Fast Break: J.R. Smith, Knicks knock out Celtics
|03.26.13 at 9:50 pm ET|
J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony combined for 61 points and the Knicks delivered a 100-85 knockout of a Celtics team without Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee that all but ended the C’s reign atop the Atlantic Division.
Jeff Green, Paul Pierce, Jordan Crawford, Brandon Bass and Jason Terry all reached double figures, but the C’s committed 20 turnovers and couldn’t stop New York on the other end. Here’s what else went wrong.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Ugly start: It took almost three minutes for either team to score, and neither club’s former NBA Defensive Player of the Year was involved. The Celtics missed their first three shots and committed a pair of turnovers while the Knicks missed their first five attempts until an Anthony (29 points, 8 rebounds) layup broke a scoreless game 2:42 into the first quarter. This wasn’t exactly the epic Celtics-Knicks battle national television had banked on.
J.R. Smith: The Knicks Sixth Man scored 32 points on 24 shots (oddly, just three 3-pointers) in 35 minutes. He outscored the entire Celtics bench by 13 points. Smith also grabbed four of his six first-half rebounds on the offensive end, helping New York establish a comfortable 58-44 halftime lead.
Chris Wilcox: Speaking of rebounds, Chris Wilcox had none in 10 minutes. That’s not good, and neither were his five total boards in three previous games. Meanwhile, the Knicks reached double-digit offensive rebounds by halftime, netting 50 points in the paint and outscoring the C’s 29-6 in second-chance points for the game. Meanwhile, D.J. White and his eight boards per 36 minutes in his career rode the pine until the final three minutes and Shavlik Randolph out-rebounded Wilcox 4-0 in five garbage minutes.
Avery Bradley: The lone healthy Celtics pitbull hasn’t had much bite on the offensive end. He’s shooting worse than 40 percent this month and hasn’t hit half of his shots in a game for more than two weeks. That includes Tuesday night’s 3-for-11, six-point effort against the Knicks that featured a pair of badly missed layups.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Scare Jordan: Prior to the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers voted Jordan Crawford “on the All-Scare Team. He scares me and [Knicks coach Mike Woodson] every night. He scares both coaches.” With Courtney Lee still sidelined by an ankle injury, Crawford got his first start in a Celtics uniform and delivered a (mostly) scary good performance. Crawford scored 14 points and dished out six assists, providing a small spark to a woeful Celtics offense. Of course, his six turnovers were scary, too.
Mean Jeff Green: It wasn’t 43 points against LeBron James x, but Green submitted another stellar performance in his sixth start of the season. He came into the game averaging 22.0 points on 59 percent shooting to go along with five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal as a starter, and he didn’t disappoint. Against the Knicks, Green scored a team-high 19 points, grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds and collected a season-high six assists.