Game 4: Celtics 97 Knicks 90

“Those damn Celtics”

 Shump

Oh well. I couldn’t whip out my limited edition autographed Wicked Witch of The West broom to celebrate a Knicks sweep on the arch rival Celtics. Everyone that watched this game had their beats per minute go through the roof in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and in overtime. Even if you took a whole bottle of Lipitor (I advise you not to do that), it still couldn’t have controlled the high blood pressure. The Knicks offense played like the Celtics offense from the last three games in the first half; one colossal hot, steamy turd was dropped on them from the rafters. Somehow, they were only down by 5 at the end of the first quarter. The game was very 90s-esque; sloppy, sluggish basketball was played and it was really documented in the first half, as the Knicks shot 29% from the field, along with an abysmal 20% from downtown, as well as committing 12 turnovers, more than their average 11.8 a game from this season. The Knicks didn’t gain the lead until Raymond Felton hit a jumper with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter, which explained the struggle within the Knicks: Gaining the lead. The reoccurring comeback gene that happened several times in the regular season was happening in the playoffs. The Knicks had a chance to capitalize in the final minute of the fourth quarter after Tyson tipped out™ an offensive rebound, which resulted in a Melo pull up three, in what was their final possession before Paul Pierce took the final shot that everyone thought was going to be drained because its Paul freakin’ Pierce, and missed, en route to overtime.

Overtime went something like this: That son of a gun Jason Terry scored 9 of the Celtics 13 overtime points. Essentially, Doc Rivers designed overtime to be Jason Terry 2011 style (pffft). Terry morphed back into his “Jet” alter ego from his pre-Monstar alter ego, “horse carriage.” He was literally deemed as useless because of his ineffectual game 1. So much for that, right? Terry then started to fly like an airplane because screw em trying to be a Boeing 757 poser. More notes:

  • Raymond Felton complimented his outstanding game 3 performance with another outstanding performance today, in which he anchored the offense so well that I button mashed my keyboard to a pulp. Actually, that tweet was from when he hit a J.R-like shot (more on J.R later)  from Portland (sorry, Blazer fans) to end the third quarter. Ray is continuing to have a fantastic series. His brilliant performance was wasted in some sense, but it probably means that Mike Woodson will trust him handling the ball even more than before. This series is a testament to how well Ray has been playing The high pick and rolls he ran with Tyson Chandler were working incredibly well; they finally found each other in the second quarter, but then it was stalled by the horrific reverting of Melo iso, which is how the offense was ran for the lion’s share of the game, unfortunately.    
  • howard beck
  • The tweet from Howard Beck above summated Carmelo Anthony’s first half performance perfectly, although last year against the Heat, he didn’t really have anyone around him to trust. Other than that, Melo reminisced his old self by running a crap ton of wing isos that made me want to gag (I gagged a lot). Melo started out 0-6, contributing to the Knicks 4-14 start, and ended the first half shooting 3-15 from the field because of, as Beck mentioned, forced shots. But lets not blame Melo for everything; the Celtics were actually converting shots, something that has been oblivious for basically the whole series, hence scoring under 80 points in all of those three games. When Melo was benched in the third quarter, that is where the Knicks woke up and started moving the ball around again (WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE NOVEMBER) with a three guard rotation consisting of Ray, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni. The overwhelming amount of isos were killing the offensive flow. However, Melo made up for the ghastly, god awful shooting game with free throw output by bullying the bejesus out of Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett, shooting 16-20 from the charity stripe. Bass eventually fouled out, while KG and Jeff Green were in heavy foul trouble. Despite the gimmie-your-lunch-money free throw performance, 10-35 is not what anyone would call a good shooting night by any means.
  • Tyson Chandler had 6 offensive rebounds (11 in total), prevented Paul Pierce from making the potential game-winning three, and complained about foul calls too much. This led me to thinking that his apparent neck whiplash was gone. Something I have mentioned on Twitter lately is that Tyson complains WAY too much about calls. I’m sure you have noticed it, but its barely been addressed in any instance. He really needs to stop crying about calls, as well as the team as a whole. Whatever.
  • Iman Shumpert had himself a very nice game, recording a double-double (12-10), and had a couple of awesome steals that catapulted the Knicks right back into the game in the second half. Shump’s shooting was shaky, though, but he made shots when the Knicks needed them.
  • Somehow, Quentin Richardson got 3 minutes of run. He took two shots. The end result: He missed both of them, and got stuffed by the rim going for a layup. We can jump to conclusions immediately; Q-Rich was one, hefty fart noise that stunk up the whole family household. Also, Terrence Williams checked in. ALL OF THE MAYANS.
  • Pablo Prigioni may have had an offensively inept game, but he tallied up 4 cases of “Grand Theft Prigs.” He had 5 steals in game 3. At one point, Mike Breen starting spitting some Def Poetry Jam lines by saying Prigs was “like a gnat at a barbecue” because of how irking he is to opposing team offenses, the Celtics in this case. Surprisingly, that simile wasn’t applied to Raymond Felton.
  • Look, the officiating crews have been crap, but if you think that they should be given full blame, then you must be delusional. Yes, there were some horrific calls throughout the game. But for a team that finished shooting 34% from the field, excessively using the refs as an excuse is getting very annoying. Quite frankly, it doesn’t make any sense.
  • Someone should hire J.R as a hitman to, um, you know, sucker punch Jason Terry? Just kidding. I don’t want J.R to get suspended again, obviously. Terry went “Any Given Sunday” on Pablo Prigioni by shoulder-blocking him, and he wasn’t called for a flagrant. That’s where the refs really screwed up. It was perfectly necessary to blame the refs for that one. Anyways, the second quarter is where the Knicks dearly missed J.R. The largest margin the Knicks trailed by was 20 points. Melo’s shooting stroke was clearly out of sorts, and Raymond Felton was being relied on to score. The Boston nightlife may have gotten a sucker punch last night. But at least we know that we didn’t need J.R to propel back into the game in the latter, as well as forcing an overtime.

The Knicks will be fine. I’m staying with my Knicks-in-5 prediction I stated prior to the series. The Celtics just took advantage of everything today, whether it was the turnovers or just plain scoring when the points were heavily needed. Hopefully on Wednesday, the Knicks can pull off a gentleman’s sweep.

Follow James on Twitter @j_griff