With momentum reversed in Boston's first-round playoff series with the Knicks, could the Celtics make history by coming back from a 3-0 deficit and advancing to the next round?
ESPN's Tom Haberstroh says it's entirely possible. His insider piece on the unlikely turnaround by the Celtics and Rockets in their respective playoff series lays out reasons why Boston fans should fan that flicker of hope.
Here's an excerpt from Haberstroh's piece:
The Knicks have cut down on their 3-point attempts a tad in exchange for long 2s by Carmelo Anthony. That's not good. Lately, they've reverted back to the notorious "give the ball to Melo and hope for the best" strategy of yesteryear, which would be OK if Anthony was a metronome of efficiency. Instead, he was the most volatile scorer in the NBA this season, according to his game-by-game variance in the points column. For a guy who relies so heavily on contested jumpers, the Knicks have been needlessly handcuffed to Anthony's brand of basketball.
Consider this: Anthony has shot an NBA-high 69 midrange jumpers so far in the playoffs, according to NBA.com/stats. The second-place guy? Carlos Boozer with 38. Yes, Anthony has almost doubled the number of midrange jumpers than the next-highest player. In fact, Anthony has taken more midrange jumpers (69) than the Heat (67 in four games), Bucks (66 in four games) and the Rockets (46 in six games).
This bears repeating: Anthony has taken 23 more midrange shots than the entire Rockets team. Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that the stat-head Rockets have been allergic to the most inefficient shot in the game. For a favorite like the Knicks, it's not a sustainable strategy to hang your hopes on whether a low-percentage shot goes in or not.
To read the full insider article, click HERE.