Hardwood Houdini fans, I apologize if I alarmed you unnecessarily earlier today.
You see, in my pregame write-up, I said, and I quote:
This is a stiff challenge the Celtics are facing this afternoon.
One game and a 41-point blowout later, I obviously was as wrong as I have ever been in my life. Seriously, this game was over by the end of the first quarter. Sorry: at one point in the second quarter, the Knicks’ reserves whittled the lead down to 17. This crisis prompted coach Brad Stevens to insert the starters back into the game, and the drama was over. Their two 30+ victories aside, the New York Knicks looked every bit like the 5-14 team they are following today’s dismantling.
Are the Boston Celtics this good? Are the New York Knicks this terrible? The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Clearly, Boston is not the godawful team many experts predicted, and fans expected. The Celts are sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 10-12 record, and are playing the sort of stifling team defense that should allow them to continue to vie for that top spot. Meanwhile, the Knicks showed their fans today that two games of sharing the ball does not a habit make, as most of their offense today sounded something like this:
Dribble dribble dribble. Shoot. Great offense, NY.
— Hardwood Houdini (@HoudiniCeltics) December 8, 2013
Once again, the Celtics enjoyed success because of a well-balanced, team effort. Boston was led by Jordan Crawford’s 23 points and 7 assists, followed by Jaed Sullinger’s 21. All five Boston starters scored in double digits, with Courtney Lee adding 10 off of the bench. The Celts shot 54% from the floor, including an impressive 56% from behind the arc, and assisted on 22 of the 39 field goals they made today. It is an extreme understatement to say that Boston was ready for this match-up; they humbled the Knicks and sent the message that the Cs are going to contend for the Atlantic Division crown, sub-.500 record be damned.
There was one aspect to today’s game that worried me, however: Jordan Crawford’s long-range bombing. Sure, on a day like today it appears as if Crawford went into god mode, and you better believe that it was fun to watch. However, I get nervous when I see a guy who has had the “selfish” label slapped on him decided to bomb away from 25 and 30 feet away from the basket to the tune of 12 3-point attempts. Dude only took 14 shots in the game! I hope Crawford’s reliance on the 3-ball today was a result of his feeling it, and not a sign that he is going to revert back to the “old” Jordan Crawford the NBA knew for so long.
These two teams play in TD Garden on Friday night, and it’s safe to say that game will be a wee bit closer than today’s. Until then, the Boston Celtics are in first place in the Atlantic Division and must prepare for back-to-back games between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers this Tuesday and Wednesday. Don’t worry: even with such a busy week, we’ll have you covered here at Hardwood Houdini! Thanks for the read, and let’s keep it up, Boston!!!
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