The Celtics have repeated the same mistake: Lose your focus for one quarter and the game gets away. Yes, Garnett was in foul trouble, the Knicks made really good use of the homecourt advantage *cough*, Melo caught fire, but those are not excuses for a horrible defensive performance in the third quarter: allowing 32 points while scoring 11 is simply not a good idea. The Celtics have failed to rise to the challenge again, and it really was depressing to watch the same game twice.
Doc changed the rotation tonight to make up for the lack of offense in the first game by allocating Lee's minutes to Terry and Crawford, and that paid off in the first half. Doc also played Wilcox more than he did in the first game, but for 3 minutes only. Wilcox's -6 probably affected that decision. KG struggled to find his rhythm all night as he could only play for 24 minutes, but still managed to finish the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds. His improved performance is the only positive to take from tonight along with Pierce's usual stats (18 ponts, 6 rebounds, 6 assists but 5 turnovers) Bass was also hustling and grabbed 10 boards, but one could ask for better defense and offense. Terry and Crawford were OK, which is a great improvement over first game. Crawford was especially aggressive and drove the Celtics forward at points, but he just couldn't get a call.
Doc's decision to keep Bradley in the game over Lee might be questioned (Bradley was below his standards tonight), and I'm sure there will be more adjustments to come for the two games at home. Actually, scratch that, we just have to find a way to consistently do what we do in the first 24 minutes of these games. One can also argue that lack of a true point guard is actually hurting us since these games turn into a half court battle more often than in regular season.
The Celtics will simply have to win three games in a row as I suspect that if this series go to game 7, we'll be the ones to lose. Yes, it was a really discouraging second half, but probably lit a fire under every single player in green. Now it is time to rule in TD Garden and shift the momentum.
Edit: Here's our shot chart for the second half on the right. It's really pretty if red is your favorite color.