Game Notes: Knicks at Celtics
Celtics win 18-straight, still searching for ‘perfect game.’
by Adam Fleischer and Sammy Newman-Beck
**Special shoutouts to Sammy who had has car stuck in the snow for an hour before the game, luckily after some curse words, kicks to the ground and pushing he made it down to the Garden.
– This Sunday was your quintessential New England winter day: A mix of snow, hail, and rain coming down from the dreary sky and slushy and icy roads that keep most indoors (unless they’re cheering for an 18th straight victory, playing in it, or covering it, of course).
– Sammy wasn’t the only one affected by the brutal weather. We hear Glen “Big Baby” Davis was in a car accident on the Mass Pike on his way to the game and was taken to the. It was reported that he suffered a concussion and whiplash. All hopes are that he is doing alright.
– Congrats to Paul Pierce, who was named “Bostonian of the Year” in Sunday’s edition of The Boston Globe Magazine.
– In his pregame media chat, the question of “Can you play any better?” was asked to Doc. He promptly replies with something along the lines of “of course.” Typical coachspeak.
– Before the game starts, we decide to check on the Cs NBDL’ers J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker. They each are doing well, more than holding their own out in Utah, with averages of 18 ppg.
– Special shout outs to Boston native Courtney Sims (Michigan) who is the second leading scorer in the D at (23 ppg) and first in rebounding (13 rpg).
– The pregame video on the big screen still gets the crowd amped! K.G. shouting uncontrollably would get most people amped, of course.
– Quentin Richardson got the nod at the starting 2 for the Knicks, who have been shuffling between Q and Nate Robinson since the little guy returned from injury.
– Wilson Chandler displayed both his versatility and a telling fact about how undersized New York is as he lined up at center court to take the jump and then was matched up with Ray Allen to start the night.
– Celtics start off hot and lead 13-3.
– Quentin Richardson hits a 3 then does his signature two handed head bang (Maybe the Knicks should bring in Darius Miles for a little reunion).
– The much-improved Kendrick Perkins drops a nice righty hook off the glass, Celts lead 17-8. He’s looking to follow up his superb 25 and 8 showing against the Bulls on Friday.
– Tim Thomas checks in for Al Harrington (where has he been)?
– Ray Shuttlesworth hits a 3 from Paul Pierce.
– The Patriot fan filled crowd erupts when they show a recent Seahawks touchdown on the jumbotron accompanied by the game’s score: Seattle 10, Jets 3 in the 4th.
– Great start for the Cs who lead 22-8 with 6:25 left in the 1st.
– Celtics dancers getting festive with Santa hats and skimpy outfits as they dance to “Jingle Bell Rock” during a timeout.
– Quentin Richardson hits another 3 to cut the lead to 24-13 with 4:50 left.
– Celtics get a little sloppy with two turnovers in a row.
– Quentin Richardson hits another 3 and has 14 points with 1:40 left in the first. He really still does the headband thing every time he hits a three?!
– Eddie House checks in and hits a 3. 38-21, Celtics, with one minute left.
– Perk takes a charge! He finishes the quarter with a formidable 8 points and 5 boards.
– At the end of the 1st quarter the Celtics are shooting 78 percent and are winning 40-21. Q does a good job showing D’Antoni made a good call starting him, as he finished the period with a game high 14.
– Both teams are 3-point happy in the first. The Celts were 4-6 while 15 of the Knicks’ 21 first period points came from beyond the arc.
– Without Big Baby, Gabe Pruitt checks in pretty early on.
– Celtics continue to break out with their shooting. Cs up 44-21 with 10 minutes left in the 2nd.
– Nate Robinson hits a 3 and looks pretty doing it.
– Brian Scalabrine gets a tough lay in for two in traffic with nine to go in the quarter. As usual, the Boston crowd goes bizerk when Brian Scalabrine gets his.
– Nate hits another quick 3.
– Nate is a better player under D’Antoni! He can really showcase his unique skill set.
– Knicks cut the lead to 49-35 off of a David Lee lay up.
– The green take a timeout with 5:57 remaining.
– Great out-of bounce play out of a timeout prompting my affirmations that Doc is a great out-of-bounds coach. (Do they have a stat of them scoring out of timeouts?)
– Scalabrine gets a dunk…When’s the last time that happened?
– Q “Head Bang” Rich hits a 2.
– Nate hits another 3 and has not missed a shot since he checked in.
– The crowd loves Scalabrine. It wasn’t long ago that he received boo’s every time he checked in. And not so long before that, he was a hated player on the rival Nets.
– Nate hits two free throws to give him 14 points in 14 minutes.
– Pierce hits a 3 from K.G. 60-45, Celtics.
– Now Chandler is guarding K.G., again a reflection of his skill set and the Knicks roster and rotation.
– Q Richardson scores at will! Another 2 gives him 18 pts.
– Malik Rose and Danlio have a good laugh at some Boston fans absolutely embarrassing themselves with wretched dance moves magnified by the jumbotron during a timeout. Hey, they got to spend their time somehow since it’s not on the court.
– Celtics show a “Rondo for All-Star” video during a timeout with 3:12 to go in half. There’s been talk of this recently, and one can certainly make the argument he’s been playing well enough, but it’ll be interesting to see if he actually gets a ticket to Phoenix.
– Nate Robinson hits another 3. He’s 5-5 with 17 points in 16 minutes.
– Chris Duhon continues his streak at the line and now has hit 40 free throws in a row, good for second all-time in Knicks history.
– Pierce hits two free throws. 64-52 one minute left in the half.
– As the half winds down, there’s a questionable travel call on Rondo during a fast break with 5 seconds to go. The Cs are lackadaisical getting back on D, allowing New York to capitalize as Duhon hits a deep three at the buzzer to complete the 5-point swing. Celtics lead, 66-58 at the half.
– The Green are shooting 68 percent and have 22 assists to 10 turnovers (too many!).
– For the Knicks, Quentin Richardson has 20 while Nate Robinson has 17 on 5-5 shooting.
– A David Lee lay up and a QRich And1 sandwich a Ray Allen 3 to make it a six-point game with a minute gone by in the period. Because they got into such a big hole in the first, the Knick need to claw their way back all game if they hope to end the Boston’s well-publicized winning streak. They seem to be on their way, in the very least, to providing a legitimate scare.
– While posting up, K.G. is called for a carry, something rarely seen in the League—especially on a superstar and a move in the low post. It looked to be the correct call, though. This was a trend for the Celts, who were plagued by turnovers all night.
– Q, who created a fire with some curious comments about the Celtics last year and decided to keep at it after the teams’ first match-up this season was hitting outside shots and banging down low, earning his second trip to the line of half with 9:30 to go, in the process forcing Pierce to the bench with his forth personal.
– After being aided by a silly Celtic foul while going up for a J, Al Harrington earns his first two points of the night with 8:30 to go in the third.
– It’s still amazing Rondo can be as good as he is at getting to the cup (five lay ups in the first 5:09 of the quarter including an And1) without having a jumper that the other team even needs to think about guarding. While he did hit one from the corner early in the night, the D lays a good five feet off of him when he’s standing on or around the three.
– Off a rebound, Perk runs the break much to the delight of the crowd, finding Tony Allen on the wing for an eventual lay in And1. Even though the play worked out, we can be sure that all in attendance are much more comfortable seeing the big guy be the beneficiary of easy put backs than leading the team down the floor.
– Q hits yet another three and Harrington adds one the next time down. The Knicks are still hanging around, trailing 89-81 with 3:00 to go.
– Leon Powe is doing his patented hustle and fight for every ball, clean up the class routine.
– After getting victimized by an Al Harrington blow by drive and a Nate Robinson fast break, Scal has impressively picked up 5 fouls in just 9 minutes of play.
– The Red Head comes back only a minute after he came out, surely eager to pick up his sixth. Instead Tim Thomas hits a jumper in his eye next time down court. Nice consolation prize, at least. Plus, you still have a whole quarter, Scal.
– Rondo hits a foul line jumper with 10 seconds to go in the quarter on the Celtics final possession. Suffice to say, the lengthy point man didn’t need that earlier video put together by the Celtics, since his third quarter was just about as good as it gets: 9 of 9 from the floor, including 8 lay ups. He was a lowly 0-3 from the line, though.
– Pierce and K.G. start on the bench, as does Q, who is still the game’s leading scorer and has 27 through three.
– Wilson Chandler misses a jumper from the corner to contribute to his rough night. The second year player has hit just 1-7 for two points.
– Scal hits a three to make it 105-87 with 10:25 to go and everyone is on their feet.
– Pierce and Q both return with 8:38 to go, Celts up 18.
– DLee picks up his fifth, aggressively sending Tony Allen to the floor as he runs baseline. The game has been a little less chippy than expected.
– With 8:00 to go, Duhon misses his first free throw since Nov. 29, ending the streak at 44.
– Scal finally does it, fouling out with 6:29 to go in just 15 minutes of play, earning a standing ovation from the crowd on his way to the bench. He finished the night with 7 points.
– After a ridiculous one handed put-back dunk off a miss, Nate earns some much deserved love from the crowd, including bringing some people to their feet.
– During a timeout with a little under 5:00, one of many cheesy yet legitimate video montages of the Celtics plays of the jumbotron. This one shows images accompanied by words, including “intensity” as K.G. (now infamously) is shouting at Jose Calderon. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” is playing, which is somewhat of a mystery to me. In a sense, I understand that it’s a “this our night, let’s leave it all out there” kind of song, but at the same time, it’s slow and in some ways calming. I remember once seeing a special about NFL players getting pumped up to the song too, so there must be something to it.
– K.G. travels for yet another turnover for the Celtics, who have 20 for 20 Knicks points with 3:00 to go.
– Pierce hits a three for his first points since the end of the 2nd.
– Chris Duhon plays 48 minutes again. Damn.
– There’s no point in even trying to explain the goofing around that began the post game press conference. Let’s just say, it had to do with PETA and Ray Allen’s new signature shoe.
– Yes, those are winter boots.
– Pierce and K.G. are otherwise rather reserved in their post game press conference, especially considering they just helped to extend the team’s win streak to 18.
– Not surprisingly, when asked about the streak, the Christmas showdown with the Lakers, and basically anything else, Garnett emphasized the one game at a time mentality. Cliché, for sure, but it seems like they practice what they preach.
– We hear Big Baby is doing better. Initially expected to remain in the hospital for the night, he was instead released, presumably because his condition had improved.
– When asked about the dunk, Nate assured that it would’ve been sweeter in a win, but also recommended that we think about putting it in the magazine. That may not be such a bad idea.