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This is the first installment of 10 Reasons… to add a different spin to each Celtics win or loss this season.
Knicks (3-2) beat Celtics (3-2), 94-87
Box Score from NBA.com
10. Kendrick Perkins did not play. He’s gonna be a big part of the team this season, and in his place was Brian Scalibrine. Perk was supposed to help KG down low with Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph, but instead those duties were left to Scal (more on him in a second). Hey, look at the bright side: Perk didn’t have any personal fouls…
9. Scal did not have a strong game at center for the C’s. He shot 2-7 (1-5 from beyond the arc) and grabbed a whopping one rebound. Even worse, Scal registered 5 personal fouls. This is why the Celtics need a legitimate backup center. Scal doesn’t cut it at the position, he’s more suited for a small forward role. I guess you can’t blame him when he’s pressed into service.
8. The other replacement center, Leon Powe, also had a rough game, going 2-7 from the field with 5 poins and 4 rebounds. He also had a ridiculous 5 personal fouls. It’s hard to play who you want depending on the situation when your two centers get in foul trouble so early.
7. As a team, the Celtics shot just 36.4% from the field. That just won’t cut it in the NBA, especially against teams designed to take high percentage shots like the Knicks. If Isiah is smart, he centers his offense this year around PF Zach Randolph and C Eddy Curry. They are more apt to take the easy shots down low.
6. Nate Robinson had a ridiculous game off the bench, scoring 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The 5’9″ guard also grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out four assists. Little guys like this should not have games like he did. With Perk in the lineup, our size will be improved around the rim. If he spends most of his time shooting, then we need better perimeter defense from the rest of the rotation.
5. Knicks forward David Lee also had a great game off the bench, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. More importantly, Lee grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds (6 of those offensive rebounds). Adding Lee’s production on the boards with Curry and Randolph, and that’s a pretty scary lineup up front for the Knicks.
4. Starting point guard Rajon Rondo played 38 minutes, which is a good thing. The bad thing is in that those 38 minutes, Rondo only had one assist. ONE assist. Only one of his passes directly turned into Celtics points. The C’s will obviously need more production from Rondo in the assist department this season.
3. Celtics guard Ray Allen had a miserable game shooting the basketball, going 3-13 from the field and just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. While he did have 3 assists, he also had 3 turnovers. If Allen makes closer to his normal percentage of shots, then the C’s probably win this game. To top it off, KG fouled out. It definitely was a tough night for 2 members of the Big Three.
2. Zach Randolph gave a really good effort for the Knicks last night. Randolph contributed 23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a nasty 5 steals. For a change, Randolph played well defensively. He’s notorious for having more turnovers than blocks, steals, and assists combined (the Eddy Curry Line), but this game he had 7 “good” stats compared to just three turnovers. He’s gonna be a nice addition to Knicks’ frontcourt this season.
1. None of the PGA (Pierce, Garnett, Allen) scored in the fourth quarter. The Celtics entered the period down by just 5, but never could seem to get over the hump and get closer to victory. It doesn’t help when your three top projected scorers all do not score in the quarter. If they get any such production from their superstars, the C’s have a lot better chance. They will have no chance in tight games this season if Pierce, Garnett, and Allen are absent in the final frame.