Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

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Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby spree#8 » March 27, 2013, 5:46 am

Still no Chandler, no Stoudemire, no Wallace, no Thomas on one side - no KG, no Rondo, no Lee, no Sullinger on the other. Still a great measuring point for both teams, because it was basically one star small forward with his weakened supporting cast against the other in an important division battle. The refs let both teams play (and missed calls on both sides), so despite missing key elements we saw an intense game. At the start it looked like a late round in a heavyweight fight between two fighters that had gone down in earlier rounds. The first thought I had when both teams missed difficult shot after difficult shot at the start? The first one who scores wins the game...

Melo did score first with 9:18 to go in the first and fortunately, indeed the Knicks won. Anthony played a great first half, but took lots of bad shots in the second to finish 10 of 30 from the field. Pierce on the other hand let the game come to him, as he always does in the last few years, but scored just 16 points on an efficient 5 of 10 from the field, so neither one was the deciding factor for the outcome. At least not with their shooting.

The reason the Knicks won this game was their will. To throw out a catch phrase: "the Knicks wanted the game more". That was apparent in the way they drove to the basket against a Garnett-less Celtics defensive and more importantly in the way they attacked the offensive glass. 15 offensive rebounds resulted in 29 second chance points - the difference in the game! Carmelo snatched six of them, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin had four apiece - so these three basically did all the damage on the offensive board, while Anthony when he didn't settle for jumpers, Smith and Raymond Felton were in attack mode.

The first quarter was a nice back-and-forth with 14 lead changes and seven ties, the second quarter which the Knicks won 30-20 was a thing of beauty. After the Knicks lead 58-44 at the half, the Celtics got back within seven two times in the third quarter (in part due to bad shot selection by the Knicks), but the Knicks found answers. None bigger than the buzzer beater by J.R. Smith at the horn:

That finish to the third quarter took the life out of the Celtics and the Knicks cruised from an 84-69 lead at the start of the fourth to the 100-85 win.

- J.R. Smith! The game's clear cut MVP. Knowing that the Celtics didn't have a shot blocker without Kevin Garnett, Smith drove relentlessly to the bucket in the first half. That half was IMO the best we have seen J.R. Smith play as a Knick yet. Better than his play against OKC at home - a game I was fortunate enough to see live at the Garden. But while he hit crazy shot after crazy shot against OKC, this time you could see that he has found a new confidence in his driving game and wanted to take advantage of the weak Celtics interior defense. That was J.R. Smart!
His game:

- The determination to attack the offensive glass can't be mentioned too often. The Knicks came to fight and showed it. One example:

- The controlled play: just eight turnovers contributed a big deal to keep the game under control once we had the lead.
- Finishing the first three quarters strong: the Knicks scored critical points at the end of all of the deciding three quarters. Besides the buzzer beater, Smith and Anthony draw fouls at the end of the first and second quarter to increase the respective leads.
- Novak made 3 threes against an above .500 team.
- Kidd looked in great shape - both offensively and defensively - and that helped the team to be +16 (in a +15 win) with him on the court.
- Shumpert was active again with his hands and feet on defense.
- A very solid defensive effort all around.

- Melo's shot selection in the second half resulted in just three makes out of 14 attempts. The team played well with him on the court, +16, so it wasn't a biggy, just something not to be happy about, because it could be one in tougher games.
- Copeland didn't look great in a high-pressure place like the TD Garden. A wasted opportunity to establish himself in front of Novak on the depth chart.
- No Camby sighting. I know: he wasn't needed, but Cope and Novak manned the four and 5 once again for a short period, as did Melo and Novak. Saving Camby for the playoffs is one thing, but not playing him at all while four big guys are out is a clear indication that Woodson might not include him in the playoff rotation.
- Chandler not playing. The Knicks medical stuff has to get the part of the diagnosis where it says "expected to miss xxx amount of time" straight. Always something to worry about.

Big win. No matter who took the court, winning in Boston against a division rival is BIG! Fifth win in a row should boost the confidence a bit, which could be instrumental, because other than Chandler no one else might return in time for the first round, where Boston could be the opponent.

Next up is - today! BIG match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies, who manhandled the Knicks in Memphis. Besides Memphis only Chicago might be as physical and the Knicks are a combined 0-4 against these both teams, so no matter that Marc Gasol isn't playing, this game is BIG! Let's do this shit!
Last edited by spree#8 on March 27, 2013, 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby maxinquaye11 » March 27, 2013, 6:11 am

"No Camby sighting. I know: he wasn't needed, but Cope and Novak manned the four and 5 once again for a short period, as did Melo and Novak. Saving Camby for the playoffs is one thing, but not playing him at all while four big guys are out are a clear indication that Woodson might not include him in the playoff rotation."
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby Minkaveli » March 27, 2013, 8:07 am

I'll add Copeland to the negatives list. Dude looked awful out there.
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby Mr. Glass » March 27, 2013, 8:44 am

Great recap Spree!

I think Anthony's poor shot selection was proof that more physical teams DO get under his skin. When they man-handled Melo, I saw that he responded with errant shots and that little babye stink face. Had it not been for the rest of the team working it out, it could have been detrimental.

Health (both mental and physical) really WILL dictate our post-season.
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby Koopa Troopa » March 27, 2013, 11:28 am

Jr was awesome. That one move I think in the second quarter he did his dribble moves... Stepped back...defender expects the shot jr takes it in for the layup. 'twas dirty
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby StevoStarks » March 27, 2013, 1:36 pm

JR was perfect last night. I want to see that JR every game going forward, especially into the playoffs. Spree, you hit it on the head with Cope. He really seems to not be taking advantage of the increased playing time. He has an opportunity to carve out a roll in the rotation and isn't showing any signs.

I wonder what's going on with Camby. It's weird that he gets such erratic playing time. Is there an explanation for this? Other than obvious Woodson bashing?
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby Naan » March 27, 2013, 4:29 pm

Thanks for including the highlights. J.R. has been driving to the hoop a lot lately and other Knicks have followed suit. I'm hopng it's a permanent adjustment.
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Re: Final Tape | Knicks vs. Celtics (W, 100-85)

Postby Isa Soulstar » March 27, 2013, 4:48 pm

Great write-up, Spree.. :clap:
oOoO...Friends don't let friends VOTE REPUBLICAN...OoOo
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