Sunday, March 4, 2012

Turnovers key in lost to Celtics

New York (18-19) falls below .500 once again following their close overtime lost in Boston. The Knicks were led by Carmelo Anthony with 25 points, and Amare Stoudamire who had 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Celtic starters all finished in double digits including a fantastic game from point guard Rajon Rondo who had 18 points, 20 assists, and 13 rebounds (Rondo’s 4th triple-double of the year). Paul Pierce also had a good game scoring 34 points in 13 of 23 shooting from the field.

The game was very close, and the final stats seem to represent this fact. Most major stat categories were even among the two teams. The Knicks were even able to significantly out rebound the Celtics. However the key difference between the teams was the sloppy ball handling of the Knicks. New York committed 22 turnovers to Boston’s 14 and both Knick point guards (Lin and Davis) committed 6 each. The Knicks were outscored in points off turnovers

The Negative:

-Knicks lost a game many thought they had a great chance of winning. The Celtics have been generally considered to be a team past its prime. Rumors have swirled about potential trades of many of the star players including today’s top performers Rondo, and Pierce.

-Guards were unable to stop Rondo from putting up a career game

-Guards handled the ball ineffectively (16 of 22 turnovers were made by Lin, Davis, Shumpert, and Fields)

-Lin, Anthony, and Stoudemire were all ineffective offensively in overtime but remained on the floor for the duration. Steve Novak only entered the game (in relief of Shumpert) in the final seconds

-The only starter who lost any significant time was Landry Fields (Shumpert played a majority of his minutes at shooting guard

-Anthony took and missed the final shot of regulation which may lead to more discussion on whether Lin or Melo should take final shots

-Celtics blocked the Knicks 8 times and 3 times during overtime

The Positive:

-Knicks bench continued to play well including another great shooting performance from Steve Novak

-Chandler and Stoudemire helped the Knicks dominate on the boards

-Knicks forced a difficult final shot of regulation for Pierce but he miraculously made it

-It was a close game for most of the day until the Celtics were able to pull away slightly in overtime

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