion.

“If Kevin [Garnett] doesn’t play,” Rivers said. “Other than that, no, we’ll play anybody, anytime — when we’re right.”

ESPN Boston: Celtics’ confidence isn’t wavering

The last two games aside, I agree with the C’s… if the 7th seeded Celtics had to pick between the Pacers and the Knicks, I’d take the Knicks in the first round.  And that, of course, is provided the Celtics are healthy.

Lee is getting there, and he’s an extremely important part of this equation.  With Lee and Bradley out there, the C’s have a much better defensive back court that can contest some of these Knicks 3′s.   The Knicks are the league leaders (tied with Houston)  taking 28.7 3 pointers a game.  So we know they’ll chuck it.  And when they get hot, you can almost forget about winning.

But no team stays hot from the perimeter forever… which is just another way of saying “live by the 3, die by the 3.”  And when more than a third of your field goal attempts come from beyond the arc, the Knicks are most certainly capable of dying by the 3.

Of course, there’s the little matter of Kevin Garnett being healthy too, which will not only further improve the defense by adding one of the most intuitive defenders the league has ever seen to the mix, it will also add a safety valve for the offense.   Let’s face it, the C’s offense isn’t exactly a juggernaut.  The Cavs, Raptors and Kings all score more points than the Celtics.  The Celtics, though, rely on hitting the shots they take (they’re still 9th in the league in FG%) and shutting the other team down to win… and who do you want on the floor besides KG to make those two things happen?

The 7th seed is not a fun spot.  Teams don’t win championships coming out of the 7th gate.  And while it’s highly unlikely the Celtics buck those odds, the only chance they have to even make it possible is if everyone on the team that is capable of coming back this season, does, and at as close to 100% as possible.

That means Paul Pierce will probably miss tonight’s game.  That means KG might miss another couple.  And it means the C’s will very likely stay right where they are in the 7th spot.  With the Knicks and Pacers essentially tied for the 2nd spot (New York is percentage points ahead right now), we now have a little bit of a dilemma on our hands.

If we truly like the Knicks matchup in the first round… then we’ve got to root for the Knicks over their next 10 games to see it happen.

Related links:  Herald:  Sneak peek looks scary  |  Globe:  Pierce may miss game with Timberwolves  |  CSNNE:  C’s looking to gain health, keep confidence for playoffs  |   Bucher:  C’s with playoff edge vs. Knicks

The rest of the links

ESPN Boston:  Not giving in  |  Lee:  ”I kind of forgot” about the ankle  |  Herald:  MSG Maintains magical effect  |  Pierce frustrated with effort  |  Celtics shot down by Knicks  |  Globe:  Knicks pound Celtics for 2nd time in 5 days  |  CSNNE:  Randolph finding floor time in ‘smaller’ NBA  |  WEEI:  Knicks overcome Green and Pierce

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  • Step

    Well they’ll get a chance to live by the 3 if the perimeter defense is like it was last night. Once KG comes back *knock on wood* , hopefully they can tighten that up.

  • forever_green

    Bring’em On.

  • Roy Boy

    Of course the C’s should feel confident against the Celtics. They shouldn’t let a regular season series loss discourage them, especially against the Knicks. Despite the C’s being a lazy lackluster team that past 2 weeks, this is a ball club with veterans like Pierce, Garnett and Terry that’s been through good and bad throughout their careers. I think the path to the ECF will be a bit tougher with Rondo, Sully and Barbosa out. And we’re still uncertain of Garnett’s health status.

    My only concern is with Bass, Bradley, Wilcox and Terry, because the past 7 games they’ve been inconsistent. This may sound crazy, but after the Miami loss this team has looked physically and mentally drained. That’s what I’m worried about heading forward. I can care less about the Knicks. The Knicks are a jumpshooting team that relies on the 3 too much. And if Melo and Smith are the focal point of the Knicks offense, then the Celts should be more confident.

    • LA Flake

      Bass has been inconsistent for 60+ games now. A PF getting outrebounded by Jason Kidd who’s 40 or 41 years old. Not being able to post up Raymond Felton in the post and missing a point blank hook shot over him. I mean, Bass is an embarrassment. And Doc needs to cut the crap out with this whole “Jordan Crawford is so unpredictable he’s scary!” BS. He was chucking up threes that had me having a flashback to the Toine days and I swear I could’ve ended up at the ER.

      • Roy Boy

        Agree. Whether it’s the Knicks, Pacers or Nets I’m not at all considered. No disrespect, but the Knicks live and die by jumpshots. If the Knicks think shooting jumpers is a reciepe for playoff success, then they’re in for a rude awakening. But I’m concerned about the inconsistency from some the role players. Since losing Rondo, Sully, Barbosa the depth is lacking. I just think guys like Wilcox, Bass and Terry provide nothing.

        I’m sure if Rondo, Barbosa, Sully or Collins were playing we would see less off Wilcox, Bass and Terry.

        • http://twitter.com/romeo0119 romeo0119

          Bass got to go!

  • LA Flake

    I’m not scared of the Knicks in a 7 game series but I don’t know if this particular group has what it takes to close out the Knicks or anyone else. Terry and JCrawford’s matador D ain’t gonna suddenly improve in the playoffs. I’ve seen Terry a bunch of times in the playoffs and I’ll just say I have no hope. And there are just too many new guys who haven’t been through all the battles that are/will be getting important minutes: TWill, Shav, Crawford, Wilcox and Bass (WHO ABSOLUTELY CHOKED LAST YEAR IN THE PLAYOFFS – PLEASE LOOK IT UP). These guys are just too inconsistent or in Bass’s case, he just sucks.