Jumat, 03 Mei 2013

Knicks Falter in Fourth Before Closing Out Celtics

The Knicks had blown a chance to sweep the Boston Celtics blown a clinching game at home and extended a 13 year playoff drought for another unfortunate few days. Then they nearly blew a 26 point fourth quarter lead Friday night flirting briefly with disaster before finally securing an 88 80 victory and a moment long long overdue.

The Knicks are advancing from the first round for the first time since 2000 after closing out the Celtics four games to two. They will meet the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals which open Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Pacers also advanced Friday closing out the Atlanta Hawks in six games.

There was no celebration at the final buzzer only relief a minor mission accomplished.

It s a big relief said Carmelo Anthony adding It s something that I ve been looking forward to since I came here to New York.

Anthony s arrival in 2011 was supposed to portend great things but it took three tries to take this step. There was symmetry in the moment it was the Celtics who swept the Knicks in Anthony s first postseason in New York.

Now it is the Knicks who appear ascendant having outlasted the aging Celtics in a taut defensive oriented series and earned their respect.

They can beat anybody when they play right I ll tell you that Doc Rivers said.

The Celtics who failed to make the second round for the first time since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce in 2007 are heading for an off season of potentially drastic change and the possible breakup of the Pierce Garnett tandem.

This was not the Knicks at their most efficient but they did play a smarter more balanced game Friday with Anthony serving as a decoy a word he used reluctantly while the scoring shifted to Iman Shumpert (17 points) Pablo Prigioni (14 points) and Raymond Felton (11 points). J. R. Smith began to re emerge as well scoring 13 points.

By the late fourth quarter Anthony had missed an astounding 19 straight 3 pointers a streak that began late in Game 3 but it was the 20th attempt that mattered most. After the Celtics cut the 26 point deficit to 4 Anthony turned them back with two huge shots a 12 footer and finally a 3 pointer extending the lead to 84 75 and effectively snuffing the rally.

For him to miss all the 3s that he missed he hit the biggest one in the series Coach Mike Woodson said. And that s what counts.

The series was a grind from start to finish with the Celtics focusing all of their defensive energy on Anthony forcing him into tough shots game after game. He shot 38.1 percent over the six games and was 7 for 23 in the clincher finishing with 21 points.

Shumpert delivered the other key play of the fourth stealing the ball from Pierce with 5 minute 10 seconds to play and racing for a layup that ended a 20 0 Celtics run. The Knicks had gone 4 38 without scoring.

Shumpert tonight was their best player Rivers said.

After two poor games the Knicks revived their offense with the basics. They kept the ball moving found secondary and tertiary scoring sources and reclaimed the all for one identity that carried them through the regular season.

Five Knicks scored in double figures and they made 9 of 21 shots from 3 point range. Woodson tightened the rotation relying primarily on six players for much of the night until the game and the series were secure.

The Celtics fought valiantly but they sorely missed Rajon Rondo their star point guard who has been out since January and their offense was dismal throughout. With their postseason on the line Friday the Celtics shot 38.1 percent missed seven free throws and committed 20 turnovers many of them unforced.

Articles Source here

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar

Copyright 2013 Pengiriman Murah | Ekspedisi Murah- All Rights Reserved