Culture of Hoops

Knicks-Celtics Game 1 Retroactive Log: Old Flowers Blooming in the Garden



1st Quarter

8:45 Raymond Felton drives right around Kevin Garnett. Out of respect, there hasn’t been much coverage of Garnett’s obvious decline, but when Raymond Felton makes you look slow, retirement’s gotta be on your mind.

5:24 JR Smith with an amazing spin-o-rama into a KG goaltend. Much to the delight of Mike Woodson on Knickerbocker fans everywhere, JR seems to have retained his thirst for the paint that made his second half of the season so spectacular.

4:24 Refs show off multitasking ability with two terrible calls in one: Not a foul on Bradley, and if it’s a foul, it was way before shooting had even crossed Carmelo’s mind (I take it back, when is shooting not on ‘Melo’s mind?).

3:35 JR Smith and Paul Pierce trade step back Js with (very) varying degrees of athleticism

2:41 JR brings the Garden crowd to their feet, spreading hot jam on Jeff Green. But once again, Pierce answers with an old-man herky-jerk and-1. 24-22 Knicks.

0:55 Kenyon Martin absolutely demeans a Jason Terry dunk attempt, fulfilling the fantasy of anyone who’s ever watched Terry play.

0:00 Green nails a 3 at the buzzer to cap 10-2 run. 29-26 Celtics at quarter. As has been well documented, when Green’s on, he’s on. And today he’s on.

2nd Quarter

11:16 Green hits fadeaway turnaround 27 footer to beat buzzer. Look. Out.

10:41 Green drive for 2. It might have taken 2 years too long, but hoops fans are finally getting a glimpse of what Danny Ainge had in mind when he relinquished heart and soul center Kendrick Perkins.

8:29 Felton, good … defense? Blocking Avery Bradley at the buzzer

6:38 Green aggressive to the hoop, fouled by Novak. Celtics 40-38. Noticing a trend?

5:22 Melo nets 4 straight, follow by a JR hook shot down low, 44-40 Knicks.

4:08 Bradley answers with a 6-point run at the half. If he can become even half as efficient as he’s been to this point in the game, he’d be scarier than Andrew Bynum at your local salon. And would be the answer to the question, What if Tony Allen could score? 46-44 Celtics.

53-49 Celtics at the half. Jeff Green has 20.

3rd Quarter

9:26 (and all the time) Iman Shumpert’s high-top fade, styling and profiling.

7:06 Knicks spend first five minutes of the half answering Celtics scoring bursts. Finally pull even on Anthony 3 ball. 57 all.

4:43 Sweet Felton-Martin pick and roll flush. KMart providing every bit of bench presence the Knicks were seeking from him, finishing with 10 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks.

1:20 Pierce knocks in a 3 to cap an 11-3 run, taking a 70-63 lead. Knicks, meanwhile, have been settling like they’re 19th century frontiersmen.

0:15 Melo responds with a 10-foot post up turnaround, the closest it seems a Knick has shot the ball al quarter (I checked, it was the closest make other than the previously mentioned KMart slam), and Kidd free throws (loose ball foul. No, Kidd didn’t draw a foul).
4th Quarter

Key stats through three quarters: 13-4, Celtics, in fast break points. But 26-4, Knicks, in bench scoring.

Celtics looking pretty menacing with Pierce and Green at the forward spots.

10:22 JR forces two straight 3s.

9:34 KMart brings crowd to its feet with immense effort on the offensive boards, then gets fouled for an and 1, 72-70 Knicks. Remember this moment.

7:24 Spike Lee wants people to run.

5:55 Paul Pierce with yet another unblockable step-back. Couldn’t he keep doing that until he’s 50? Why not?

4:43 Kidd comes up with a big steal (one of his 3) and Felton is fouled on the break. The old men are really getting it done for the Knicks. It’s like a Knights of Columbus meeting.

2:47 Mike Breen: “The Knicks have gone cold from downtown.” Mike Woodson: this.

2:31 Melo with a big steal and layup, 81-76 Knicks. Celtics turning the ball over like burgers on a Sunday cookout.

2:15 Kidd with yet another huge strip.

0:40 Out of obligation, Melo whips his first assist of the night, KMart with the finish, 85-78 is your final.

Quite the back-and-forth affair. A great way to open the 2013 NBA Playoffs for hoops fans, but a terrible way to end the game for the Celtics. Where to start with their fourth quarter? The three total field goals? The 11 total field goal attempts? The eight turnovers? It wasn’t too long ago that the Celtics were the veteran team with the effective bench. But that script has flipped. With questions floating regarding the Knicks playoff fortitude, their wily, greying veterans (Kidd, Martin) made the big little plays necessary to advance. Green and Pierce drop 26 and 21, respectively, but combine for 12 turnovers, 1 fewer than the Knicks had all game.

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