|Eastern Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 3 - NYK Leads 2-0|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+3||3-2||1-4||91.0||45.6||42.3%||44.6||85.4||46.8||44.2%||49.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||99.6||50.8||36-81||44.7%||11-29||37.6%||16-21||75.9%||48||11||19||20||8||12||4|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.8||49.2||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||75.1%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||97.2||49.7||36-82||43.8%||10-28||36.0%||15-20||75.7%||49||11||19||21||8||12||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||95.2||48.8||35-77||45.7%||8-22||35.5%||17-22||75.9%||49||10||19||19||6||15||4|
|vs opponents averaging||97.3||49||37-82||45.2%||7-19||35.7%||17-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||97.4||50.8||36-78||46.3%||8-21||37.3%||17-23||74.6%||50||10||21||19||7||14||5|
|Last 5 Games||1-4||-3||3-2||3-2||92.0||51.4||46.5%||42.8||96.6||49.0||45.8%||48.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.0||48.9||37-79||46.3%||6-17||35.6%||16-21||77.9%||47||8||23||21||8||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.4||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||98.5||48.6||38-79||47.7%||6-17||35.8%||17-22||75.9%||48||7||24||21||9||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.5||47.9||36-82||44.0%||7-20||34.2%||18-24||74.1%||52||11||21||19||8||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||97.7||49.2||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.0%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||93.9||45.3||36-83||42.8%||6-20||31.1%||16-23||71.5%||53||12||20||20||8||15||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: NEW YORK 95, BOSTON 95.4|
|3/17/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||80-93||L||13.5||W||193.5||U||29-81||35.8%||49||9||34-75||45.3%||62||12|
|4/7/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||125-120||W||7.5||W||193||O||46-93||49.5%||48||6||45-78||57.7%||42||12|
|4/26/2013||@ BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/28/2013||@ BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/20/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||86-87||L||-4.5||L||186.5||U||33-72||45.8%||32||13||31-71||43.7%||54||18|
|3/31/2013||@ NEW YORK||89-108||L||6.5||L||197.5||U||32-74||43.2%||42||10||35-72||48.6%||49||11|
|4/20/2013||@ NEW YORK||78-85||L||7.5||W||189||U||27-65||41.5%||44||20||32-79||40.5%||44||13|
|4/23/2013||@ NEW YORK||71-87||L||6.5||L||187||U||26-70||37.1%||44||11||32-76||42.1%||54||10|
|4/26/2013||NEW YORK|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/28/2013||NEW YORK|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|NEW YORK: GUARDS: RAYMOND FELTON will start at the point, which seems like a colossal mistake. He had his career year in New York under Mike D'Antoni, but the Knicks have gone away from the pick-and-roll system he thrived in . . . Don't be surprised if JASON KIDD is overtaking Felton in minutes played by midseason. He's limited athletically but still a heady passer . . . Resident chucker J.R. SMITH should see big minutes early before IMAN SHUMPERT steps in as the defense half of their shooting guard platoon as soon as his knee is recovered mid-season . . . RONNIE BREWER will be Smith's defensive complement while Shumpert is out . . . PABLO PRIGIONI is a game manager who provides insurance at the point. FORWARDS: This is once again CARMELO ANTHONY's team, as the Knicks will run their offense through him. It's going to be a lot of iso, and a lot of scoring opportunities for Melo . . . AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE doesn't fit nearly as well in this system as he did in former coach Mike D'Antoni's. He ended up forcing a lot of shots a year ago, and his durability is a major question mark . . . STEVE NOVAK will continue to come off the bench strictly as a three-point shooter. He's one of the best long-range bombers in the NBA, but he's too much of a defensive liability to play more than 20 minutes per night . . . Swingman JAMES WHITE will also get some minutes at the two or three spots with his 6-foot-7 frame. . . CHRIS COPELAND had some solid years overseas, but will be lucky to break into this rotation . . . KURT THOMAS is in player/coach mode. CENTERS: TYSON CHANDLER is indispensible on the defensive end as long as sieves Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are also in the frontcourt . . . MARCUS CAMBY can't defendin space like Chandler can, but his ability to rebound and protect the rim will come in handy as the second unit is no better defensively than the starters . . . RASHEED WALLACE came out of retirement, but has a long way to go, especially with his lack of conditioning, before he contributes much at age 38.|
|BOSTON: GUARDS: This offense now belongs to RAJON RONDO, and that should be especially true during the regular season . . . Even if he comes off the bench, JASON TERRY figures to see the bulk of the minutes at shooting guard. He provides some much-needed outside shooting after Ray Allen left and should challenge Paul Pierce for the team lead in shot attempts . . . Adding COURTNEY LEE was more of a move for the future. He's a fine young second-unit player for now and should be an heir apparent on one of the wings . . . AVERY BRADLEY could be out until December after shoulder surgery. As Boston's best perimeter defensive player, he could reclaim his starting job in the season's second half . . . The addition of LEANDRO BARBOSA gives Boston another veteran who can create his own offense in the second unit, something that was sorely missing in last year's playoff run. FORWARDS: PAUL PIERCE quietly had a great regular season last year. Though with some improved depth behind him, Rivers might have his 35-year-old All-Star wing rest more often . . . BRANDON BASS gives them another scoring option, even if he does struggle on the defensive end. He'll get full-time minutes only in certain matchups as long as the frontcourt is healthy . . . JEFF GREEN's heart condition is no longer a concern, but the tweener's role in Boston after a year off is cause for worry . . . There are already question marks surrounding rookie JARED SULLINGER's back. He's very similar to Bass: He can score out to mid-range but doesn't play much defense. Expect him to be strictly a second-unit player in his first NBA season . . . CHRIS WILCOX will provide fouls off the bench when healthy. CENTERS: The Celtics are prepared to go with KEVIN GARNETT in the middle, which was the case when they were at their best last season. His role on offense is still knocking down mid-range jumpers, and he's still an elite defensive player . . . Professional flopper JASON COLLINS will fill in nicely for the departed Greg Stiemsma . . . FAB MELO is years away from being ready to contribute (if he actually is ever ready to contribute) and DARKO MILICIC was also added via free agency for more frontcourt depth.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (NEW YORK-BOSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with details.)
*Knicks-Celtics Preview* ========================
By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer
New York At Boston, Game Three, 8:00 p.m. EDT
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) -- The Celtics need a pick-me-up after losing the opening two games of their first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks. The city of Boston could use one, too, after a traumatic two weeks of bombings and manhunts and grieving.
The town and its team might be able to help each other out.
The Celtics return to the TD Garden on Friday night for their first game since the bombs at the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded hundreds more. As with the Bruins and the Red Sox before them, the Celtics will pay tribute to the victims and the first-responders in a pregame ceremony - and then try to put it aside and play.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow, being home, back in Beantown. Very much so," Kevin Garnett said. "We haven't been home since all the current events and everything. So, yes, we're anticipating it being very emotional, very inspiring, and we're looking forward to coming out and trying to get this Game 3."
The Celtics were scheduled to play Indiana in Boston in their regular-season finale April 16, the day after the bombings at the marathon finish line. The game was canceled, and the Celtics began the playoffs in New York, where they went down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Now they're back at the Garden, where they had a bigger home-court advantage during the regular season - 13 more wins in Boston than on the road - than any other playoff team in the Eastern Conference. As did their NHL and baseball counterparts, the players said they are eager to help the fans take their minds off of more serious matters.
And, if it provides them with a little boost, that's even better.
"Having our home fans behind us is going to be a big advantage for us," forward Jeff Green said. "We're just excited to be here. It's been a while since we've had a home game in front of our fans."
Boston's last home game was April 10.
"It seems like a month," coach Doc Rivers said.
"The crowd always provides (a boost) - that's why they call it a home-court advantage. They always provide you with energy," he said. "There's no better crowd in the NBA than ours. There's no better crowd in sports than this city. They are actually really invested. ... Boston, when you're winning or losing, you still hear the people talking trash. And that's just the way they are, the way they're built. And we expect them to be very much that tomorrow."
NBA Commissioner David Stern and his appointed heir, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, will attend the game a day after the league levied a $25,000 fine on Rivers for criticizing the referees after Boston's 87-71 loss in Game 2.
Garnett picked up two quick fouls Tuesday and spent most of the game in foul trouble, playing only 24 minutes. Afterward, Rivers said some of the calls against Garnett were "horrendous." On Wednesday, he tried to backtrack from his comments and said he was just talking about how the fouls affected his team.
Stern said the league wanted to demonstrate its support, and he was ready for the reception he'll receive.
"After, I'm sure, a very moving ceremony, the first time a referee is perceived to have missed a call, the Boston fans will revert in a good way to form," he said. "And that's one of the beauties of sports."
That's what the Knicks are expecting, too.
"It's going to be hostile for us," Knicks swingman J.R. Smith said. "Boston's always - if you're the home team, it's a great place to play. If you're the away team, it's a nightmare. We've just got to keep our composure, play through everything."
Rivers said Garnett will be limited in practice Thursday after injuring his hip late in Tuesday's game. Rivers is counting on Garnett to play, he said, adding that he didn't ask the training staff "because they may give you the answer you don't want to hear."
"That's my rule," he said. "I try not to ask."
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 6:20:59 AM EST|