If you told any Celtic fan before the season that Boston would be down 0-3 in the 1st round of the playoffs, they would laugh at the thought. If you told any Celtic fan that they would be down 0-3 against Atlantic division rival Knicks, they would probably laugh even harder. Now it's the reality that nobody expected. The Celtics face the daunting task of attempting to win 4 straight games against a red-hot New York Knicks team.
The Knicks came into Boston last night and completely dismantled the Celtics in front of an emotional Boston crowd. Their defense was excellent, stripping the ball away from Celtic players at will, forcing the Celtics to turn the ball over 17 times. Paul Pierce and Jeff Green were the Celtics best offensive players, but had 10 TO's between them. Kevin Garnett (hip injury, age, and an "ankloot injury" aside) played as hard as he could but missed a lot of shots he usually makes, finishing with only 12 points but a whopping 17 rebounds. Boston out-rebounded New York (41-37) and attempted more free throws (Bos. 14-18, NYK 3-8) but lost the game 90-76. How? Some can say effort, some can say lack of depth/talent, but it doesn't really matter at this point because no roster changes can be made at this time of year. The Knicks outplayed the Celtics in each of the first 3 games. Offensively. Hustle plays. 50/50 balls. Defensively - yeah, the Knicks are actually a very good defensive team and we had to learn that the hard way.
Doc: "Overall our effort was there. We did lose our spirit early on. We missed 2 layups to start the game. We lost our spirit…and that hurt"
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 27, 2013
The teams matchup again on Sunday afternoon. Lets hope it's not the last time we see Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce playing alongside one another.