The Knicks were without Latrell Spreewell, who had too much punch on the high seas. Turns out this game was uglier than his attitude. In a game that was repeatedly described as "sloppy" and "really bad", and was really, really long for a game with no overtime, the Celtics battled the Knicks to a halftime lead of 51-45. There were so many fouls, the referees had to dip the whistles in cold water to keep from burning their lips. The turnover situation, notably with Paul Pierce, was also not good. Pierce sounded like he had something to prove after the very disappointing World Championships. Unfortunately, he was often barrelling to the hoop a tad out of control. This wasn't his night at all.
Yes, the Celtics are still launching threes at will. *sigh*
Without Spree, the Knicks were back to their old style of play--lots of defensive zone slowdown/let's platoon foul the other team approach. Unfortunately, if your opponent starts successfully shooting threes..like Shammond Williams..it doesn't always work so well.
On the Knicks side, Charlie Ward kept penetrating the defense--two cookies says that Coach O'Brien yells at the C's about that tomorrow.
There were some bright spots--a dunk from Kedrick Brown, a great move to the hoop by Sundov, and Walker had a couple of nice shots--INSIDE!! (yay)
The third quarter ended with the Celtics extending their lead to 76-68, as Vin Baker hit double figures in scoring.
The first several baskets of the 4th quarter for the C's were scored by Tony Delk until JR Bremer went in for an uncontested layup; as the C's went on a run, forcing a NY timeout.
The parade to the foul line continued in the game that simply wouldn't end. Both teams spent a lot of time working on their free throws, as shooting percentages from the floor for both teams stayed comfortably below 40%.
Some more turnovers let New York close the gap a bit as the game entered the last 5 minutes, down to a 7 point difference. Then Pierce got fouls and shot the Technical made against New York. A minute later, the Knicks' frustration got the better of them and resulted in another "T".
Kurt Thomas of New York was having the same kind of night as Pierce, which was good for us, as he had a lot of opportunities to score.
Eric Williams finally put the game away with a three to put the Good Guys up by 10 points, 97-89.
As the final seconds finally wound down, Delk nailed a three, to officially let the C's average 25 points each quarter, which was amazing given how sloppy the game was.
The final score was 100-91, as the Celtics mercifully put an end to the game. We're now 1-0 in the preseason. Next game on Thursday night.
The fact is, this was basically a chance to try working out the bugs in the game plan. Somebody needs to order a case of "Raid".
And that's the view from the doghouse.
Snoopy the Celtics Beagle
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