New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony averaged 36.9 points per game in April to win the scoring title, and he carried that pace into Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs Saturday scoring 36 in the Knicks' victory over the Boston Celtics, 85-78.
Anthony's scoring was impressive, but it was New York's defense that helped the Knicks pull away. New York held Boston to just 25 second-half points, including just eight in the fourth quarter.
"To sum up the mess above: the Knicks won despite getting jarred out of their usual style, and they won by making second-half adjustments," wrote Seth Rosenthal of Posting and Toasting. "After a couple years of not doing those things ever, that makes me feel all warm inside. They've got a 1-0 lead AND ample room to improve, even if it's just getting Prigioni back and Chandler out of whatever funk he's in."
Boston's Jeff Green scored 26 points, Paul Pierce had 21 points and Avery Bradley scored 15, but Boston's trio of guards off the bench provided little. Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford combined for just four points.
"Doc Rivers has got a problem and it's not really his fault," wrote Kevin O'Connor of Celtics Blog. "In the past he has had reliable bench players, so rotations were usually set in stone before the playoffs. Heck, in those seasons it would've been concerning if he did something contrary to the norm."