Home > Boston Celtics > Celtics take game 2 in dramatic fashion, lead series 2-0

Celtics take game 2 in dramatic fashion, lead series 2-0

1st Half

Before the game started, Chauncey Billups was officially ruled out. This is a huge blow for the Knicks, who are relying on him to get this team further into the playoffs. The first quarter was a back-and forth battle. Boston controlled the early stages, but the Knicks were able to go on an 8-0 run to end the 1st. The Celtics game-plan was get the ball to Rondo. He appeared to be the only Celtic who could score. Rondo had 14 points in the 1st alone. The Celtics took a huge blow though, when Jermaine O’Neal left with 3:44 left in the 1st quarter. Boston would take a 23-21 lead into the 2nd. The Knicks went on a 13-1 run to start the 2nd, but Amare Stoudemire was 0-6. He is somebody who has to score if the Knicks have any chance of winning. With 7:00 to go in the second, Jermaine O’Neal came back into the game. He had an apparent wrist injury, as his wrist was wrapped up tight. The second quarter became the Rondo and Anthony show. They were the only two who could score for their respective teams. Rondo had 18 points in the 1st half, and Carmelo had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics bench is being outscored 15-7.

2nd Half

Amare Stoudemire was out with back spasms in the 3rd, and he did not return to the game. That was a huge blow for the Knicks. Yes, Anthony is lighting up the scoreboard, but they need Amare if they want to close this game out. Pierce had some huge blocks in the 3rd, and Ray Allen started to come to life, hitting 4 of 4 from 3-point range. The Knicks looked awful late in the 3rd. They couldn’t hit any shots, and went over three minutes without a FG towards the end of the quarter. Boston took a 74-68 lead at the end of the 3rd, and it looked like this game was over. Rondo was leading the team with 22 points, and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce came to life with 18 and 16 respectively. The bench was providing nothing, but they were only taking on Carmelo Anthony. He was the only Knick who could score. New York started strong in the 4th. They were able to close the gap to 74-70. The Knicks eventually tied the game, and took the lead 78-76 on a 15-2 run. Anthony had the entire Knicks team on his back, and was doing a great job of getting them back into what had seemed like a done game. With 2:35 to go, Anthony nailed a huge 3-pointer to give him 42 points. New York took a 91-88 lead in the 4th. Pierce drove to the basket, and was fouled. He hit both his free throws to make it a one point game. New York set up in the Boston zone. A pass attempt was blocked, and picked up by Ray Allen. He got the ball to Rondo, who slowed the play down. He passed back to Pierce. With 1:14 to go, KG gets a huge dunk on a nice feed from Pierce. Boston now took a one point lead. But would there D hold it? On a crazy possession by the Knicks, including a missed lay-up by Mason, Jeffries eventually got the ball and put in a lay-up around Garnett. Knicks took a one point lead, 93-92. With 19.3 seconds on the clock, Garnett got the ball, and laid up a hook shot. He drained it, and now Boston was up 94-93. With 13.3 remaining, Mason inbounded and had it passed back to him. Mason got it to Anthony, who instead of shooting, passed it to Jeffries. He had a wide open lane, turned to pass, and KG got in his way. Garnett blocked the pass, and recovered it inbounds. On the floor Garnett was calling for a time-out. The ref came over to KG, and instead of calling a jump ball he looked at Garnett, and then gave him the time-out. That would all but end it for the Knicks. On the inbound to West, he was eventually fouled with just .6 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws, giving the Knicks one last heave. It missed horribly, and the Celtics took game 2 96-93.

Post-Game Breakdown

In a hard-fought game, the Celtics were able to take game 2, 96-93. Neither team looked good early. Boston lost Jermaine O’Neal, although he did come back. Boston also got nothing from their bench. Rondo was basically their whole offense in the 1st half. I don’t mind him scoring a lot, but the rest of the team needed to get involved. Rondo ended the night with 30 points (career high) to lead the Celtics, along with 4 rebounds and 7 assists. New York had only one scorer as well, and that was Carmelo Anthony. He had 42 points to tie his playoff career high. Losing Stoudemire in the 2nd half was huge for this Knicks team. New York could have possibly won the game if he was in the game for the final possession. I would imagine that he would have hit the lane if he were in Jeffries position, and made the bucket. The 3rd period looked like the Celtics would easily run away with this game. But the Knicks came out very aggressive in the 4th. Melo was hitting everything, and it looked like he was going to win this game single-handedly. It was incredible to watch the lead evaporate for Boston. Boston can make a lot of improvements off of this game. They were out-rebounded 53-37, with plenty of offensive rebounds for New York. The Celtics still look like their missing something inside. If Stoudemire possibly gets back for game 3, the Knicks will dominate the inside. They need to do something about that, but I don’t know if they have any answers. Although, if Amare is out for game 3 or more, then Boston could wrap this series up in 4. Going into game 3, Boston looks in good shape to win the series. I think New York will win game 3, but look for the Knicks to come out flat in game 4 as a result. I think Boston will win this series in 5, possibly 6. For the Celtics to make a long run in the playoffs though, they need to improve their inside prescience, and get a better performance from their bench.

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