1 Total Update since April 13, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
With seven members of their regular rotation sidelined, the C's still had enough to beat their soon-to-be playoff opponents, using career nights from Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic to beat New York, 112-102. Pavlovic scored 19 points and hit 4-of-5 from long distance in 35 minutes off the bench while Bradley, seeing extensive time at the point due to the absence of both Rajon Rondo and Delonte West, put in 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting, along with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes. The C's led by just two after three quarters but ran away in the fourth, leading by as many as 16 before cruising to victory and finishing up at 56-26.
The Knicks, who will return to TD Garden for Game 1 of their first round playoff series with the Celts on Sunday, rested Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, but gave their other star, Amare Stoudemire, some run after the big man had missed their last three games with an ankle sprain. Stoudemire hoisted 15 shots in just 20 minutes, making six of them and ending up with 14 points and four rebounds. Rookie guard Landry Fields led the Knicks with 18 points and seven boards, while former Celtic Bill Walker started and chipped in 12 points in 24 minutes.
Nenad Krstic, who will likely be coming off the bench once the games matter again, started on Wednesday and 13 points to go with six rebounds. It's expected that Shaquille O'Neal will be available for Game 1 on Sunday, as will Jermaine O'Neal, who was one of the spectators on Wednesday. Game 1 will be played at 7 p.m. EDT, on Sunday and can be seen on TNT.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Are you ready for some exhibition basketball?
Okay, it may be a regular season game, technically. But with the Celtics and Knicks wrapping up their schedules Wednesay night at 7:30 p.m. EDT, on Comcast Sports Net New England, and on course to meet in the first round of the playoffs (Game 1 will be played on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at TD Garden), anyone expecting to see much out of stars like Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen (not to mention New York All-Stars, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire) will likely wind up disappointed.
Instead, at least for the Celtics, the game plan will likely be scripted around auditioning some of the reserves for the final spots on the playoff roster. Guys like Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic and Avery Bradley will probably get some big run Wednesday night in an attempt to showcase to coach Doc Rivers whether they can make a difference come Sunday.
Another subplot for the C's will be the backup point guard spot. Oft-injured Delonte West sprained his ankle once again in Monday night's loss to the Wizards, bringing Carlos Arroyo back into the forefront. Arroyo played 30 minutes in Washington, and put up seven points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals and will probably see similar minutes Wednesday night. Additionally, Jeff Green and Jermaine O'Neal, both of whom started on Monday and produced their best statistical nights in a Celtics uniform (Green: 20 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals in 47 minutes; O'Neal: 15 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks in 37 minutes).
The C's, 9-11 over their last 20 games, have not lost at home to the Knicks (42-39) since Nov. 24, 2006. The Knicks, who will make their first postseason appearance since 2004, are hot, having won seven before falling to the East's top seed Chicago on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. Anthony in particular has been rolling of late, averaging 30.3 points on 49 percent shooting in his last nine games.