Heading into Boston up 2-0 for what promised to be an emotional Game 3, the New York Knicks did what good teams are supposed to do in that situation- deliver the knockout blow.
As the Knicks prepare to close this first-round series out Sunday afternoon, we will look back at this series and remember the outstanding effort from the Knicks defense as that has been the difference maker.
But looking more closely has the difference been the Knicks D or just a bad Boston Celtics offense?
The numbers in this series show the Knicks dominance.
Boston has averaged only 75 points per game during the series, which is hard to do for an NBA team. They’ve made only 81-of-205 (39.5 percent) of their field goal attempts and have made only 16-of-58 (27.5 percent) of their attempts from behind the arc.
That’s the Knicks shutting a team down.
But give the Celtics some credit here for being bad. Sure the Knicks have been great at the defensive end of the floor, but the Celtics offense stinks right now. They’ve had open looks in this series. They’ve just failed to knock shots down.
Boston executed offensively in the first halves of the first two games in the series, but they have been pretty brutal from that point on. The Knicks defense has a lot to do with that, but not everything.
So is great defense or bad offense telling the story of this series?
It’s likely a combination of both.
But with that being said, you can’t take anything away from what the Knicks have done this series.
Sure Paul Pierce and Jeff Green have both averaged over 18 points per game, but they haven’t been big points and you can live with that. After Pierce and Green, no other Celtics player is making an impact.
Kevin Garnett is averaging only 10.7 points in the series and no other Celtics player is even chipping in eight points per game.
The loss of Rajon Rondo certainly hurts Boston’s cause, but overall the Celtics are a team that’s out of gas and doesn’t have enough weapons.
With that being said, the Knicks have done exactly what they should have done and that’s pounce on the Celtics and take control of the series.
I will let you make the call on whether or not it is good defense or bad offense, but either way I’m happy with the results.
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