Even before the Celtics slowed Carmelo Anthony from trying to get on their team bus, Boston boxed up Anthony on the floor at Madison Square Garden during Monday's win. From our friends at ESPN Stats and Info:
The Celtics used six different defenders against Anthony on Monday night, en route to holding him to his worst shooting night on the season (23.1 percent). Paul Pierce did most of the damage, holding Anthony to 3-for-10 shooting and forcing his only two turnovers. Carmelo struggled the most on shots inside of 15 feet, shooting 1-for-9, and failing to make a shot from inside of five feet for the first time this season.
MILD MELO: Carmelo Anthony Shooting Inside 15 Feet, This Season
What did the Celtics do to bottle up an MVP candidate?
"I think we got into his body, we didn't give him a lot of space," said Pierce. "When he got into the paint, we tried to send another man at him. We tried to get him different looks from the zone, putting a bigger guy on him. So I think that was key, helping making it tough on him all night long. We really did a great job. In my eyes and a lot of people's eyes, he's probably the most valuable player in the league right now. For us to play him that tough tonight, it was great work."
Added Kevin Garnett: "We just tried to put a hand in his face. Melo's such a good scorer that -- scorers, man, you just try to slow them down. We didn't run a lot of schemes today. We just tried to run him off the 3 and then, again, attack him."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers liked how his team tightened up that defense in the second half.
"[Boston's defense on Anthony was] terrible in the first half, honestly; he had three point-blank 3s when we were 1-on-1 coverage and we backed up and let him get rhythm 3s," said Rivers. "Carmelo is a great player and in shootaround I kept saying, 'He’s going to make shots.' But we did a better job in the second half, he had to make shots that we wanted him to make. Instead of the ones he wanted."