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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 17:35

Game 2 Preview: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

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Boston Celtics (0-1, 0-1 road) @ New York Knicks (1-0, 1-0 home) Madison Square Garden, 8:00 pm on TNT/WEEI Officials: Derrick Stafford, David Jones, Rodney Mott Line: New York -6.5 (185)  Get Tickets to Tonight’s Game at Madison Square Garden

The Knicks defeated the Celtics in Game 1 in New York on Saturday, 85-78.  Boston led 70-63 with under a minute to go in the 3rd quarter, but New York closed the game on a 22-8 run, holding the C's to just 25 points in the second half and only 8 in the 4th quarter.


Boston Celtics: PG: Avery Bradley SG: Paul Pierce SF: Jeff Green PF: Brandon Bass C: Kevin Garnett

New York Knicks: PG: Raymond Felton SG: Pablo Prigioni SF: Iman Shumpert PF: Carmelo Anthony C: Tyson Chandler


Rajon Rondo, OUT (knee) Jared Sullinger, OUT (back)

Pablo Prigioni, PROB (ankle) Marcus Camby, QUES (foot) Amar'e Stoudemire, OUT (knee)


Can Boston score late?: One of the main concerns when Rajon Rondo was lost for the year was the impact it would have on the Celtics crunch time offense, especially in the playoffs.  Game 1 revealed our worst fears.   The presence of Kevin Garnett: KG scored just 8 points on 4-12 shooting in the series opener.  The C's have said they'll make an effort to get more production from Garnett in Game 2. Kenyon Martin: Late in the season when Boston was desperate to add a free agent big man, Martin's name was at the top of the list.  But the Celtics passed, and he signed with New York instead.  In Game 1 Martin posted 10 points and 9 rebounds in 28 strong minutes off the bench. Is the J.E.T. out of fuel?: The Celtics brought in Jason Terry in large part due to his reputation for being a clutch playoff performer.  After a late season slump he was given the final two games off to rest, however Terry still went 0-5 (0-4 3PT) without a point or an assist in 20 minutes of action Saturday.


Boston's bench did not make a field goal in Game 1, and was outscored by their New York counterparts 33-4. Carmelo Anthony outscored the other 4 Knicks starters 36-16 on Saturday, and took 11 more shots than the rest of them combined (29-18).  Anthony registered just one assist in the game's final minute. Boston rankings: Pace: 91.7 (16th), Off Rtg: 103.1 (24th), Def Rtg: 103.3 (7th)  New York rankings: Pace: 89.8 (26th), Off Rtg: 111.1 (3rd), Def Rtg: 106.3 (18th) 


For much of Game 1 I thought the Celtics looked like the better team.  And despite poor shooting performances from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, way too many turnovers, and next to no bench production, it was only a 3 point game in the final minutes.  I'm still very nervous that Boston's offense will disappear again down the stretch, but I expect Pierce and Garnett to make just enough big shots to will the C's to victory tonight.

Boston Celtics 89, New York Knicks 84


Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan


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