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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics dig themselves a Game 1 series hole

 

Photo credit: Jim Davis, Boston Globe

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.


Their second-half execution was deplorable, ruining a brilliant defensive performance that turned the Knicks into exactly what the Celtics wanted — a one-man team led by Carmelo Anthony dribbling, dribbling more, and finally shooting.Anthony attempted 35 percent of New York’s shots in the second half and the rest of the Knicks were 7 for 26 from the field after the break, the perfect recipe for a Celtics upset. But Boston also melted in the heat of the moment Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Besides Paul Pierce, who scored 11 points in the final two quarters, the Celtics shot 4 for 19, for 14 points, after halftime. This column will give you a few moments to sip some Pepto-Bismol as the second-half rundown continues.

A 4-point halftime lead was wasted, built back up to 7 at 70-63, and then the collapse began. The Knicks were primed for their usual playoff shrinkage but the Celtics were unable to execute. They couldn’t even get the ball up the court without upheaval as the Knicks intelligently read passing lanes or just stripped the ball when the Celtics got close to the basket.

And as each possession grew more significant, the Celtics had no one who responded to the occasion. They held the Knicks 15 points below their season average, equaled New York on the boards, forced J.R. Smith into 7-for-19 shooting, and held the starting trio of Tyson Chandler, Chris Copeland, and Iman Shumpert to 3 points.

And yet the Celtics lost.

Boston GlobePutrid second-half execution, lack of bench production sinks Celtics in Game 1 against New York Knicks

The Celtics certainly had their chances to raid Madison Square Garden and steal Game 1 from the Knicks.  As bad as the third quarter was, they did hold their largest lead of the game at 7 points, leading 70-63 (as noted above).  But when you then proceed to get outscored 22-8 the rest of the game, well, let’s just say that’s not great.  There were several possessions where simple post-entry passes looked impossible to execute against a relatively lax Knicks defense.  There was dribbling into the lane and simply bobbling the ball away.  Bad shot attempts, rushed possessions and zero spacing all contributed to the C’s chances of taking a winnable game.

When they did get the ball to Kevin Garnett down low in hopes of establishing a post game, he had no room to make his move.  Jeff Green was brilliant in the first half, but like the rest of his teammates, he seemed more than willing to defer and wait for Paul Pierce and/or KG to take over.  The problem is, those two guys simply can’t sustain that level of play for more than 20 minutes per game any longer.  Sure, Doc can lift the minutes restriction and P/KG can be out there for close to 40 minutes, but they’re not the same after that 20 minute mark or so.  It’s also unfair to demand that from them at this point in their careers.  It’s also why Green needs to be the guy for the C’s in the playoffs, at least offensively.

In no way am I pinning this loss on Green.  No, collectively they dug a deep hole themselves.  But it’s still just one game and they can still steal home court advantage.  And despite JR Smith’s post-game declaration that the Knicks don’t plan on losing any games at home, the Celtics are more than capable of taking at least one at MSG.  They proved it for 36 minutes yesterday.  Now they just need to do it for 48.  Game 2 is Tuesday.

Related Links: Globe – Celtics lose Game 1 to New York Knicks, 85-78 | Boston Herald – Knicks take 1 back | C’s can’t accept present | CSNNE – Knicks take game one over Celitcs, 85-78 | WEEI – Turnover tale: Celtics drop Game 1 to Knicks

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Flight delay: More turbulence for JET | Notebook:  Rondo crashes playoff party | Globe – At 40, Knicks guard Jason Kidd runs circles around Celtics | Knicks ride defensive effort to win over Celtics | Firings of Byron Scott, Lawrence Frank jumpstart open season on coaching changes (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE – Celtics-Knicks superlatives: Game 1 | Rondo’s absence felt in Game 1 loss | Historically-poor performance for JET | Celtics-Knicks review: Fatigue slows Green | WEEI – Jeff Green: ‘We just got tired, I guess’ | Carmelo Anthony: Booing Paul Pierce pre-game was not ‘the right thing to do’ | Yahoo! Sports – Carmelo Anthony gets help from a couple of old Nets in Knicks’ Game 1 victory over Celtics

 

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  • Collin

    The Celtics fumbled the 2nd half away ultimately handing over the game to NYK.You can’t win with 20 turnovers and only 8pts in a quarter. Most were mindeless turnovers from Bradley, Pierce and Green. Game 1 basically summed up the C’s entire season. They’re consistently inconsistent. I don’t understand how a veteran team can have so many brain lapses just doesn’t make sense. This game proved that the Celtics are not better off without Rondo and that a PG is needed. The reality is Bradley is not a PG and he clearly had trouble finding teammates in the right spots.

    If u look at the box score both teams statistically performed even. The Knicks didn’t particularly play well. Both Melo and Smith shot poorly due to the C’s defense in the first 3 quarters. So don’t u C’s or Knicks fans for minute believe the Knicks outplayed or locked down the C’s in the 4th, because that’s far from the truth and a bit disingenuous. The Celtics turned over the ball over 8x in the 4th quarter I mean these were stupid and head scratching turnovers.

    The C’s should of won game 1. Whatever happens for the reminder this series the C’s will look back at game 1 as one they let go. Reminds me of the ’12 ECF and ’10 Finals they have both Miami and LAL against the ropes, but falter at the end. Is it me or is Terry officially washed up?

    • Bleedgreen.

      I don’t think jet is washed up because he is still getting open shots and all shooters can make open shots. I don’t know what’s wrong with him though. When he looks for his shot he forces a bad one and when he takes open shots they clang off the rim. Don’t understand this guy. He is really slumping. But he’s NOT all washed up

      • JB

        Maybe it shows how much Dirk’s play made Jet look good.

        • forever_green

          I thought this same thing, because Jet hasn’t fit in here all year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HanoiIG Ira Barrows

    Reminds me a lot of 1977. I was at the game at Spectrum when 76ers beat them 83-77 as they had the will but not the legs or the talent. BTW I think if doc has a failing(see 2010 Finals) it’s to not trust anyone beyond the main core players and thus to wear them out. Pierce, Garnett and Green needed a few minutes of rest sometime. The switch for this group has been permanently flipped to “off.”

    • Collin

      Well the bench didn’t step up. Doc went with an odd 3 guard rotation of Terry, Crawford and Lee and not one contributed. I found it odd that Doc didn’t give Williams or Shalv some time to give KG and PP rest. He decided to go with the usually small line-up and of course it didn’t work at times. It’s been frustrating watching this Celtics team, because for some reason they can’t play 48 min of consistent basketball.

      The C’s seem to get comfortable whenever they hold leads. The Celts allowed the Knicks back in the game, because they lacked aggression. Guys were standing around waiting for passes instead of going for the ball. Settling for jumpers instead of attacking the basketball like they did in first half. The C’s just play a bad brand of basketball at times.

    • http://twitter.com/REDSLOVECHILD RED`S LOVE CHILD

      Pretty good analogy….76ers had far more talent, Dr. J was only 26, Hondo was 37, Cowens sat out the first 32 games due to “burn-out”, Silas had been replaced by Wicks, Tommy`s final full season as coach…yet still forced Philly to a 7th game.

      Tommy`s teams always overachieved…he is easily one of the 10 greatest coaches in NBA history.

  • JB

    Nothing has changed from the regular season… same chronic problems. In fact an unproductive bench has been a chronic problem for a few yrs now.
    Jeff Green ” I guess we got tired”… this is the attitude for a playoff game!?.. well then pack your bags JG and go home.
    Seriously what can the Celtics organization offer KG not to retire after this season??
    Win or lose I am going to just appreciate seeing KG and Paul play together on the parquet. Who knows what happens next?!?

  • http://twitter.com/frankaziza1 FrankAziza

    Can someone please tell me why the hell we didn’t get Keynon Martin? It was reported the Celtic players were pushing for him. If we had him yesterday , we’re up 1-0. He would have been great, I’m sick of worry about attitudes. Do u really think he would come into the celtics locker room and act like a moron? Instead we have Chinese guys that don’t play. Good move Danny.

    • Gorey

      I can tell u, because Ainge is not good at scouting talent. The past 2 seasons he hasn’t maximized the talent of the Celtics. He’s done a subpar job of adding genuine talent around Garnett and Pierce, not giving both a better chance to contend. Instead of Ainge going big he elects to go small to match up with Miami. Failed! You can’t beat Miami playing their game u beat Miami playing big.

  • Gorey

    Here’s a stat the C’S were 7-for-27 shooting in the second half with 12 turnovers, scored 8 (EIGHT!) points in fourth quarter, terrible offensive night. That’s a recipe for a loss. And they were still right in the game till the end.. What does that say about NY? First it says a lot about the C’s and how they can’t capitalize on teams like NY that have flaws just as they do. Last the Knicks are jumpshooting team.They live and die by the jumper. The C’s did a good job the first half locking down on NYK, but couldn’t consistently play an extra 24 mins. The Knicks are the 2 seed by default. They’re playing with “house money” injuries to a depleted and injury-riddled eastern conference. If the Knicks are fortunate to get past the first round they’ll likely meet the Pacers and probably win. But if the Knicks match up with Miami in the ECF I’ll be shock if they win 2 games against the Heat.