BOSTON, MA - APRIL 19: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks reacts to a call in the second half against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 96-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
I am presently sandwiched between some all-night illness (Knicks-related?) and quite a bit of driving, but I'd like to just put up a few notes from last night and some worthwhile links if you still want to think about last night's Game 2 loss in Boston.
Take the jump for 'em.
- First of all, there's not really injury news yet. Amar'e Stoudemire has back spasms, and we probably won't have any idea if he'll be ready for Friday until it's actually Friday. They said in the MSG broadcast that Chauncey Billups is getting an MRI on his knee today, so we'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I've heard in a few places that Ronny Turiaf missed most of last night's fourth quarter because his knee was hurt, but I've yet to see that printed anywhere.
- The Celtics' offense in the first half, and particularly the first quarter, was to get Rajon Rondo the ball on the move and let him attack the basket. The Knicks, time and time again, just weren't prepared. Toney Douglas picked up two early fouls* and repeatedly backed off of Rondo as he scurried to the rim. Boston is good at identifying a weakness and assaulting it, and they did just that. Rondo picked his scoring up again later, in much the same way. In the second half, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were featured. They came off screens, worked off the dribble, and just hit jumper after jumper after jumper over the scrambling Knicks.
- The best part of Melo's night, as I'm sure some others are mentioning, was that for all his outside magic (MAGIC, I tell you), he did a lot of work off the dribble, either getting to the rim, drawing fouls, or hitting a backdoor cutter for an easy finish. Mind you, he did all this while visibly exhausted. We saw a LOT of heart from that man last night.
- Landry Fields is completely lost and without confidence on offense. He shot a reasonable 2-4, but passed up some good, open looks in favor of poorly conceived drives into the teeth of the defense. It's easy to say now that Bill Walker shouldn't have been on the floor with what ended up being an 0-11 shooting line, and Bill took some seriously dumb shots, but he at least looked confident and decisive in his actions. Bill's 8 rebounds are not to be ignored either. He made some tough grabs in traffic.
- Save for that final play, which he knows he messed up, Jared Jeffries played a terrific game of basketball. There were times at which it seemed like he was guarding every player on the floor, and he ended up shooting 5-7! Five of seven! If it weren't for those meddling Garnetts, he would have had the game-winner! Gah!
- *His third foul, by the way, came when he intentionally gave one to get Amar'e out of the game. He was THE player on the floor that shouldn't have been using that foul. One of several face-palms from the evening.)
- We were hoping for a big statement game from Douglas in Chauncey's stead, and he did some nice things (7 rebounds, a couple big shots, 2 steals caused mostly by Jared's help D), but shot 5-16, rarely converted precise, play-making passes, and generally looked over-matched. Oh well.
I've really gotta run, so I'm going to cut myself and just dump some links without any editorial. I apologize for my haste.
I'll probably add some more before I hit the road. <3.