By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Game 6 Post Game Recap
Final Score: New York Knicks: 88 Boston Celtics: 80
The Knicks have finally ended their 13 year draught and have advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a hard-fought series against the Boston Celtics. The Knicks experienced almost everything a team can in a playoff series and will hopefully put this to use as a lesson heading deeper into the playoffs against better teams. The Knicks almost squandered a big lead in the game tonight becoming complacent after going up 26 points in the fourth quarter. The Knicks will take on the Indiana Pacers in the second round as they advanced past the Atlanta Hawks tonight as well and will get that series underway Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
- It was a pretty balanced attack tonight for the Knicks who had five players score in double figures tonight. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 21 points, with Iman Shumpert scoring 17, Pablo Prigioni getting 14, J.R. Smith scoring 13 off the bench and Raymond Felton adding 11. It was a struggle for the Knicks to score at times, but the Knicks were able to knock down some three pointers tonight, having their best shooting night from long range, going nine of 21, good for 42.9 percent. They were also effective when going to foul line, knocking down 13 of 16 attempts, equaling 81.3 percent.
- The Knicks were able to control the boards tonight in large part to Tyson Chandler, who finally looks to be rounding into shape after missing a big chunk of games to end the regular season, missing 16 of the last 20. Tonight the Knicks outrebounded the Celtics 42-35 led by 12 from Chandler and seven each from Anthony and Smith in supporting roles on the glass. Shumpert chipped in six of his own as well, as Felton grabbed five to give support to Chandler. Surprisingly, Kenyon Martin did not grab a rebound in the game tonight in his 17 minutes of playing time.
- Shumpert was huge tonight for the Knicks if it was not evident enough from the above sections. In addition to the 17 points and six rebounds, Shumpert added one assist and stifling defense all night that resulted in two steals and one block. One of the steals Shumpert had put an end to the Celtics comeback and righted the ship for the Knicks in the fourth quarter as his steal of Paul Pierce led to an easy fast break layup. Shumpert provided timely shot making as well throughout the game and was a catalyst in the Knicks getting such a big lead with a couple of three pointers near the end of the third quarter. His defense throughout the series on Pierce and Jeff Green was one reason the Knicks will be advancing in the playoffs.
- Anthony’s stat line isn’t the greatest one he has had, as he made only seven of 23 shots from the field, but he made them when they counted most for the Knicks. With the game slipping away in the fourth quarter Anthony showed how much having a go-to superstar can help as he put the Knicks offense on his back once again and scored the last seven points of the game for the Knicks, including a dagger three pointer with under two minutes left. He did not miss a free throw in the game and that three pointer ended a streak of 18 straight misses for Anthony. He also added five assists tonight in addition to two steals and one block.
- Prigioni jump started the Knicks offense tonight with his aggressiveness to start the game. Prigioni was not being respected by the Celtics defenders and he let it fly effectively in the first quarter, knocking down four three pointers in the opening 12 minutes. Prigioni added five rebounds and three assists as well making for a solid complete game for the 35-year old NBA rookie. He plays an important part in the Knicks success as he is willing to make the extra pass and as he showed today is capable of knocking down jumpers when left open.
- The defense for the Knicks tonight as a whole was outstanding. They held the Celtics to only 27 points in the first half, the lowest amount ever given up in a first half for a Knicks team in franchise history. They took their foot off the gas for the last nine minutes as the ball handling become sloppy and the intensity dropped but outside of that the defense was solid as the Celtics shot only 38.1 percent from the field for the game and 27.3 percent from long range.
- As pointed out in the last section, the overall defensive numbers for the night for the Knicks are good but that last nine minutes was excruciating. Everything that could have gone wrong did, as the Knicks offense crumbled with poor decision making and costly turnovers mixed with a lack of effective defense. The Knicks allowed the Celtics back into a game they had no business being in and ended up making the end result much closer than it should have been. That lack of mental toughness and execution cannot happen as the Knicks advance in the playoffs or they will go home earlier than hoped.
- Smith did not play as poorly as in Game 5, but his performance tonight was not as good as it could have been. For anyone that watched the game they saw the struggles Smith had on the offensive end as it seemed every possession he touched the ball ended poorly for the Knicks. He made a layup for an And-1 to ice the game for the Knicks but had a very inconsistent game tonight, testing the patience of many Knicks fans.
- Mike Woodson was able to get some of his own playoff demons off his back getting the Knicks to the second round but he has some questions to answer as well. His rotations were questionable once again as he did not do much to help slow the Celtics last ditch barrage to extend the series, sticking with the players on the court while catalysts in building the big lead in Shumpert and Prigioni sat the bench. People will also question why Chris Copeland has been glued to the bench throughout a series in which offense has been sparse. It will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Woodson makes against a more talented Pacers team in the second round.