4:50 PM ET Wed, 27 Sept 2018 | 02:49:15By now, most of you know about the New York Knicks, and that they’re on a tear.
They’re 14-1 heading into their final game of the regular season on Thursday night, a win over the Miami Heat in which the Knicks led by as many as 27 points and led by double digits in the fourth quarter.
But the Knicks also have a long way to go to catch the Celtics.
The Knicks won the season series with Boston, going on to win two of the last three meetings, including last year’s series finale.
New York, however, is not a team that is built to contend in the playoffs, and their inability to get the ball to their teammates is hurting them on both ends.
The Celtics are 6-2, with the last two victories coming against the Knicks.
Boston has won four straight games against New York in the series.
Boston has not won a playoff series since 2008, and it will be looking to extend its win streak to five games with a victory.
It’s possible the Celtics could come back from this one without a win, but they are not without their flaws.
Boston’s big men are a problem, and the Celtics need to find a way to contain their big men, which has been a weakness in this series.
The Boston Celtics are averaging 25.7 points per game, including a league-best 31.3 points per contest on defense.
The Celtics are giving up 19.5 points per 100 possessions.
It has been the Celtics’ struggles against Boston that have hurt them the most.
Boston leads the league in defensive efficiency with a defensive rating of 109.6.
Boston ranks second in offensive efficiency with an offensive rating of 107.7.
The defense has been especially tough for Boston in the paint, where it is allowing just 42.9 percent shooting and a negative field goal percentage of 28.5 percent.
The other glaring weakness for Boston is its inability to score efficiently, averaging just 96.2 points per 48 minutes, while shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc.
The team’s three-point shooting is also down, but it’s the area where they are actually scoring.
The New York Times is reporting that Boston will need to get a lot of help offensively to put the Nets back in the game, as they are averaging just 13.4 points per possession on the offensive end.
Boston is shooting just 40.6% from beyond 50 feet, which is the worst mark in the league for the Nets.
The Nets have struggled to make the jump ball, especially on the defensive end, and have been outscored by nearly a 50-point margin at the free throw line in the last six games.
New York is allowing 95.1 points per hundred possessions, which ranks fourth in the NBA, and has shot just 39.7 percent from three-pointers in the same span.
The difference in performance between the teams this season has been dramatic.
The Nets are 6.8 points per play in the second half, which would be the second-worst mark in NBA history, behind the 1992-93 Philadelphia 76ers.
Boston, however has not had this kind of shooting woes this season.
They rank No. 2 in the Eastern Conference in points allowed per 100 points allowed, and No. 3 in defensive rating.
Both of those numbers are among the lowest in the entire NBA.
The most important thing for New York is to get back to playing better defense, and they have done that.
The Knicks have allowed an average of 111.3 offensive points per half (including free throws) this season, and only 10.8.
They have allowed 102.9 points per quarter.
That’s the second lowest in NBA and the lowest of any team in the East.