at Boston Celtics (0-1) at New York Knicks (1-0)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
8:00 PM ET
Playoff Game #2 Road Game #2
TV: TNT, TSN2, CSNNE, MSG
Radio: WEEI, ESPN NY
Madison Square Garden Probable Starters Point Guard
Avery Bradley vs Pablo PrigioniShooting Guard
Paul Pierce vs Raymond Felton Small Forward
Jeff Green vs Iman ShumpertPower Forward
Brandon Bass vs Carmelo Anthony
Kevin Garnett vs Tyson ChandlerCeltics Reserves
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) outKnicks Reserves
Marcus Camby (foot) questionable
Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) out
Pablo Prigioni (ankle) probableGame Notes
The Celtics will try to regroup and fix their problems from game 1 while the Knicks get Prigioni back and expect to be even stronger in game 2 because of it. The Celtics certainly can play better than they did in game 1 but it remains to be seen if they will.
KG took just 5 shots in the second half of game 1 and Doc has said that he will be looking to keep KG more involved in the offense in this game. Doc went just 8 players deep in the first game and the 3 reserves he put on the floor didn't produce so they need to get more from their bench, whether limited players produce or Doc goes deeper into the bench. Doc also said that he hopes to see better ball movement and execution as well.
The Celtics have struggled to win on the road throughout the season and they must find a way to win on the road in this series. That will take focus and execution and effort for 48 minutes. They had a 7 point lead with under a minute left in the 3rd quarter and then seemed to run out of gas. They stopped being aggressive and allowed the Knicks to set the tempo. They have to play 48 minutes and must be more aggressive for 48 minutes. Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks expect Pablo Prigioni back for this game and so they will be shifting their starting lineup a bit. Melo will be at the power forward spot and it will fall to Brandon Bass to defend him. Bass played well in the first game and hopefully will bring it this game as well.
Jeff Green vs Iman Shumpert
Prigioni's return will allow the Knicks to shift their defensive specialist Iman Shumpert to small forward. The Celtics need Green to play big for them and hopefully he will be able to figure out Shumpert's defense. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Tyson Chandler
Neither of these two players played well in game 1, which may have been due to both coming back from missing the last stretch of games with injuries, or it could be due to a lingering injury that neither will admit to. Doc has said that he is going to try to get KG more involved in this game and that would a good thing for the Celtics.
to the Game Bench Play
- The Celtics bench players didn't show up in game 1. Knicks reserves scored 33 points to just 4 for the Celtics. Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford didn't score and Courtney Lee scored the 4 points on free throws along with an assist to Kenyon Martin for a dunk. Doc went just 8 deep and I can't help but think that he needs to give TWill, Wilcox, and Randolph a chance especially if the players he puts out there at first aren't producing. Limit Turnovers
- The Celtics turned the ball over 21 times in game 1 and the Knicks scored 20 points off those turnovers. Many of the turnovers were the result of careless passes and ball handling. The Celtics have to take better care of the ball and make crisp passes along with keeping their focus when handling the ball. But, at the same time the Celtics must move the ball and not settle into hero ball. Rebound
- Rebounding is always key. The Celtics were able to stay even with the Knicks in game 1 and they need to continue to put out the effort to crash the boards and grab rebounds in order to limit the Knicks fast breaks and second chance baskets and to give themselves extra possessions. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics must be the more aggressive team. They have to be the team that dives for loose balls, crashes the boards, hustles for the 50-50 balls and drives to the basket to draw the foul. They also must be aggressive on the defensive end, denying passes and preventing easy baskets. Defense
- Last, but certainly not least, the Celtics must make defense a priority. It's still true that defense wins championships and the Celtics must prevent the Knicks from getting easy baskets and open looks. They especially have to stay on their shooters on the 3 point line as the Knicks are very good 3 point shooters. But they also have to guard the basket because the Knicks are also very good at getting to the hoop for easy baskets. X-Factors
Bench Production and Focus on the Road
The Celtics need to get more from their bench if they hope to win this game. Doc went just 8 deep in game 1 and the 3 players he put in didn't produce. They must give the Celtics a boost in this game whether the players Doc put on the floor produce or he goes deeper into the bench.
Can the Celtics find a way to focus on the road and to keep that focus for 48 minutes.