In a move that nobody saw coming, the Boston Celtics took care of business sending the New York Knicks to the golf course in time for their Monday morning tee times.
Doc Rivers summed up the series best: “Give [the Knicks] credit. No. 1 they had one of their best players who’s not 100 percent. Obviously we didn’t feel bad about that. But we didn’t play well in the first two games. We were fortunate to win both of them. But we did play well in Game 3 and played well in Game 4…what you saw tonight was a microcosm of our season at times. We’re playing well, we’re playing well, and all of a sudden we go away from it for a while. Today we got it back just in time.”
The Celtics struggled with a bench that was sluggish and/or completely absent in games 1 and 2. Although, the bench was largely absent at times, the ups and downs of the series seemed to tie into how well the bench was playing at any given moment. When the bench contributed, the Celtics held big leagues and when they didn’t, the leads disappeared. The Celtics need for their bench to improve on a game by game basis if they expect to go deep into the playoffs. On paper, the starting five can beat anyone in the league and at times can mount a double digit lead only to see it disappear whilst they are on the bench giving up minutes to the second and third units.
The Celtics are in perfect position leading into the second round with a week off in between games. The Celtics need to play the minimum amount of games possible as they march onto the finals as they cannot afford to add any extra miles to such a veteran laden club.
Kevin Garnett led the C’s with 26 points and 10 rebounds and was dominant on both ends of the floor at times playing against an injured Amar’s Stoudemire. Stoudemire tried his best to will the Knicks onto victory, but could not overcome the back injury suffered in warmups prior to game 2. NBA fans should respect the effort as he could have easily packed it in for season.
Rajon Rondo continues to be one of the most unguardable players in the NBA killing the Knicks on the floor scoring at will and setting up his teammates for easy buckets. Rondo’s success should be measured by his trips to the line as this shows the magnitude of Rondo’s impact on the game. Rondo is at his best when he is attacking the basket. A timid/pass first Rajon Rondo makes him less effective and teams pick up on this effectively taking him out of the game.
All in all, this was a great team effort. The Celtics took care of business and let’s be honest they needed to be tested in this series in order to see how they would react. I’d feel less confident if they blew the Knicks out by 30 in 4 straight. We sit here waiting for round 2 knowing the team has some fight left in them and will do whatever it takes to win the games that matter most.
Thanks for reading and GO 76ERS!!!!!