New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics, Game 4
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Time: 1:00PM on ABC
Probable Starting Lineups (With Series Statistics)
PG Raymond Felton (14.7 PPG, 6.0 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.67 STLPG, .476 FG%)
SG Pablo Prigioni (5.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, 3.0 STLPG, .429 FG%, .500 3P%)
SF Iman Shumpert (4.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, .308 FG%, .500 3P%)
PF Carmelo Anthony (32.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.67 STLPG, .462 FG%, .500 3P%, .941 FT%)
C Tyson Chandler (3.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, .500 FG%)
PG Jason Terry (7.7 PPG, 1.7 APG, .318 FG%, .375 3P%)
SG Avery Bradley (7.7 PPG, 2.0 APG, 2.0 TOPG, .435 FG%, .200 3P%)
SF Paul Pierce (18.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 5.3 TOPG, .408 FG%, .125 3P%, .875 FT%)
PF Jeff Green (19.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.7 TOPG, .442 FG%, .455 3P%, .824 FT%)
C Kevin Garnett (10.7 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 4.0 FPG, .382 FG%, 6-6 FTA)
Key Bench Players (With Series Statistics)
PG Jason Kidd (3.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.67 STLPG, .375 3P% in 28.0 MINPG)
SG J.R. Smith- Suspended for Game 4 (16.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, .435 FG%, .313 3P% in 30.7 MINPG)
SF Chris Copeland (0-5 FGA, 0-3 FTA in 24 total minutes)
SF Steve Novak (4-6 FGA, 2-4 3PA, 10 points in 31 total minutes)
PF Kenyon Martin (6.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.3 BLKPG in 22.7 MINPG)
PF Brandon Bass (4.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, .385 FG%, 3-4 FTA in 30.0 MINPG)
SG Jordan Crawford (5.0 PPG, 6-16 FGA, 2-7 3PA in 16.3 MINPG)
SG Courtney Lee (6 points, 1-4 FGA, 4-4 FTA in 11.7 MINPG)
New York: PF/C Amar’e Stoudemire (OUT)
Boston: PG Rajon Rondo (OUT)
Keys to the Game:
1. No J.R., no problem?: Sixth-Man of the Year J.R. Smith has been suspended by the NBA for today’s game for the elbow jab he did on Jason Terry in Game 3 on Friday. Smith received a Flagrant 2 and an ejection for that play so it was probably expected. It’s a big loss on offense, but with him gone, other bench players need to step up to sweep the leg.
2. Unleash the Cope: With Smith gone for Game 4, look for Mike Woodson to play 29 year old rookie Chris Copeland more. When given the chance, Copeland has been able to step in for Carmelo Anthony and J.R. when needed. In the last three games of the regular season he scored 85 points on 34 of 66 shooting. I think he can do something like that and given Melo a break as the Knicks finish off the Celtics.
3. Three-point barrage: The Knicks only shot 44 three-point attempts in the first two games in New York, hitting 16 (36.4%) In Boston, they hit 11 of 27 three’s (40.7%). They were able to hit some insanely bad and well-defended shots. They really have yet to go off on the Celtics like they’re capable of. One has to wonder when they will and if they do, God help the other team. When New York keeps hitting three after three, they are very difficult to beat. Boston and Indiana don’t want to go into a shoot-out with them.
4. Get Tyson going: Tyson Chandler hasn’t been much of a factor in this series, playing 24.0 minutes on average each game. He missed 16 of the final 20 games of the year, so it’s probably expected. Luckily Kenyon Martin has filled in for him very well. If both are going, Boston won’t have an answer and they’ll be a problem for Atlanta or Indiana in the 2nd round.
Prediction: I really can’t see the Celtics coming back to win this series, let alone win this game. With the crowd, they’ll be in it early but even without J.R. Smith, the Knicks should have no trouble finishing off Boston. Knicks 91 Celtics 79.