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.
Things have been anything but simple for the Celtics, who have shot a combined 14-for-62 (22.6 percent) after halftime through two games. As a result of that horrid offense, the C’s have been outscored, 81-48, after the break
The Knicks have clearly looked like the better team in this series thus far, its just that simple. They look like the more talented, and better coached team than the Celtics in the first two games of the series. The biggest reason for this? The Knicks have made the adjustments to what the Celtics are doing, while the Celtics have been caught flat footed and have done little to counter-punch the Knicks attack, especially in the second half. This is rather surprising given the credentials of Doc Rivers and his nobility across the league for his knack for finding the right adjustments at the right time.
The Knicks have just looked like that team that flat out wants it more in this series. When a team is pinned against a wall; down at halftime, they usually go one of two ways: Crumble and give up or use it as motivation to prove everyone wrong. The Knicks have taken option B in this case. They’ve come out of halftime each game with drive and determination that I’ve yet to see a Celtics opponent have in the Big Three era. All the credit in the world goes to the Knicks for stepping up and playing well, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, and Iman Shumpert have stepped up big. The gameplan going in was most likely not allowing big games out of everyone not named Anthony, and the Celtics have failed to do that in two games now.
So who is to blame right now? Well, first of all, Kevin Garnett has been a ghost. He cannot get into foul trouble, period. When on the court however, he has been slow, tentative at times and displaced. Very surprising to see out of Garnett especially come playoff time when he’s supposed to ramp things up. The biggest shot right now goes to Jeff Green. If Garnett has been a ghost, I can’t even think of a term to describe Green. He has been awful. He is back to tentative Jeff, and quite honestly I’m getting tired of it. I loved the Jeff Green when Garnett was out, and he knew he had to be a leader. He knows he has to be a leader here but he keeps deferring to the vets. The guy is just sealing his fate as a #2 option on a team at best at this point. Leaders don’t defer when their team needs them to step up.
So where do we go from here? Well, first of all the Celtics need to withstand the wave that has been coming after halftime from the Knicks and their adjustments. If the Celtics refuse to adjust to the Knicks new plan, they need to actually put up some baskets during the Knicks flurry to kill momentum. 8 points in a quarter in the second half of a playoff game is almost like drinking bleach, nothing good comes of it. Second, the Celtics need to put Bradley on JR Smith full time. Smith is the ring leader for the Knicks momentum train. Bradley is enough of a pest that it will disrupt the well-documented headcase that is JR Smith. Lastly, how about a bench shows up for the playoffs? Hasn’t the talk of the last 4 playoffs been how awful the bench play has been? We then go out that offseason, rebuild the bench, believe that it is the saving grace of this team and then…..groundhogs day. Paging Lee, Terry, Crawford…the NBA Playoffs have started, get your crap together and put up or you’ll be on the Marquis Daniel’s train out of town.
So as you go about your day today, don’t fall into the homer crap that other members of the Celtics blogs community will feed you about how the refs are out to get the Celtics, and this is all some conspiracy (which those people are absolute idiots, I’m sure David Stern sits at home thinking of ways to foil the Celtics fans lives, especially after Patriots day…he’s Dr. Evil) . Theories like this take away from the actual story of the game. The Knicks just were the better team than the Celtics in the first two games, give them credit where credit is due. The Celtics have done nothing to show that they are the better team, they have two games at home to try and prove this, otherwise it is off to an early summer vacation.
CSNNE: Second half dooms Celtics again | CSNNE: Rondo helping from sidelines ‘working to get back’ | CSNNE: Knicks rout Celtics, take 2-0 series lead | CSNNE: Celtics-Knicks review: The KG plan goes awry | Boston Herald: Jeff Green hardly satisfied | Boston Herald: Sixth role no sweat for Terry | Boston Herald: Pablo Prigioni addition good for two points for Knicks | Boston Herald: Notebook: Losing Kevin Garnett a problem | Boston Herald: Celtics fall into 0-2 hole against Knicks | ESPN Boston: Rapid Reaction: Knicks 87, C’s 71 (Game 2) | ESPN Boston: Rivers: Pierce ‘needs some help | ESPN Boston: KG watches as C’s unravel | ESPN Boston: Stats and info: Half empty | ESPN Boston: Notebook: Lapses at the 3-point line | NESN: Brian Scalabrine Goes Undercover at NBA Store in New York as Celtics Fan Employee “Justin” | NESN: Kenyon Martin, Knicks Turning Tables on Celtics With Dominating Defensive Performances