Today’s focus: What on earth were the Knicks doing in the first half Sunday? More specifically, what was going through coach Mike Woodson’s head when he decided to stop trapping Avery Bradley and stop double-teaming Paul Pierce and Jeff Green on every catch? That defensive strategy worked to perfection in the first three games, holding the Celtics under 80 points in each and forcing them into 48 total turnovers. Why mess with what was working?
Pierce wasn’t sure why the Knicks changed their strategy.
“Yeah it was sort of surprising,” said Pierce. “Usually they get the ball out of my hands a bit earlier.”
Pierce scored 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting with one turnover without being trapped in the first half. When the Knicks trapped after halftime, Pierce went 3 for 11 and committed five turnovers. The strategy worked. It’s amazing the Knicks went away from it, even for a little while.
Today’s schedule: Neither the Celtics or Knicks practice today. The Celtics will practice Tuesday morning in Waltham before flying to New York.
Stat of the day: In the first four games of the series Avery Bradley has 7 assists and 9 turnovers.
Useful Twitter follow: National Post (Canada) sports columnist. Arthur tweets about every sport, but he does so brilliantly. His own musings can be hilarious, and his re-tweets are informative.
The Celtics are the old neighbour who keeps coming back from the hospital.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 28, 2013
View from behind enemy lines: From the New York Post: Melo’s shooting sinks the Knicks.
Series news: J.R. Smith will be back on the court for the Knicks in Game 5 after serving his one-game suspension Sunday.
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