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Do Celtics have one complete game in them? More likely Knicks break out brooms Sunday.

Apr 28, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett AP

How many times have we seen this the last couple games of the Boston/New York series: The Celtics set their defense and for the first 15-17 seconds of the clock the clog everything the Knicks want to do. Their on-ball defenders are in the Knicks faces, their defensive rotations are sharp, there are no good looks.

Then it falls apart and the Knicks get a quality shot. Part of that is the Knicks have a lot of talent on the floor — Carmelo Anthony can score on anyone, he has 96 points in three games this series — and part of it is as the series has moved on New York has moved the ball better and better.

But in the end the Celtics not being able to keep the effort level and execution together for a full 24 seconds, or for a full 48 minutes, is the key reason the Knicks are up 3-0. Most people (myself included) predicted the Knicks would win the series, they are the better team, but we expected more of a fight to the finish from Boston.

Sunday will the Celtics finally put it all together for one game? Can they show some real pride and salvage one game in this series on their home court?

Can they? Yes. Will they? I’m not sold.

The Knicks have motivation for this game — rest. Round two likely will not start until next weekend so a win Sunday means a week off for the older bodies in blue. That matters.

New York will be without J.R. Smith, suspended by the league for his elbow to the head Jason Terry in Game 3. You’d think that be an advantage for the Celtics and in Game 3 after Smith went out the Celtics make some pushes. But the Knicks answered each one of them.

The Knicks have also played strong defense through this series, frustrating a Celtics offense missing Rajon Rondo’s creativity. The Celtics would need a massive night from Jeff Green and Paul Pierce on the offensive end to get that win. Boston would need 48 minutes of defense. It would need a strong outing from Jason Terry. And Brandon Bass.

It can happen. For stretches this series the Celtics have been able to do everything they needed to challenge the Celtics and get a win.

But they haven’t been able to sustain it. And if they don’t on Sunday at the Garden they can hop a plane to Mexico for vacation on Monday.

  1. acdc363 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Just break out the brooms and finish us off already!

  2. mazblast - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    The Celtics should have started a full rebuild after last season, but their massive pride wouldn’t allow it, and I question whether their perpetual falling back on past glories will allow it even now.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the C’s. However, like the Yankees, Lakers, or Cowboys, to name three, there seems to be something in them that doesn’t allow the “shame” of tearing it down and starting over.

  3. jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Brooms might be needed in three of the four series being played today. Lakers and Celtics swept out of the playoffs in the very first round? Yogi said “it ain’t over till it’s over”, yet it’s obvious to anybody, even the most delusional homer of all time, that there is a changing of the guard in this league with the Miami Heat leading the way. Ray Allen knew where to go!

  4. bifford - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Does it matter? One game isn’t going to mean much.

    • eboneseagles - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      It’s completely emberassing if the celtics get swept here, one game should mean a lot to them tbh. That being said, they are a terrible team and it won’t happen.

      • eboneseagles - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM


  5. wgray981 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Not a Celtics fan but you can hardly blame them. Having their best player out for the year really put a damper on their hopes…

    • jcmeyer10 - Apr 28, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      As well as Sullinger. Underrated part of that team. Either way, I was proud to see them put up a fight. Could be a token victory but 4-1 looks better than 4-0.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    David Stern: “All they (Boston) need is a chance!”

    That weak suspension is beyond laughable. Still won’t matter. Cope will step up.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      You’ve just been punked! Boston beat NY today, thanks to no J.R. Smith. No brooms this series. Now, NY has to prove then can beat Boston in a playoff series. It’s been a very long time.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        You will still get your rude awakening in the ECF. You Heat fans, I’ll give you credit — you are united in saying the same (scared) nonsense, everyone can spot you from a mile away.

  7. atlfan31833 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    couldn’t happen to a nicer team

  8. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Amazing officiating (although expected with the nonsensical suspension), Melo had an all-time worst shooting game, no JR, no Amare, slanted officiating and STILL sweated it out lmao. Oh yeah, Terry flopped yet again on Novak to seal it.

  9. halfbaht - Apr 28, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Heat fans will get a rude awakening in the ECF, when they face the Pacers, because your Knicks ain’t get past that D

  10. 8man - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Celtic Pride. Maybe they can get one in New York to raise a few eyebrows. Everything had to go right for the Green to legitimately challenge this year. Instead it went the other way.

    We’ll always have 617. Go Celts!

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