Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Night We All Lost Any Remaining Hope In The Celtics This Season
It is going to be a very short stay in the 2013 NBA playoffs for the Celtics. Boston lost 90-76 in Game 3 to New York tonight at TD Garden, giving the Knicks a 3-0 series lead in the first round series with the chance to sweep the Celts on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m., ABC).
Boston has still yet to crack 80 points in a game as their half-court offense without Rajon Rondo is gone. Ironically, their defense has been good enough to win for most teams (holding NY to 90 or less in each game) but when you haven't topped 78 points, you won't win any games in the postseason.
Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 26 points, Raymond Felton added 15 points and 10 assists while J.R. Smith notched 15 points off the bench. The only real intrigue to Game 4, since the outcome feels like a forgone conclusion already, is whether Smith will play since he was ejected in the fourth quarter after catching Jason Terry (14 points) with an elbow in the face.
Jeff Green led the C's with 21 points and nine rebounds, Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 17 rebounds and Paul Pierce put up 17 points and five assists. The problem for Boston (among many other issues) is a lack of depth. I'd say that getting only 12 total points from the rest of the team in Game 3 would be tough to overcome. Green, KG & Pierce have been OK in this series, the problem is that nobody else can consistently help them. Avery Bradley is a puddle, Courtney Lee barely plays and Brandon Bass is also MIA. Yeesh.
I'm certainly not rooting for it but nothing happened tonight to make me change my mind that I feel like the Knicks will end this in four painful games. We knew it at the time that Rondo went down the knee injury that this season was going nowhere fast. However, the Celtics found a way to play decent for a while which gave us some false hope that they could turn it on in the postseason and make this a competitive series at the very least. Not so much, New York has been the better team by a mile and Boston can't get out of their own way without puking on their sneakers.
UPDATE 4/28: Smith was suspended for Game 4.