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Sunday notes: Celtics need a way to feed Kevin Garnett, get more out of Jason Terry, bench

04.21.13 at 2:08 pm ET
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NEW YORK — The Celtics didn’t practice Sunday. Instead, they hunkered down in a suite inside the Four Seasons Hotel in midtown Manhattan to go over the ugly details of their 85-78 loss to the Knicks in Game 1 Saturday afternoon.

Specifically, what happened in the final 13 minutes, 40 seconds when they scored exactly eight points.

Part of the issue, admitted coach Doc Rivers, was not efficiently feeding Kevin Garnett, and forcing it to him when he wasn’t open, leading to the avalanche of turnovers that led to their demise.

‘€œI thought, from an offensive standpoint, I didn’€™t have a lot of different opportunities,” Garnett said. “Obviously, I had shots and stuff. Some went down, some didn’€™t. But I try not to let that predicate things or my level of play. I thought I moved the ball very well, got other guys open, was able to rebound obviously, trying to be as much of a force as I can on defense. In Game 2, I’€™d like to be a little more aggressive, obviously, but being consistent with the overall game.’€

For the first time in his career, Jason Terry was held scoreless in a playoff game. But Terry was far from alone on an unproductive Boston bench. To Rivers, it was a case of something he likes to call “hero-ball” – where the ball stagnates and teammates watch as one player tries to generate something all by himself.

‘€œWe didn’€™t do a good job with Terry [Saturday], especially in the second half, there were so many [isolations] that Jason has nothing to do with,” Rivers said. “In the first half, Jason didn’€™t score, but we ran that play with the pick-and-roll with him and Paul. We scored five times in a row because of Jason Terry’€™s involvement, so I don’€™t actually look at if he scored. I look at the points he created, and in the first half he created 12 points. In the second half, it was all ISOs. I mean, it’€™s not us. We’€™re not built that way.’€

Courtney Lee provided the only four points (all on free throws) as Boston’s reserves were outscored by New York’s bench, 33-4. Boston didn’t get a single field goal from their bench in the entire game.

‘€œI’€™m looking for a better overall effort, whether it’€™s the bench, whether it’€™s the starters,’€ Paul Pierce said. ‘€œThe starters, you look, me and Jeff [Green] had 12 turnovers ‘€“ just us two. We have to be better, regardless of our bench. Overall as a team, we have to be better.’€

Rivers acknowledged that he might look to shake up a bench rotation was limited solely to Terry, Jordan Crawford and Lee. Rivers said he would consider adding a big man to the rotation, either Shav Randolph or Chris Wilcox. Crawford played just 10 minutes, 46 seconds, including just over three minutes in the second half.

“I thought Jordan should have played more in the second half,” Rivers said. “It’€™s funny, he didn’€™t score, but he created baskets. And, I’€™ll tell you, he’€™s buying in defensively and if he can continue to do that, then he has a chance to help us.”

Speaking of the Four Seasons Hotel, that’s also where Rivers’ old friend Tom Thibodeau and Chicago Bulls are spending their weekend in the Big Apple. Their Saturday was even worse in Brooklyn as they were down by 25 at halftime and lost Game 1 at Barclays Center. They will play Game 2 Monday night in Brooklyn.

‘€œIt’€™s not a good hotel today,’€ Rivers said in dark humor. ‘€œTwo losing teams, I think one should leave. This was a quiet, dark hotel last night. The New York area teams didn’€™t treat the guests very well.”

While Rivers expects the Celtics to execute better in Game 2 Tuesday night, he expects the same of the Knicks, who shot just 40.5 percent and had two starters (Tyson Chandler and Chris Copeland) who went scoreless. J.R. Smith, who torched the Celtics for 32 in late March at TD Garden, made just 7-of-19 shots and finished with 15.

‘€œThey’€™re going to play better, too,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œJ.R. Smith missed a couple open 3s. [Steve] Novak didn’€™t get involved. So we have to anticipate them playing way better, and then we have to play way better. And that’€™s what, in the playoffs, you just have to anticipate that.’€

The Celtics didn’t practice Sunday but will on Monday at Madison Square Garden in advance of Game 2.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Doc Rivers, NBA playoffs
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