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.
The Boston Celtics’ core veterans banded together, withstood a staggering 11-0 deficit in the opening minutes, then knocked the swagger out of a stunned New York Knicks team by stealing Game 5 in their vaunted Madison Square Garden with equal parts poise, pride and precision Wednesday night.
The word buzzing around the buoyant, yet restrained Celtics locker room in the wake of the team’s 92-86 victory was “trust.”
“I thought this was the first game we had complete trust, moved the ball and found the open guy,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
The rest of Boston’s veterans joined in the “share the ball” mantra, and the result was an efficient, balanced approach that featured 20 assists and produced five players who scored between 16 and 18 points — KG (16), Pierce (16), Brandon Bass (17), Terry (17) and Jeff Green (18).
“That’s when we’re at our best,” Piece said, “when we look up at the scoreboard and we have a bunch of guys in double figures.”
I’m not sure the Celtics can play a better offensive game against New York.
- 45% from the field.
- 50% from three.
- 100% from the free throw line.
- 20 assists on 32 buckets.
Sure, they can cut back on turnovers (15), have some better individual performances (Pierce was 6-19) and possibly, maybe getsomethingfrom Avery Bradley, but what we saw last night is a realistic zenith for this offense.
Assuming Jason Terry has used up all his horrific performances, Terrence Williams is the new X-factor in this series. With Bradley devolving into a puddle, Doc Rivers turned to Williams in the 2nd half.
Williams’ size and athleticism have made the Knicks’ strategy of pressuring the ball handler less effective than when Pablo Prigioni was able to hound Avery Bradley up and down the court. Bradley, who was being asked to play out of position and was overwhelmed by the assignment, sat for most of the second half while Williams (4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 0 turnovers) and Jason Terry assumed the de facto point guard mantle.
The best part of Williams stat line is the 0 turnovers. I think he had one coast to coast lay-up that caught the Knicks off guard and I was screaming at him to continue. It’s as if the Knicks were stunned to see an aggressive ball-handler wearing green.
The only black mark on last night’s win was Jordan Crawford’s vulgar trash-talking.
Lip-readers are claiming Crawford made a sexual reference to Carmelo Anthony’s wife. You can see the disgust on Chris Wilcox’s face as he leads Crawford away from the scrum.
The NY media is blowing up this incident, but I doubt it will have the same impact as the ‘funeral’ and ‘golfing’ trash talk because Crawford is a non-factor in this series. What KG had to say after the game carries much more weight than Crawford’s verbal diarrhea.
The Celtics thrive in bar fights while the Knicks quiver. Is it Friday yet?
The rest of the links:
Herald – C’s take shot of ’04 vibe | Celtics are 5 alive | Crawford not in Melo mood | Globe – Celtics stay alive | Melo says his shoulder is fine | End of an era on hold | Knicks let down by shooting of Melo, Smith | CSNNE- Williams earning Celtics trust | Terry: Only buried if casket is closed | Shipping up to Boston | Smith all sound and no fury | ESPN Boston – Williams steps up, handles pressure | Big play Bass strikes again | ESPN New York – Skirmish intensifies rivalry | Knicks searching on offense | WEEI – Suddenly Knicks are scared of Celtics