The Celtics, in the first quarter of Game 2 against the Hawks tonight:
- Players used: 10
- Points: 7
No matter what Boston tried, it didn’t work.
The Celtics’ seven points were the fewest in the first quarter of a playoff game since the NBA instituted the shot clock in 1954. They tied for the fourth-lowest scoring quarter in the postseason during the shot-clock era:
|May 18, 1999
||Portland Trail Blazers
|May 16, 2007
||New Jersey Nets
|May 6, 1986
|April 19, 2009
|June 15, 2006
|April 23, 2001
|May 3, 2000
Boston shot 3-for-23, split two free throws and committed five turnovers while falling behind 24-7.
The Celtics settled for too many bad shots early, a big mistake because teams can’t afford to waste possessions against the swarming Hawks defense. It’s hard enough to score on them when doing everything right. Even moving the ball a little better generated few good shots for Boston.
Of the seven teams to score so little in a playoff quarter, only the 2007 Nets won, beating the Cavaliers despite scoring just six fourth-quarter points. Could the Celtics become the second to survive such a putrid period? They did overcome a 19-point deficit deficit in Game 1.
DALLAS (AP) — Add star Dirk Nowitzki to the long injury list for Dallas in the playoffs.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Tuesday that Nowitzki bruised his right knee when he fell early in the Mavericks’ 85-84 Game 2 win over Oklahoma City in a first-round playoff series that is tied 1-1.
Nowitzki joins a list of players who might miss Game 3 on Thursday, including starting guards Deron Williams and J.J. Barea and backup forward David Lee.
Williams is dealing with a sports hernia injury that will require offseason surgery. He had an effective first half in Game 2 on Monday but left in the third quarter and didn’t return. Barea (right groin strain) missed Game 2, and Lee has yet to play in the series because of a right heel injury.
Cavaliers fans will call this karma.
Not only must the Celtics replace an injured Avery Bradley, they’ll be without Kelly Olynyk tonight.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:
Marcus Smart will be in the starting lineup for the Celtics tonight in Game 2 against the Hawks, but Kelly Olynyk, suffering from a shoulder injury, will not play.
Smart can be a reasonable facsimile of Turner, but who replaces Smart’s production off the bench? Terry Rozier? R.J. Hunter? That’s a lot to ask of those rookies, but Boston probably can’t hide both. The Celtics were at their best in Game 1 going small, and that requires wing depth.
Olynyk seemed like a decent bet to contribute in this series, because his rebounding shortcomings are minimized against the Hawks, who struggle on the glass. Boston will miss his floor spacing.
Stephen Curry, after injuring his ankle/foot in Game 1, said he expected to play Game 2 against the Rockets.
Reason to be concerned? (About Curry, not the Warriors, who cruised past Houston anyway)
Game 3 isn’t until Thursday, so Curry has time to heal. Even if the Rockets are tougher in Houston, Golden State’s 2-0 series lead allows even more patience.
The Warriors’ main goal is a championship, and they’ll need Curry for that. But they don’t need him any time soon, so don’t expect him to play until he’s truly healthy.
Raymond Felton grabbed the defensive rebound, brought the ball up court and knifed through the defense for a tie-breaking layup with 28.7 seconds left – giving the Mavericks a lead they never relinquished in their Game 2 win over the Thunder on Monday.
But how did Felton get the ball in the first place?
Thanks to a box-out by Salah Mejri, who got away with fouling Steven Adams in the process.
NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Mejri (DAL) has his arm over Adams’ (OKC) shoulder, affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound
A correct call would’ve sent Adams – who made 58% of his free throws this season – to the line for two attempts with 41.1 seconds left. Instead of Adams having a chance to break the tie, Felton did.
That’s a huge swing.
The final two minutes featured three other missed calls – all favoring Oklahoma City, which lost regardless. None of the three affected the result of a possession.
Serge Ibaka and Adams both got away with illegal screening Wesley Matthews on the Thunder’s inbound with 26.5 seconds left, which sprung Kevin Durant for an open look. But Durant missed (and missed again after an Oklahoma City offensive rebound), anyway.
Dion Waiters also got away with a loose-ball for taking down Matthews on the second of Felton’s two missed free throws with 7.1 seconds left. But, again, it didn’t matter because Adams’ putback came too late on the other end.
What mattered a great deal: the incorrect non-call on Mejri’s loose-ball foul. That very well could’ve been the difference between the Thunder taking a 2-0 series lead and the 1-1 split we saw in reality.