Boston Celtics vs. NY Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Michael PinaFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2013

Boston Celtics vs. NY Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The Boston Celtics were woefully bad on offense in the fourth quarter, scoring just eight points. It showed on the final tally, with the New York Knicks winning by a score of 85-78.

    Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points on 29 shots and the Celtics had 20 turnovers. They also received no production from their bench, which went 0-for-7 from the floor. 

    New York now leads Boston 1-0 in their seven-game series. 

Point Guards: Avery Bradley and Raymond Felton

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    Avery Bradley

    Bradley picked up two fouls in his first eight minutes, but not before knocking down a corner three, which is huge for him and the Celtics. 

    In the second quarter he showed why he might be the best off-ball cutting point guard in basketball, making three straight baskets at the rim. 

    Bradley finished with 15 points, four turnovers (can someone teach him how to throw an entry pass?), three steals and four assists.

    Grade: B

    Raymond Felton

    With Boston's help defenders staying home on the perimeter, Felton scored quickly on an uncontested layup, then knocked down a jumper that also sent him to the free-throw line. 

    He finished with 13 points and six assists in a team-high 43 minutes. 

    Grade: B

Shooting Guards: Paul Pierce and Iman Shumpert

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    Paul Pierce

    Boston began the game going to Paul Pierce in the post, taking advantage of his size matchup with Shumpert.

    He was quietly the reason Boston stayed in the game early on. His shot wasn't accurate at all throughout the game, but Pierce influenced other areas, taking charges and registering as the Celtics' best playmaker off the dribble. 

    He finished with 21 points and seven assists. Unfortunately, it took Pierce 15 shots to tally that many points, and he went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

    Grade: B

    Iman Shumpert

    Shumpert was one of only three players in the game to play the entire first quarter, but all he had to show for it was a three-pointer. 

    He picked up four fouls in the first three quarters and struggled against Paul Pierce. 

    Grade: D

Small Forwards: Jeff Green and Carmelo Anthony

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    Jeff Green

    In the latter half of the first quarter, Green did a phenomenal job cooling down a red hot Carmelo Anthony. He also chipped in with eight points in his first 12 minutes (he didn't sit in the first quarter), and a three-pointer at the buzzer. 

    He finished the first half with 20 points on 10 shots, but scored just six points in the second half, disappearing when Boston needed him most. 

    Grade: B

    Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony began the game on an absolute tear, making his first four shots and scoring 10 of New York's first 12 points. 

    His efficiency cooled down considerably, but he still managed to score a game-high 36 points on 29 shots. Anthony didn't record an assist until the game's final minute. 

    Grade: B

Power Forwards: Brandon Bass and Chris Copeland

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    Brandon Bass

    Bass did a fantastic job covering Carmelo Anthony on the perimeter, moving his feet and hands with unexpected quickness.

    He also grabbed 10 rebounds, but attempted only two shots (both went in). 

    Grade: B-

    Chris Copeland

    With Pablo Prigioni out with an injury, Chris Copeland was inserted into the starting lineup for the first playoff game of his career. 

    He looked how you might expect, air-balling his first shot and doing absolutely nothing in 13 minutes. 

    Grade: F

Centers: Kevin Garnett and Tyson Chandler

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    Kevin Garnett

    Garnett made his first two jumpers and played 37 grueling defensive minutes. He grabbed nine rebounds, but after scoring those first two shots, he went cold the rest of the way, finishing with eight points on 12 attempts. 

    The Celtics will need more out of him on offense if they hope to get more efficient looks.  

    Grade: C+

    Tyson Chandler

    Tyson Chandler is probably still hurt. He went scoreless in just 20 minutes, grabbing five rebounds and attempting no shots. 

    That time was enough to pick up a technical foul for shoving Kevin Garnett after the whistle, though. 

    Grade: D

Sixth Men: Jason Terry and J.R. Smith

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    Jason Terry

    Without needing to look up his career numbers, this was the worst playoff game Jason Terry has ever played. 

    As a wet rug off Boston's bench, he scored zero points, missing all five of his shots, with four of them wide open behind the three-point line. 

    Grade: F

    J.R. Smith

    A relatively disappointing effort for Smith, who's line wasn't that awful (15 points on 7-of-19 shooting), but he missed six of his seven three-point attempts and appeared to be out of control on more than one drive to the basket. 

    This wasn't the same J.R. Smith we've seen the past two months, and New York will need that version back if they want to make quick work of Boston. 

    Grade: C

Bench

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    Celtics

    Nothing much to write about Boston's bench because I'm pretty sure they didn't play. Courtney Lee's four made free throws made up all the bench's points, and apart from that, nothing good happened. 

    Lee also saved a loose ball beneath his own basket late in the game, leading to an and-1 layup by Kenyon Martin. Just a gross effort all the way around. 

    Grade: F

    Knicks

    Jason Kidd came in and changed the game, knocking down two of his first threes in the second quarter, then playing extremely well on the defensive end throughout the second half. 

    He had three steals and eight points in an uncommon 35 minutes. 

    Kenyon Martin was great on the boards, where he grabbed nine rebounds (and scored 10 points) in 28 big minutes filling in for a hobbled Tyson Chandler. 

    Grade: B+