It was a tale of two halves, really.
The Boston Celtics, highlighted by Jeff Green, were near unstoppable in the first half of action of Game 1 vs. the New York Knicks in the Madison Square Garden. They shot almost 53% from the floor, 40% from three-point land and saw Jeff Green explode for 20 points on 7-10 shooting.
That, alone, was already good for Green’s playoff-career high (his previous was 16 points). The forward also did an impressive job guarding this year’s scoring champion, Carmelo Anthony.
Unfortunately, he would not keep it up in the second half, as he scored only six more points.
The Knicks, on their end, kept nibbling on the Celtics’ ankles, staying just within reach mostly due to their 60% three-point shooting as well as Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin’s play, who were using their experience to stay ahead of the game.
Well, all that was gone as soon as the third quarter started.
As Doc Rivers explained it best, the Celtics were simply too stagnant with the ball.
The Celtics field goal percentage was down to 41.5% at the end of 48 minutes, after they connected on only seven out of 27 shots, good for 26%. The fourth quarter was especially abysmal, where the Celtics were only able to score eight total points.
Paul Pierce, like Doc Rivers, attributed that to a lack of ball movement and promised things would change in the next game.
Carmelo Anthony did a lot of Carmelo Anthony things, finishing with 36 points on 29 shots. Carmelo started off the game on fire, hitting his first four shots (two of them three-pointers), but would eventually cool down. To no avail, as he would find his touch again in the final minutes of the game to will his team to victory.
While Tyson Chandler didn’t necessarily have it going tonight, his back-up Kenyon Martin was more than enough, scoring huge baskets in the end of the game from Carmelo Anthony’s assists. Martin finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds.
As for Knicks coach Mike Woodson, he was pleased with his team’s performance and said he will always rely on veterans Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin.
In case you don’t want to watch all these videos, here are the best moments from the coaches’ and players’ post-game conferences.
The Knicks and the Celtics will face off in the Madison Square Garden again on Tuesday, at 8:00 p.m. E.T. for Game 2.