Celtics expect ’Melo to return to All-Star form

After a strong second quarter in Game 1, Carmelo Anthony went just 1 for 11 in the second half, and failed to hit the potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.

"A great player like Carmelo, you can’t anticipate him shooting the ball the way he did last game,” Paul Pierce said. “At the end of the day, our awareness still has to be where he is on the court. Just like most scorers’ mentality when they don’t shoot the ball, they really come in aggressive the next game.”

The Celtics do have to worry about Melo’s eventual comeback, but not as much as they should be worrying about Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire looked like a man among boys out there at times, but he was quiet in the closing minutes.

Many question why Anthony didn’t find Stoudemire and his hot hand – it was because he wasn’t open. The Celtics finally did what they had set out to do in defending Stoudemire, and hope to keep that up tonight.

“We were shading him way too hard in the fourth quarter instead of playing him square,” Doc Rivers said. “When we started doing that, and then we tried to deny the catches on the elbow – that was the game plan – we put more pressure on the ball so they couldn’t throw it to Amar’e easier. If Amar’e gets catches in his spot, just like if Paul [Pierce] gets catches in his spot, he’ll beat a good defense.”


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