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Another anemic Celtics’ second half means Knicks win, up 2-0

Apr 24, 2013, 12:17 AM EDT

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony shoots over Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce during the fourth quarter in Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York Reuters

Meet the second game, same as the first game…

If you thought the Boston Celtics couldn’t have a worse second half than their disasterous 25-point effort last Saturday in Game 1 against the Knicks, then you don’t know how anemic the Celtics offense can become. This time they blew a six point halftime lead by scoring just 23-second half points and falling to a Knicks team that looked more comfortable 87-71.

The Knicks now lead the series 2-0 heading back to Boston for what promises to be a very emotional game Friday night in the wake of the tragedy that hit that city.

But emotion is not going to be enough unless the Celtics can find some way to create good looks and knock them down in the second half. Boston shot 7-for-36 after halftime. It was ugly. Credit the Knicks for turning up the defensive pressure in the second half, and when they do the Celtics seem to have no counter. They miss the threat of Rajon Rondo creating shots.

Things seemed to go rough for the Celtics in this one from the start. Boston wanted to establish Kevin Garnett early, going him at the midpost on the first play of the game — and he faced up and hit a step-back jumper over Tyson Chandler. But Garnett got two fouls just more than five minutes in and had to sit the rest of the first quarter and the start of the second. And with KG out things went about as well as you’d expect — the Celtics’ defense has struggled all year with him out. Boston trailed by seven early in the second after a 12-0 Knicks run.

But when KG came back in and Celtics went on a 20-5 run of their own with KG getting buckets and making shots. Once again in the first half the Knicks struggled against the Celtics defense, shooting 24 percent for the second quarter and 38 percent for the half. Carmelo Anthony was 3-of-11 shooting in the first half.

But once again the second half looked nothing at all like the first.

The Knicks came out and knocked down to Iman Shumpert threes to tie it then Raymond Felton put them up with a driving lay-up. And it was on.

The Knicks went away from isolation basketball, shared the rock and looked much better. They got 13 points from Carmelo Anthony in the third on his way to 34 points in the game. Tyson Chandler, who has looked flat this series after missing 16-of-20 games down the stretch with a bulging disc in his neck, showed a flash of the defensive force he can be. Garnett started the half 0-for-4 and the Knicks scored on 10-of-11 possessions.

New York won the third quarter 32-11 and led by 15. The Celtics make a little 8-2 run at the start of the fourth by having Jordan Crawford attack Steve Novak. But when that well dried up the Celtics had no other options, no other counters to go to.

Boston’s defense has done it’s job this series — New York scored 87 points on 42 percent shooting, with an offensive rating of just 97 (points per 100 possessions, on the season the Knicks averaged 108.6).

But the Celtics offense has been anemic. When Shumpert on the wing and Chandler in the paint are taking away primary looks the Celtics have no counters, they have no Rondo to bail them out with a drive into the paint.

And without that it’s hard to see how this series lasts more than five games. Boston has to be a very different team at home.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Always what the opposition DIDN’T do, instead of what the Knicks DID. You rant and rave about Miami’s defense, when the Knicks average the same PPG against. I just don’t understand the logic.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      Melo had another nice game despite not having Jeremy Lin.

    • theghostofwillisreed - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      this is kurt we’re talking about. leave him be. it’s tough watching his lake show fade haplessly into the ether.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      I don’t know want Ainge is waiting for. It’s time too BLOW THIS TEAM UP & send KG & PP off too the retirement home.

  2. livingsacrifice86 - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    I no fan of the Knicks. But man, Melo can get buckets. He makes it look so easy. I hope it’s a Heat-Knicks ECF. That would be great

  3. drewzducks - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Anemics everywhere are offended by this headline.

  4. pantsfreezone - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    I wish there was a way (or I knew how) to find my post from the beginning of the season when all the Celtics fans were huffing glue and yelling about how deep this team was and how much better Terry was than Ray Allen and I responded with “Enjoy your 7 or 8 seed and 4-1 first round playoff exit.”

    Also, Knicks fans hear me: You. Aren’t. Beating. The. Pacers.

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:03 AM

      If you know kind of what you said, you can put a sentence or a few key words plus your screen name and google it. Maybe even plug in probasketballtalk.com to narrow the search down. Try it, I bet you it works. Google can find anything!

      • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:07 AM

        I cant find my sox, can google find it?

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        I bet it can! Why don’t you go try….with the right combination of key words google can find out what your grandma ate for lunch 2 weeks ago. Missing socks are small potaters.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:56 AM

      another crazy Pacer fan………… now go put your pants on!

    • hartdaddy - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      Dude, you need to worry about your own team. You hold a 1-0 lead, nothing “locked in” about your Pacers yet.

    • shanferg1 - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      The Knicks have blown the Pacers out twice this year. Maybe you weren’t aware of that, genius.

    • pellypell - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      You said something along these lines back in Aug of 2012, “Boston is a six seed, second round exit team at best. Then Ainge will decide to start selling off pieces and the rebuilding begins.”

      Now for a lesson: How to find all posts by a user using The Google: site:http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com “usernamegoes here”

      • pantsfreezone - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:38 AM

        I said this: “I love how the Celtics’ season relies on a SG who doesn’t do much more than pester other teams guards. Unless Bradley is the guy with the meth that makes Garnett and Pierce stop being so slooooooooow and somehow rebounds 20 times a night, the Celtics will still suck, still be a barely there 8 seed (maybe) and still be out after a 4-0 or 4-1 1st round.

        Enjoy, Boston fans.”

    • pantsfreezone - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      I’m a Heat fan, not a Pacer fan. Ft. Lauderdale born and raised, representing. But I know basketball and I know that Melo and JR aren’t going to continue to shoot well and eventually all of the iso, step backs are going to end their run.

      • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        no, we just go pick and roll for easy Tyson dunks, Then Novak Rains so many 3′s, the building floods.Then Kidd Lights up some 3′s to dry up all the water. Enjoy your grossly overpriced food on Las Olas.

  5. money2long - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    i wanna see how that boston crowd affects the game

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:06 AM

      unless those fans start hitting shots in the 2nd half. Celtics are toast.
      game #1 23 points in 2nd half
      game #2 25 points in 2nd half

    • savoirlaire - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Ask the Bruins, who have sucked bad while the crowds cheer and sing…

  6. badintent - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    I’m sorry for Boston’s loss of life last week. But you gotta admit this is looking more like the Red Sox season from last year. Big talk early pre-season , then more chicken wings.I think Doc is serving way too much mustard on those hot dogs.
    Doc should teach Political Spin 101 at Haaaaaaaaaaavard.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      did DOC tell his guys to put the ball in the basket, it sure looks like they don’t know
      how to do that.
      how you like that historical lock down defense in consecutive playoff games.
      Boston is in deep troubles, the only thing saving them from more embarrassment is
      the 2-3 days between games.

      • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM

        Ball don’t Lie
        . But Doc does a lot.Relax, Boston takes next one at home, TV rating thing NBA has with the majors. then Knicks close out in 6. All good

  7. Rich Peters - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Reblogged this on Higher Ground.

  8. badintent - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Ball Don’t Lie.

  9. halfbaht - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    The series will be level 2-2 after the next 2 games in beantown.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:02 AM

      this is what happens to your brain on drugs…………..

  10. rickyspanish - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    00maltliquor is correct, Google finds things, it can find your car keys.

  11. jaredo10 - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    This kid thinks the Knicks can’t hang with the Pacers? haha take a nap your Reggie Miller days are over

  12. gmsingh - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Hey Kurt–do you think Doc Rivers has been resting his players too much? LOL.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      I don’t think Doc Rivers has enough good players to rest. That’s the issue.

      • gmsingh - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        Oh, and Thibs does. Does not compute.

  13. infectorman - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Celts are Old and young and really miss Rondo….
    Hoping their O shows up at home…

  14. lakerluver - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Meanwhile, a pudgie, balding middle aged man wearing a Celtics number 53 jersey with p.hargis on back was seen mumbling incoherently in a Boston pub. Hey, big fella, it’s ok, my LAKERS aren’t gonna win the title this year either. However, they will surely tie then pass the C’s before Boston wins another title. Considering it took them over 20 years to go from 16 to 17, I predict number 18 will come around the year 2030. Tee hee hee…

    • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      I got your back on that one.Paul has disappeared.Last seen in the video tape of a Blackhawk circling over a boat in a backyard………………………………………………..

    • loungefly74 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      hilarious.

      • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        thanks.Enjoy the playoffs, GET your popcorn ready.

  15. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    As Becca from Maryland’s Delta Gamma chapter would say, the Knicks are *unt Punting the Celtics right now.

  16. omniusprime - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    I wonder where Pauline Haggis 0.53 is? He sure isn’t bragging about his pathetic celtics. Must be trying to find a Laker’s story so he can spew his hate. Looks like the celtics are Boston’s Bombers because they’re bombing out in the playoffs.

    • loungefly74 - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      booyah! nailed it, prime! yeah…you would think ‘ol PH53 would be chiming in, right? yeah, kinda sad when you are known as a dude who cares more about the fate of a team he hates.

      well…i’ll do my best “hater” commenting: The C’s are done! will Ainge make the same mistake of previous celtic GM’s by holding on to relics too long? interesting…this team only got 1 title….(2 trips)…huh, i was thinking they were going to do more damage than that! Miami has already equaled that feat…and the Lakers…ah…the Lakers…well, 2 titles since the Big 3 came together…nice.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        @ omni & lounge…..

        Don’t expect ph53 to come around these here parts until the 3rd round of the playoffs. He lost his regular season bet against me and therefore would have to be posting as “kobeLUVER”.

        He may well have changed his screen name to honor his bet, but in a technicality (which I put in my original bet that PBT WOULDN’T LET ME POST) probably won’t post until then, but can still say he did change his name even without coming on here. But if you DO see kobeLUVER (I’m starting to give up hope), that’s him!

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Oh, and lounge….p.s.-

        I don’t think you got one “hater” bone in your body. That was the worst “hater commenting”/trolling I have ever seen on here. I hope you don’t plan on entering that sauce in the county fair, cause it is weak! LOL! Hating just isn’t in your blood my friend!

      • loungefly74 - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        thanks for the update, malt. i’ll keep a lookout.

        ahahaha! yeah…not a smack talker, in that sense (my GF would beg to differ)…heheh…”sauce”…yeah, that was weak of me…bwahhahaa! i have no idea what i’m doing…hehehe.

      • spthegr8 - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        @lounge
        Its not hating if its the “TRUTH” Bruh!! You couldn’t be anymore RIGHT!! There window is officially CLOSED!!!

  17. senorpapino - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Let’s not forget that most sites and media outlets said this would be a 7 game series (go back and read the PBT series preview, for example) while most fans said this would go no more than five. The C’s look old and confused, not to mention all the injuries. This series is the mirror of their 2011 series. The Knicks kept it close for stretches in that series on the road but had too many injuries en route to getting swept. Don’t be surprised if the same fate happens to Boston. Anyone who suggested this team might be better without Rondo was flat wrong.

  18. JMClarkent - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    The series doesn’t start until someone wins a game in the road! That being said, I think they will regret not moving Pierce and KG.

  19. bux1022 - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Kurt and is Haterade!

  20. kobeluver - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Ok Malt. Here I am under the moniker of your choosing. Sorry it took so long, but I do pay off on my bets.(I feel very dirty though).
    You are correct on the Google thing.

    Since I knew lakerluver would try to weasel out of his bet, I took the time to find his acceptance of it on and old posting. Its on the one called ” Kobe says shut up and let us work”.
    If he does not adhere to our bet, I will post that until he leaves. I expect some of you to ridicule him also.
    I truly believe he is now posting under the 2ndlakerzealot moniker.(lakerluver moniker MIA for days)
    That will be. the new target, because it is him.
    Anyway, I’m a man of my word. This is just until the lakers are out, right? lol

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      GOOD MAN, PAUL…good man!! Much respect. Man of your word! Almost didn’t think you were gonna come through. Just two playoff rounds…

    • loungefly74 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      does slow golf-clap for “kobeluver”…

  21. dysraw1 - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I was 1 of the guys thinking how tough beantown was gonna be at the start of year, it to bad they were decimated by injuies this almost seems unfair. almost

  22. paulhargis53 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    (Sorry Malt) This demands a response under this moniker.

    Prime. What kind of piece of crap are you to incorporate an act of terrorism into a sports blog?! Jesus man, people died and were maimed and scarred for life, and you are trying to use it for a weak attempt at humor?
    Just another idiot that takes his sports WAAAY to seriously. Good God, you have zero morals.

    I’m not even going to discuss the state of the Celtics with you or lounge, you’ve both castigated me for my diatribes on lakerluver, yet you prime come out with something 1000 times worse, and you lounge agree with him?!

    I’m not from Boston, but if you need to go that far to rip on a sports team, you really need to prioritize your life. Did you make jokes about 9/11 too?
    Garbage human beings is all you 2,are.
    You’re both f’n sickening

    • infectorman - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Prime is a moron. Dude, get a life

  23. bux1022 - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    @brainfreezone

    You don’t ish about Bball!! Which means you can write the articles for PBT!

  24. kobeluver - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Stp: Bruh? Really?! Ick. You think that makes you sound all “gangsta”?

    It makes you sound like an idiot.

    By the way, eveyone else but you laker fan toolboxes knew that the laker window closed with the sweep by Dallas. We’ve been laughing at you for 3, years straight.

    I wouldn’t count out KG and The Truth just yet.

    Lakersucker, you’re 3 losses away from being off this site for good. Better enjoy yourself…..

    • spthegr8 - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      @phargis
      & ick is something that my 6 year old daughter says. Not trying too sound “gangsta”. Being myself and I’m REALLY not worried about what some BITTER OLD troll thinks of me. Truth be told. This site is a better place without you BOTH on here bickering like some little school girls. “Don’t count out KG and the Truth just yet” REALLY???? REALLY??? If you really believe the C’s have a chance. Your WAY more delusional than ANY Laker fan on here!!

      • loungefly74 - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        we have been laughing at you for (Celtics fans) for 5 straight years…especially when the LAKERS triumphed over you in the 2010 finals…making the past 3 years acceptable. if someone said “win 2 titles in a 5 year span”…heck yeah, i’ll take it.

        (hargis is losing it…reaching…desperate…it’s pathetic, bruh)

    • badintent - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      BALL DON’T LIE. NEITHER DO WE. Cs are done . Need to fire Danny GM.HIre Larry Legend.and hire Stan VAN the man.Doc wants to coachup his own son. no secret .

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