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Can emotion of coming home lift Celtics to Game 3 win over Knicks?

Apr 26, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers AP

The blueprint for Boston to get back into this series is there — they have won the first half of Games 1 and 2. Tenacious defense, getting points out of Jeff Green and/or Jason Terry to go with Paul Pierce, and to make the little hustle plays.

The Celtics have had two problems. First, they haven’t come close to sustaining that when the Knicks play their best — 25 points for Boston in the second half of Game 1, 23 in Game 2. Second, the Knicks are the better, deeper team.

But if there is one thing that can give the Celtics the lift they need it’s a return to TD Garden — especially on an emotional night, the Celtics first home game since the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Boston was dramatically better at home than on the road this season — 27-13 in Boston, 14-27 on the road. They outscored opponents by 4.6 points per game at home, lost by 4.9 on the road. The key reason was their defense — Boston allowed 95.9 points per 100 possessions at home, 104.9 on the road. (Stats via NBA.com)

Boston is not likely to come apart for 24 minutes at home, in front of their crowd, like they did in Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are going to have to earn this one.

Of course, the Knicks are still the better team and have a couple things to fall back on.

One is more Raymond Felton in the pick-and-roll (ideally with better play out of Tyson Chandler). His speed and the way he attacks puts the Celtics defense more on its heels — when Carmelo Anthony is in isolation or Pablo Prigioni is running the offense at a more leisurely pace, Boston’s defense can slow the Knicks. But Felton has been more of the disruptive force.

Second, there is Carmelo Anthony. He’s put up big numbers but taken a lot of shots to get there in the first couple games. He remains the best player in this series and if he can take over a game the Knicks can get the win.

New York needs to win one of the two games in Boston this weekend. Make it the first one and their path gets much, much easier.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    No.

  2. money2long - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    if pierce score 30+ , boston wins tonight. if not, knicks take 3-0 lead. it’s on pierce tonight to deliver. that’s my gut feeling.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Who is he going to score 30 on? LMFAO unless they bail him out with those pathetic flop calls.

      • money2long - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        hey, i hope the knicks win bro

  3. kobeluver - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Mr.Wrong: Pretty big talk for a fan of a team who hasn’t won a playoff series in how long?! sthu!

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:40 AM

      No.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:40 AM

      Besides what does that have to do with any of the guys on the team TODAY, since that is all that is relevant right now?

  4. bux1022 - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Kurt not bad! Gave the Knicks some cred, finally.

    Series is a wrap!

  5. patfic15 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I love the Celtics but man…they are just looking outmatched.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Ughhh. I am going to Game 4 but it will be with a heavy heart. It kills me to say it but the Knicks are clearly the better team.

    • badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:28 PM

      Relax, Herr Stern told Stu jackson to stop sucking him and throw a one game on J.R.. so we give you game 4. MSG will be rocking and rolling for game 5 Rain City 3s.

  7. drewzducks - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Ummm no? But on a lighter note

    • badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      nice one.!!!It’s only Rock and Roll but I like it , yes I do !!

      • drewzducks - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Thanks. As a Celts fan, my hopes are all but “Shattered”

  8. eboneseagles - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Anyone who somehow picked the celtics in this series is looking real dumb right now. I knew this would be easy, so I was wondering why anyone could possibly pick the celtics. The only thing I could think of is that they’re called the celtics, that’s all they are is a name now. Change the name and they’re nothing. Time to rebuild, expect Toronto and Washington to take Boston and Milwaukees spots next year.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      Well, I figured each game would be close, minus one blowout. Knicks have let up in the last two and should have won by 20+ in each. But I figured Doc+continuity would account for close games, but they flat out cannot score. Nor can Indiana, so I hope the Knicks don’t get into any bad habits before drawing Miami.

      • eboneseagles - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        Yeah if the knicks play defense like this the Pacers won’t create anything and their defense won’t even matter. Plus we have Anthony and they have George who disappears randomly and averages less than JR anyways. Should be a good series though.

    • andyhr17 - Apr 27, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      “I knew this would be easy, so I was wondering why anyone could possibly pick the celtics.”

      Lol. I guess not everyone can be an expert like you. you’re a god damn genius.

      For a fan of a team that was irrelevant for so many years you’d think that you’d have learned some humility along the way.

      • badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:40 PM

        guess not. It ‘s a NYC Wall STreet thing. You pay fed taxes, Obama gives them $$$ to us. Thanks chump.Keep your pennies

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