Knicks vs. Celtics Game 2: Uplifting things and disconcerting things


After Game 1, I went through a bunch of good and bad things that happened, so we might as well continue it with every game the New York Knicks play during these 2013 NBA Playoffs. Hopefully, we will be doing this for a while, and the final installation will have no “disconcerting things”.

Game 2 was a bit more in the bag than Game 1, with the Knicks actually somehow holding the Boston Celtics to even fewer points in the second half than they did on Saturday, which is both awesome and asinine at the same time. But we’ll take it, for sure. Anywho, here we go:

An uplifting thing: The Knicks’ continued second-half dominance is the overarching theme of this series so far. As I touched on above, in Game 2 the Knicks allowed just 23 points after and held the Celtics to just 19% shooting from the field after halftime. Partially that’s because the Celtics are an abhorrently bad shooting team, but the Knicks’ defense of course deserves credit. In the second half of Game 2 the Knicks did an excellent job of rotating and flying around the ball; Kenyon Martin comes to mind, he was swatting shots away left and right.

A disconcerting thing: Second quarters haven’t been very polite to the Knicks thus far, as they’ve entered the break behind in both games so far. In the second quarter on Tuesday the Celtics actually got out in transition, which is something that should never happen when Rajon Rondo is wearing a suede blazer and wingtips instead of a basketball uniform. It’s not something to be extremely worried about yet, as the Knicks have proven with their 180s in the second half in this series. The Celtics’ inability to score at a rapid rate should keep the Knicks in these games even if they’re down at half, but at some point you do want to shake off the slow starts, right?

An uplifting thing: The “Best Player in the Series” rule is playing out so far. The Knicks have him in Carmelo Anthony, and he’s been excellent in the opening two games. Melo has closed both of the first two games out with his shooting; in Game 2 he just decided to do it in the third quarter instead of the fourth. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are gamers and champions, but Garnett isn’t healthy and while Pierce is still frightening in the clutch, the Knicks have avoided situations where he could hurt them in the final minute.

A disconcerting thing that is somewhat an uplifting thing as well: Tyson Chandler has done absolutely nothing in two games…but the Knicks are still up 2-0. It’s actually not a huge surprise, since the Knicks went on the bulk of their late season run with him injured. The Knicks can certainly win this series without much contribution from him, and if this is simply a slump then it’s not a big worry. However, there’s a chance that Chandler’s invisibility is due to him being all sorts banged up. The Knicks probably don’t need him to close out this series, but they’re going to need him if they want to play deep into June.

An uplifting thing: The Knicks won Game 2 despite just making 7-of-19 from behind the arc (37%). A lot of criticism was guided towards the Knicks this season for the amount of threes they took. So far the Knicks aren’t shooting and making the 3 as often as they did in the regular season, but have proven that they can win games in other ways. This is where it helps to have Anthony, a guy who can score in the post and from the perimeter, in isolation situations. There is a very good chance that eventually the Knicks will get super hot from downtown, which could carry them in a game where they don’t quite get 35 points from their superstar.

On to Beantown where the Knicks will look to go up 3-0 in a series for the first time since, oh hell I don’t know.

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4 thoughts on “Knicks vs. Celtics Game 2: Uplifting things and disconcerting things

  1. “The Knicks won Game 2 despite just making 7-of-19 from behind the arc (37%).”

    Chris..they shot 37.6% from 3 during the regular season. They only made 7 3s largely because they didn’t need to score in the 4Q, when they had a double digit lead for the majority of the quarter.

    In 2Q, turnovers killed the Knicks, giving Boston extra shots. At the half, NY had 9 TOs, and finished the the game with 11. Boston had 4, and finished with 12. Boston had 1 offensive rebound in the second half, so you lose the turnover battle and don’t hit the offensive glass, you’re going to struggle to score.

    1. Knicks made an average of 10 3′s a game during the regular season, so they’re a bit below that so far in the postseason. This is totally fine, since playoff basketball is different. But they haven’t taken a ton of 3s early in these games and have fallen behind.

      I agree that the Knicks dominating the number of possessions in the second half is a huge factor, but the Celtics do have something to do with their own futility as well. The Knicks’ defensive rating in second halves so far is around 55 (points allowed per 100 possessions). If anything is unsustainable, it’s that. The Knicks are going to give up more points in the second half in Game 3, I think you can bet on that.

      1. As long as the 3s come in the flow of the game, they’ll be good. But winning the offensive board battle +5 and TO battle +4.5, is a big factor. If they continue to do that, which they should because both these indicators are in line, for both teams, with their reg season numbers, Boston doesn’t have realistic chance. I still am looking for sweep, or 5 games max.

        1. Agreed…Boston isn’t efficient enough offensively to keep up if things don’t change.


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