Post Game Recap
Final Score: Celtics: 102 Knicks: 96
The Knicks did not have to deal with Rajon Rondo tonight, who was suspended for the game tonight, but were still left with plenty to handle in Paul Pierce. Pierce kept the Celtics calm and collected, scoring timely basket after timely basket even though the Knicks were playing suffocating defense on him. Pierce provided the dagger with a step-back jump shot over Tyson Chandler with 45 seconds left in the game. In the end, it was the Celtics, who were mentally tougher than the Knicks, to survive in what was a very tough, physical and hard fought game.
- The Knicks were able to get it going pretty well from deep tonight, knocking down 14 of their 32 attempts, good for 43.8 percent. Sadly for the Knicks, they were unable to knock down the timely ones down the stretch of the game as the Knicks were unable to get over the hump against the Celtics. Steve Novak had a strong night from deep, knocking down all three of his attempts. J.R. Smith and Anthony each made four three pointers of their own.
- Smith gave the Knicks a great effort off the bench tonight, scoring a team high 24 points. Smith would add three rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. Smith has steadily improved his ball handling and passing, as the Knicks have relied on him since Raymond Felton went down to play some point guard. He ran the pick-and-roll well with the big men, showing good judgment and getting the ball to his players in position for them to score.
- Tyson Chandler dominated the interior tonight, grabbing a game high 17 rebounds. Chandler took advantage of the smaller Celtics, crashing the glass to end Celtic possessions and keeping alive Knick ones, as he grabbed eight offensive rebounds. Chandler also added 13 points on the night as well. Marcus Camby was a factor on the boards as well, as he grabbed seven of them in only 10 minutes played.
- Amar’e Stoudemire had his most efficient game tonight and looked good in his minutes. Stoudemire scored 13 points on four of six shots from the field, making his first shot outside the paint since returning from his injury. He also added two rebounds, two assists and a block and is looking better and better every game.
- The team defense was not where it needed to be tonight for the Knicks. Pierce delivered dagger after dagger tonight en route to 23 points on 10 of 18 shooting. Kevin Garnett added 19 of his own and Jeff Green was strong off the bench in adding 16 points. For the game the Knicks allowed the Celtics to shoot 39 for 74, equaling 52.7 percent, as the Celtics were able to set the tone and tempo to their liking and took the Knicks out of their game.
- Carmelo Anthony tonight hurt the Knicks and went overboard after the game. On the court, Garnett got into Anthony and got him off his game, as Anthony struggled from the field going six for 26. There was a lot of trash talking and physical play between the two, as they were whistled for double technicals in the fourth quarter. They two needed to be separated two more times in the fourth quarter, as Anthony was visibly upset at something Garnett did; Garnett has been doing this for years and knows what he is doing on the court. Whatever Garnett said to Anthony got him upset to the point that he did not shake anyone’s hand after the game and headed to the Celtics locker room where he was restrained by teammates and security. Afterwards Anthony was not done, as he went outside and waited near the Celtics bus for Garnett to come out where New York Police Department, MSG Security and Mike Woodson waited so nothing escalated. We will see what the Knicks and the NBA do about this fiasco as there is something brewing between Anthony and Garnett.
- Mike Woodson was out-coached tonight by one of the best in the business. Woodson was unable to make the necessary adjustments to get the Knicks over the hump and made questionable rotation decisions throughout the game. With the Knicks building a 10 point lead, Woodson inserted five bench players and left Stoudemire as the only big man on the court; this caused problems on defense and no cohesion on offense as Stoudemire is still working into shape. This is no fault of Stoudemire’s as he gives everything he has when he is on the court, but Woodson cannot use him on the court as the only big man. He isn’t near 100 percent and does not play enough defense to make up for the players he shares the court with on the second unit like Novak and Chris Copeland.
- Pablo Prigioni was not on his game tonight, as the Celtics threw him out of rhythm. He was unable to get the offense going when he was on the court and struggled with the physicality that the Celtics brought to the game. On the night, Prigioni scored only two points and managed only three assists in 15 minutes, turning the ball over four times. On the night, Prigioni was the worst Knick in terms of +/-, going for -19.