at Boston Celtics (1-3) at New York Knicks (3-1)
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Playoff Game #5 Road Game #3
TV: TNT, CSNNE, MSG, the Score
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) outGame Notes
The Celtics are once again in a must win situation to keep their season alive. They were able to hold on to win game 4 in overtime and force a game 5. Now, they must find a way to solve their second half offensive lapses and get a win on the road.
The Celtics are confident that they can solve the problems that have been plaguing them in this series. They have played well in the first half of every game but then in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks pick up their energy and defense and the Celtics have mental lapses and turn the ball over and somehow forget how to score. They have to find a way to play aggressively for 48 minutes on both ends of the court.
No team has come back from an 0-3 deficit in the playoffs and so the Knicks are confident that they can close the series out and were talking trash about the Celtics funeral in this game. The Celtics would send the series back to Boston for a Game 6 on Friday with a victory, and to get it they must come out with the same energy they had Sunday. But, they also have to keep that energy for 4 quarters. They can't afford another big let down after the half when they are on the road. Key Matchups
Brandon Bass vs Carmelo Anthony
Brandon Bass was the unsung hero of game 4 as he played excellent defense on Carmelo Anthony. The Celtics will need more of the same from him in this game. It would be a bonus if he would add some offense as well.
Paul Pierce vs Raymond Felton
Felton has been coming up big against the Celtics in every game so far. He is averaging 17.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Felton scored 27 on Sunday and Pierce has got to find a way to slow him down and especially keep him from getting to the basket. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Tyson Chandler
The Celtics need KG to get more involved in the offense along with anchoring the defense. He also needs to find a way to stay out of foul trouble as he has been limited by quick fouls in previous games. The Celtics need to try to get KG going early and often.
Jason Terry vs JR Smith
The teams' 6th men have figured prominently in this series already. Jason Terry didn't show up in game 1 and was underwhelming in games 2 and 3. However, in game 3 he drew an elbow from JR Smith that resulted in the Knicks second leading scorer being suspended for game 4, when JET came up big in the 4th quarter and OT. The Celtics must try to limit Smith while at the same time getting production from Terry once again. Keys to the Game Bench Play
- The Celtics need to get production from their bench. Jason Terry needs to come up big as does Jordan Crawford. It would be nice to get some production from Chris Wilcox and Terrence Williams also. But whoever Doc brings off the bench must hit their shots and be aggressive. Ball Movement
- The Celtics have to move the ball and quickly get up the court before the defense can get set up. They also have to avoid the urge to play hero ball and try to do too much. When they play team ball and move the ball to find the open man, the offense is much more efficient. At the same time, they must make smart passes and not turn the ball over as turnovers have doomed them in a couple of the games. Rebound
- Rebounding is always key. Rebounding takes effort and when they put the effort into crashing the boards, that effort shows up in other areas as well. They must continue to put out the effort to 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 fouls. They also must be aggressive on the defensive end, denying passes and preventing easy baskets. They have to want the win more and play like it. 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 can kill you from outside. 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
Focus on the Road and Officiating
The Celtics have struggled on the road the entire season and have already lost the first 2 games on the road in this series. Can they focus enough to play well enough on the road to get a win?
Officiating is always an X-Factor. Will the refs call the game fairly? Will they favor the Knicks who are at home? Will they call the game tight for both sides? No one knows, but the answers could be the difference in the game.