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Celtics-Knicks Game Blog: First Quarter

We are high above courtside for tonight’s game between the Celtics [1] and the New York Knicks [2]. How will the Celtics do without Kevin Garnett [3]? Are the Knicks really into the mantra of 7 Seconds Or Less? Will Paul Pierce [4] and Quentin Richardson [5] renew their friendship? Those answers and more, tonight. Can you feeeeeel it?

FIRST QUARTER WRAP: After one, the Knicks have a 28-26 lead, thanks to 52 percent shooting and 10 points from Wilson Chandler–who strangely couldn’t find any playing time in last season’s train wreck. For the Celtics, Pierce has nine and Rondo and Leon Powe [6] have six apiece. The Celtics got jump shot happy in the middle of the quarter but seem to have figured out that the Anthony Mason and Charles Oakley don’t play for the Knicks anymore and the bigs won’t encounter much resistance under the basket.

Jess has your second quarter.

— Pretty blah quarter for the Celtics so far. This is basically Doc’s nightmare scenario: The loss of Garnett leads to an lack of energy. The Celtics settle for quick shots (because they’re better shots than they’ve seen in weeks, but there are still better shots to be had). And the Knicks make a ton of 3’s. A quiet building doesn’t help much either.

— The Knicks are not even pretending to guard Rondo. Even when he has the ball. I’m thinking he might get off tonight in this wide-open type of game.

— Rondo needs to shoot that wide-open jumper (and I mean wide-open), but more than that, he needs to be behind the 3-point line when he does. No more useless shot in basketball than a 22-foot 2-pointer.

— There is a palpable lack of buzz in the Garden tonight and a number of empty seats. 15-12 C’s at the break and the Celtics are shooting 75 percent from the floor thus far. That’s right: 75 percent.

— So, KG isn’t in the building. At all. He can’t be on the bench, he can’t be in the locker room. He can’t even buy a ticket to the game. “He can afford it,” somebody suggested to Doc. “Not tonight,” was Doc’s comeback. With the suspension Garnett is out 200K.

The question is: What do you think he’s doing tonight? Watching the game? Reflexively freaking out? Checking out weei.com?

— Scal takes the charge. Defensive rebound much Knicks? I love it when Zach Randolph [7] takes 3’s. (There is something about 7 Seconds or Less that just inspires stream of consciousness blogging.)

— Three possessions and three 3’s for the Knicks already. Who wouldn’t want to play in Mike D’Antoni’s system? Besides Shawn Marion [8], of course

— So, Brian Scalabrine [9] starts tonight. Safe to say the Celtics are not happy with the NBA’s decision to suspend Garnett tonight. Doc Rivers [10] used words like “ridiculous,” and “consistency” when asked it before the game. KG may not be the only Celtics who gets hit with a fine after that.