Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis
When the New York Knicks are making three-pointers, they're basically an unbeatable basketball team. That's what happened in their 108-89 win over the Boston Celtics, as they went 14-of-27 from behind the line to go along with 31 free-throw attempts.
The Celtics gave up 65 points in the first half, their highest this season. The Knicks shot an incredible 11-of-16 from behind the three-point line in the game's first 24 minutes, including a half-court heave from Raymond Felton at the halftime buzzer.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 24 points, while Jeff Green and Paul Pierce combined to score 51 for Boston.
Point Guards: Avery Bradley and Ray Felton
Bradley didn't score in the first half. He also picked up three fouls (one that drew the ire of Doc Rivers and resulted in a technical foul).
By the end of it, Bradley's production was nonexistent. He didn't score his first points until the game was a blowout with four minutes to go, and he ended up fouling out in the final minutes.
Five of Felton's 12 first-half points came in the final few seconds when he knocked down two free-throws before sinking a ridiculous half-court shot at the buzzer.
He finished with 18 points and one turnover in 31 minutes of action.
Shooting Guards: Paul Pierce and Pablo Prigioni
Pierce did a solid job taking advantage of the noticeable size advantage he had on offense, going to the post and setting up teammates whenever the Knicks doubled him.
On the glass, Pierce was terrific, pulling down an awesome 15 rebounds. Unfortunately, his teammates were nowhere to be found on the offensive end.
He finished with 24 points on 16 shots.
Prigioni knocked down an open three-pointer early on and did a good job holding his own on the other end despite being outmatched a good deal in both size and weight.
He finished with three points on four shots.
Small Forwards: Jeff Green and Iman Shumpert
Green began the game by knocking down his first mid-range jumper, finishing strong with his left hand and drawing a foul. He was huge throughout the first half, scoring 16 points on nine shots.
At times, he looked like an elite NBA scorer, which we've learned from watching him this season is his ceiling as a player.
Green swished three-pointers and swooped to the layup for impressive finishes. He finished with 27 points on just 14 shots.
Shumpert showed off some serious range in the game's opening minutes, knocking down his first two three-point attempts.
On the defensive end, he was forced to guard bigger guys like Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, which resulted in two quick fouls. He finished with 10 points.
Power Forwards: Brandon Bass and Carmelo Anthony
In his first 17 minutes of action, Bass went 1-of-4 from the floor, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds. With no post game to speak of, he couldn't take advantage of New York's lack of size.
Statistically, those are the numbers he finished the game with after another five minutes of listless play.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 18 points in the first half (on 15 shots). He was more than a handful to deal with from everywhere, hitting three-pointers and mid-range shots.
He picked up his fourth foul on a wild drive to the basket just four minutes into the third quarter, though. By the time he came back, New York's lead was large enough where it didn't need him.
Anthony finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Centers: Chris Wilcox and Kenyon Martin
With the opposing team going small at the beginning of the game, Wilcox was only able to attempt (and make) one shot in his first eight-minute stint.
His work on the defensive end was awful in the second half, and Chris Copeland absolutely destroyed him on multiple occasions.
Martin's defense was on display early when he rotated across the lane to swat Jeff Green's shot into the third row. (Green knocked down a three-pointer seconds later.)
Later on in the first half, Martin left the game with an abdominal injury. He returned briefly in the second half, but left again with the same injury.
Martin had three points and four rebounds in 23 minutes of action.
Sixth Men: Jason Terry and J.R. Smith
Terry was able to knock down a few shots early on, but finished 1-of-5 from behind the three-point line. He scored eight points, but was largely ineffective in the 21 minutes he played.
In the second quarter, Smith basically took over the game, scoring eight points in his first 11 minutes of action. He mostly got to the basket instead of settling for jumpers, too.
Smith catalyzed New York's offense whenever he was on the court, and his 15 points felt like a lot more. He also had 12 rebounds.
Courtney Lee showed his ankle appears to be fine, finishing twice at the rim in transition, including one thunderous alley-oop and a beautiful back cut that was assisted by Jordan Crawford.
Speaking of Crawford, that playmaking ability was on full display early on with a couple assists.
Chris Copeland couldn't miss in the second quarter, making his first three shots (two of them from behind the three-point line). He finished with 22 points in 20 minutes and lived at the free-throw line.
New York's hot shooting extended to just about everyone else, with Steve Novak making his first two three-pointers as well. He finished with 10 points.