Make or break weekend for Celtics at Garden

The Celtics need to bottle up Carmelo Anthony if they hope to get back into the series. (Getty Images)
The Celtics need to bottle up Carmelo Anthony if they hope to get back into the series. (Getty Images)

The majority of Celtics backers wanted to see the Knicks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Nobody wanted the Heat, for obvious reasons, and not many wanted the Pacers.

The Knicks were thought to be the C’s best chance. After all, typical playoff duds Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith lead them, and the team never exactly played great defense.

Perhaps the C’s could swing the home-court advantage their way, and cruise to the second round. All that has now come to a screeching halt.

Here’s the reality: Boston goes into Friday’s Game 3 in a must-win scenario down 0-2 in the series. They don’t have a choice but to click, and Kevin Garnett knows it.

“When you’re down 0-2 to a good team that’s playing really well, that has a rhythm, desperation is definitely in play,” Garnett told reporters Thursday. “We can’t afford to think otherwise. This is it. We cannot go down 0-3 to any team, I feel like in the postseason. It’d be a very difficult situation to put yourself in.”

The C’s deserve the hole they find themselves in. The Knicks have done something in both games that Boston hasn’t – played four quarters of basketball.

In Game 1, Boston scored just 25 points in the second half – a then new Celtics playoff low for a half in the shot clock era. How did they follow that up? By breaking that record and scoring just 23 points in Game 2’s second half, yet another blown second-half lead.

Without a true point guard, the C’s seem to be running around like chickens without heads. What’s worse, their “big” lineup featuring Jeff Green hasn’t worked out. Since the 2nd half of Game 1, Green is a combined 4-16 for 16 points and six rebounds. But he’s not the only poor performer.

“Well, we’ve come out flat twice [in the second half],” Rivers told reporters. “I don’t know why that is. But they put a lot of pressure on us … They scored a ton of points, 32 in the third quarter. We took the ball out and they pressured us.”

Replacing Green with Courtney Lee doesn’t seem like an option either, as Doc Rivers has elected to play Jordan Crawford ahead of Lee off the bench.

That highlights an issue that has plagued Boston for most of the season: inconsistency.

There’s plenty still to sort out – but Boston is running out of time.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.