Celtic Pride Lives On

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NEW YORK – These aren’t the same ‘ol Celtics.

No Rajon Rondo. No Ray Allen. No Perk, Posey or P.J. Brown.

They took another step backward this season, falling to seventh in the Eastern Conference. They were pretty awful on the road, their defense didn’t have quite the same bite, and their offense was pretty anemic. You never knew what you were going to get from them, maybe a win over a great team on one night and a loss to a terrible team the next.

And when they were down 0-3 to the New York Knicks in this first round series, it appeared to be time to finally count them out.

Well … uh … never mind. Maybe these are the same ‘ol Celtics.

Fueled by a defense that continues to hold it’s own against one of the most potent offensive attacks in the league, the Celtics staved off elimination for the second time on Wednesday. This time they did it in enemy territory, holding on for a 92-86 victory at Madison Square Garden that sends the series back to Boston for Game 6 on Friday.

So now, things get really interesting. No team in NBA history has ever come back from an 0-3 series deficit, but it’s starting to look like great defense can beat great offense. The Knicks have shot just 37 percent and scored just 94 points per 100 possessions over the last two games.

Coming up empty in Boston without J.R. Smith is one thing. But with Smith back and the opportunity to win a playoff series on their home floor for the first time since 1999, the Knicks laid another egg on Wednesday.

“Offensively, we were searching,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “We’ve got to find some offense somewhere. We have been struggling to find points.”

In his return from a one-game suspension, Smith missed his first 10 shots and finished 3-for-14. Carmelo Anthony wasn’t much better, shooting 8-for-24, meaning that the Knicks basically got the same production out of the pair as they did in Game 4 (when Smith didn’t play).

The one thing the Knicks still have going offensively is Raymond Felton on the pick and roll. He continued to get to the rim in Game 5, rendering Avery Bradley useless and scoring 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting.

But too often, the Knicks became stagnant offensively, resorting to more isolations and contested jumpers. They’ve lived by the three all season, but have shot a brutal 12-for-52 (23 percent) from beyond the arc in the last two games. Anthony has missed his last 15 3-point attempts.

Of course, the Celtics wouldn’t have won Games 4 and 5 if they weren’t scoring themselves. And Wednesday was easily their best offensive performance of the series. Part of it was better execution. But mostly, they just shot better.

That was the one source of optimism when they were down 0-3. They’re a bad offensive team, but they’re not a bad shooting team, and they were missing a lot of decent shots in those first three games. The Knicks have played aggressively on the ball all series, leaving shooters open. And now the Celtics are finally making them pay. Their 3-point percentage has increased in every game of the series, peaking with an 11-for-22 performance in Game 5.

“We’re not a bad 3-point shooting team,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I kept telling our guys, ‘When you get them, take them.’ I kept telling them to let it fly. Don’t hesitate.”

Really, these are both jump-shooting teams, and games will sometimes be determined by whether or not the shots go in. But it was clear on Wednesday which team was forcing more misses. That’s the team that had its season on the line, the team that never goes down without a fight.

The Knicks wore all black to this game, thinking they were attending a funeral. Instead, they got a free trip back to Boston, thanks to a prideful team that just won’t die.

“We’re out here scrappin’,” Kevin Garnett told Comcast Sportsnet in an epic on-court interview after the game. “We know what they’re running. They know what we’re running. It’s just this is all out. Who wants this? That’s what it is. That’s all we’ve been doing these last couple of games.”

Same ‘ol Celtics, apparently. Never count ‘em out.

76 Comments

  1. Karlo Garcia says:

    I love Doc Rivers reaction at the end of the game.

  2. e says:

    For the first time in my life I find myself rooting for the Boston Celtics… The disrespect from JR and Kenyon really pissed me off, can’t imagine how the C’s felt.

  3. The Under dogs says:

    Nice one Celtics… Someone needs to walk up to J.R. Smith and say “JR who, did you play in game 5″…

  4. TAE says:

    celts in game 7!

  5. M. James says:

    Yeah, but that was a dirty arm pull by Garnett on Carmelo. He should’ve been tossed.

  6. Eazy says:

    The first few games KG and Pail shot the ball horribly..There was no way they were going to keep missing all those shots..All I could think is once they start playing(hitting shots)like they have been all year…then we’ll have us a series..GO Green Gang!!!!

  7. CELTIC MAN says:

    AFTER ALL THE INJURYES THEY HAVE MY GOD IF THE HAVE RONDO AND SULLINGER LIKE GARNET SPOKE LAST NIGHT. ” WHO WHANT,S THIS” ONLY GUTS, SWET, AND BLOD, I LIKE THAT THEY ALL HAVE A GREAT HEART LOTS OF LOK BOY,S LIKE WE SAY HE IN MEXICO “VENDER CARO EL PELLEJO” THAT IS ” SELLIN EXPENCIVE THE SKIN

  8. This is the most interesting 1 round series this year . O well Knicks in game 6

  9. Feolinita says:

    win or loss force to game 7

  10. Feolinita says:

    Its hard to predict.. really hard.. that is why I believe in the saying “The Ball is Round” sometimes your in top or bottom. But this issue needs some real player to stay in the PLAYOFFS. If JR Smith will comeback in Boston the Knicks will win period and with exclamation point.

  11. Amro says:

    This series is so on fire! Can’t wait for game 6!

  12. Le2e says:

    Lol @ Kenyon Martin. You can make jokes but you cant take em. What a poor sport cry baby. Professional athlete, powerforward/center acting hard to a little dude with a microphone. Heres a word of advice to Martin and Smith: A mouth that is closed, gathers no foot.

  13. Tommo says:

    The foundation that the Celtics are built from is unrivalled in the NBA! The other storied franchise the ‘Lakers’ simply don’t have it. I am continuously amazed at how much heart and guts these Celtics have. They would bleed for that jersey! They have no right to even be in this position with all their injuries and age etc. Somehow Celtic Pride finds a way. It’s playoff time which means it’s Celtic Time!! Just get Game 6 and then anything can happen.

  14. luis herrera says:

    BLACK shirts BLACK pants…AIN’T WORKING!!!

  15. aaaaaa says:

    Remember when we were too old? When our season was over without Rondo? When we were down for the count at 0-3? Good, neither do we.

  16. Jeremie says:

    Another trip to the East Finals is what should happen why? Because of guys like K.G. The Knicks are soft and not battle tested like Boston.

  17. tyron says:

    CELTICS M O T H E R F U C K E R!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Fuuu says:

    Celtic pride? i have seen none in this series, i saw a lot of Knicks stupidity. The Knicks have been awfull all series, and the Celtics pretty much the same,

    Stop pretending the Celtics are playing great with bad players, the Celtics are playing bad with bad players, They cant score, they cant rebound offensive, they comit a lot of stupid turnovers, they dropped a 20 point lead, they have been horrible. the Knicks simply manage to have been worse in the last two games (and in game 1).

    I am a Knick Fan and a diehard fan of Melo but this series has been embaracing,..

    • Kamote says:

      yeah, no credit to how the celtics played the last two games… the knicks went so bad that even milwaukee can do the same thing… it takes two to tango bro.

  19. CP3 shares my birthday says:

    Seriously, 6th man of the year? LOL

  20. fred says:

    Melo must be scared to death right now…. lol

  21. Shayanan says:

    Celtics are a great team and doing well without Rondo, but after this season they are not going to be as great like the last couplemofmseasons. I give them respect for playing with nothing to lose but it’s the Knicks time now.

  22. sayawkakai says:

    if they did it twice, the celtics can do it again…they are just so motivated to win, especially the old dogs, it’s gonna be hard not to get infected by garnett, pierce, terry, and doc’s will to win…i am a big celtics fan and after they won 3-0 i was ready to accept that they’re gonna be out of the playoffs early. but hey, i was in for a big surprise, along with everybody else. they could win this series! who knows? we’ll see…

  23. W/E says:

    With clowns like J.R smith and Carmelo leading the knicks u know nothing is guaranteed except that the one sure thing, that these guys aint championship material.

  24. Kamote says:

    Just keeping the faith bro. Whatever happens, NYK would’ve probably learned after the series why they aren’t considered a winning team just yet. I’m just proud of the Celtics that despite being overmatched, they still are able to make the Knicks pee their pants (LOL). One thing is for sure in this series, Boston will keep swinging til the final buzzer.

  25. sanjay says:

    game 6 on the home turf for the lagging opponents. Both celtics/houston will likely win game 6 and force 7! they both have momentum and both top teams have shown vulnerability due to lack of variety! These 4 teams and with some effort from clippers and golden gate will make first round playoff one of the best in a long time. Contrary to everybody’s belief( including me) that will be totally lopsided 1st round!

  26. bu says:

    Every game is a grind for the Celtics. They hv to execute 85%+ in order to win, both off & esp def. If they didn’t hv the system & just relied on super star individual plays, they would not hv enjoyed success in playoffs.

    Though Celtics did hit quite a no of difficult & clutch shots, from PP, Green (2 3’s), KG, Terry.

    The main issue is are they able to keep the defense up to championship level, & hv more guys producing if they’re in the rotation, while Melo & JR miss their wild attempts. these 2 guys do or die by the wild shot attempts. Is it enough to stop everyone else?

    I’m glad the Celtics didn’t fall into the trap of trying to do too much for the “funeral look” by the Knicks. I hope Crawford also don’t fall into the antics which Felton did after the game finished, as he can easily make mistakes on court because of this.

  27. dattebayo says:

    For a basketball fan like me, this series is so amusing and interesting. The Knicks, with all their drama, desperately need to get out of the first round and all those fun facts that keep popping up make it so amusing. Melo has only won 2 playoff series and lost 9, he made it out of the 1st round only once in his career. The Knicks haven’t won a playoff series in 13 years. They were up 3-0 and no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series in the NBA.

    I don’t think that the Celtics will beat the Knicks another two times, but I hope it goes to game 7. All the Knicks fans better pray that Melo and Smith stop chucking up bad shots, they needed 38 shots to score 36 points in Game 5…

  28. bigseanny says:

    NY Knicks are in trouble,Celtica can win this series trust me

  29. Jenova says:

    i have faith in them… GO CELTICS!!!!

  30. JohnDoe says:

    I don’t care which of them wins – as long as the winner can beat Miami

  31. paulofc says:

    Don’t Let The CELTICS Win!

  32. Jeremy says:

    New York Knicks looks like idiots now, after that whole funeral gig. Jesus Christ, they have to be the dumbest team in the history of the NBA to even try that. This is the Celtics we are talking about, the single greatest NBA franschise. They are not going to lay down. Even if the Knicks win this series, I have lost all respect for the New York Knicks. And guess what, I’ve always hated the Celtics but goddamn I have respected them. Looks like Beantown might still be holding on here. And the TRUTH hurts!

  33. Oh & let’s remember that history gets made everyday!

  34. For one-It’s Celtics pride baby, i never loose faith! Two-all jr did was piss Terry off real, real, reeeal bad as well as all the Celts & then all the black suites only just compounded That Sweet Celtics Fire-good luck w/ that ny!
    GO GET IT CELTICS!!!
    ONE GAME @ A TIME!!!
    CELTICS-HORAAH-UBUNTU!!!

  35. celtics forever says:

    Here’s a Fact: 2 of the top 5 NBA all time 3pt FGs made are in the Celtics. Jason Terry(4th) and Paul Pierce(5th)

  36. celtics forever says:

    That’s why you should never go easy on veteran champions. Revenge from 2011 is what’s on the Knicks’ head. What’s on the Head of the Celtics is CHAMPIONSHIP.

  37. HAHA! says:

    this is what happens to teams who have experience and will to win.. the C’s may be old but their will and experience pushes them to a whole different level.. knicks lack something like that.. they brag because they beat them 3 straight and wearing black and stuff.. HAHA! who’s laughing now KNICKS?

  38. Skolimowski says:

    “Never count ‘em out.”

    Well, nice job contradicting yourself after the Blogtable: Being Relevant In Boston article a few hours ago, quality journalism here.

    Anyway, about the Knicks, I remember Barkley saying you can’t possibly keep making threes like they did in the beginning of the season, and of course he was right. Now in the playoffs, against a top defense, with added pressure, they’re much less effective on that aspect. I like Woodson because he tries to simplify the processes, but this is the time a system or designed plays make a difference, because they want to be aggressive and win, but in some situations they don’t know how, and end up committing offensive fouls.

    The Celtics are doing really well. It’s hard to come back from 0-3, but we’ll see. Felton has given Bradley problems, which is not common. Garnett should win Defensive Player Of The Year every season.

  39. Avi says:

    Any one understood WTF Garnett was saying?

  40. Dan18 says:

    How could you ever count out such a proud franchise? With all their injuries they still find ways to get the job done, that’s why I respect the Celtics so much. They’ve lost Rondo, Sullinger and Barbosa, three very important players. I mean, take Carmelo, Novak and another role player away from NY and they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

    I think the Celtics could pull it off, maybe the Rockets could too, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. And if it does happen, I think it’s safe to say the Celtics could h ave won a championship if it wasn’t for the injuries, considering NY is one of the best teams in the NBA right now.

    It’s just a shame they have no respect for a team that deserves it.

  41. Bird33 says:

    As Mick famously said to Rocky “I ain’t heard no bell yet”. Go C’s!! Time for a new commercial….cause that’s the definition of “Big” :-). Love,your heart, guys…always have, and always will.

  42. Bussman says:

    I don’t understand why coach Woodson does not play more minutes with Pablo Prigioni. His numbers (+/-) are always good for the team and his style complicates things for a Boston team without a point guard.

    PS: I’m sorry but my English is not good. :)

  43. Ingo says:

    Call me crazy but I think we could see the first comeback from 0-3 in the history of this league. This is not the most likely scenario but I’ve feeling Boston or Houston have a real chance to win the next two games. After three games, it was unthinkable but after five why not.

    • Whoacool says:

      I agree. Houston and Boston have a good momentum to win 4 straight. But I think Houston has a higher percentage to win it just because Westbrook isn’t playing.

      • Jman says:

        seriously???? just cause westbrook is not playing they have a better % for winning??? That’s like saying NY lost game 4 cause JR wasn’t playing…..OKC is still way better than Houston even without Westbrook, I think Rockets are done in next game

  44. celtic pride says:

    don’t anger the jolly green giant….come on, wearing all black for a funeral? Jason terry who? disrespecting and all that….just play the game, playoff is all about who wants it the most; and the Celtic shows they want it more than the Knick…again, wearing black for a funeral? For who? Carmelo’s shoulder? hahaha

    • Jman says:

      Well basketball was way more interesting back in the day when teams were rivals and not pals….remember those Barkley – Shaq fights? Rodman vs the world????? those were the days…now the Celtics are the only ones with rivalries resembling the old days!

      • CelticFanMX says:

        Yep, that’s what you gotta love about these Celtics, they’re remembrance of the 80’s and 90’s basketball, pure grit, not making friends, playing good old fashion basketball… I really admire them, even so, NY has a solid young talented team, but if they can pull a W in Boston for game 6, who knows… you could see the look in the NY players, they were defeated, they seem like they’re living a nightmare… and now, they have to go to Boston, all emotions in the building… it’s gonna be a GREAT game to watch… so far, the best series!!!

  45. Tyler says:

    It’s an omen. Boston Red Sox were down 3-0 to the New York Yankees is 2004…came back and won the whole thing. Different sport, but same cities involved. Hope New York’s ready for the Celtic pride to erupt

  46. Sara says:

    That’s Celtic Pride!!!

  47. Chris says:

    If the celtics actually manage to win this series… I’m convinced they can beat anyone. That’s some serious momentum to ride into the second round

    • Denholm says:

      Running on heart can only take you so far though, I am an avid celtics fan, and im impressed with the run they have made, but even if they win against new york (which is a feat in itself) I dont think they will have the presence to beat the unit that is indiana (who will win against atlanta…. convincingly)

      • Stephen says:

        Indiana is a huge mismatch for the Celtics that’s why most were rooting for an Indie/Boston 1st rd. If they ever get out of New York you can bet your life that they’re a shoe in for the ECF.

      • Celticfan152one says:

        I too am a Celtic fan. While you correct, in part, that they are running on heart, that’s not the only thing they’re doing. It is sheer execution. That’s it! They are playing fundamental basketball: moving the ball side-to-side, getting the highest percentage shot. Look at the scoring: it’s balanced; with multiple players in double figures. Also, the teams are getting used to each other. It took us nearly too long to get there, but we did. It’s Grind Out City from here on. Nevertheless, NY has the advantage. They have to win one, we have to win two. It’s an uphill battle. But I believe we have the intestinal-fortitude to do it. LET’S GO CELTICS!!!!

    • LOL okay says:

      LMFAO.

      Ty for the laugh.

    • zolbayar says:

      2011 Lebron James ‘i am not gonna count them out. my eyes are always focused on those guys (Celtics)’

    • LALALA says:

      it is admirable indeed but you forget… these are aging guys. If ever Boston win the series which I hope they do, they will be pretty vulnerable for the next series because of the effort they need to exert to oust the Knicks.
      Im not hating BTW just being real.

      • steagle says:

        Celtics had plenty of 7 game series in their 2008 championship run, 2010 finals run, and 2012 ECF run. Didn’t seem to slow them one bit.

  48. holyspectator says:

    is this really happening? lol..oh man knicks lookin like they might flop…this series is gettin interesting

  49. Wow... says:

    Don’t count them out!