Good, Bad & Ugly: Celtics trample Knicks

Good, Bad & Ugly: Celtics trample Knicks
December 8, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Jordan Crawford has filled in nicely at point guard for Rajon Rondo.

(AP Photo)

The Boston Celtics have had their share of big leads only to squander them because they came about too soon. That wasn't the case on Sunday.

They came out smashing the New York Knicks in the first quarter, and the beat down only got more intense before the game mercifully ended with the Celtics crushing the Knicks, 114-73. It was easily Boston's most lopsided win of the season and one of the largest margins of victory ever by the Celtics over New York.

If it wasn't for some end-of-the-game defensive lapses by Boston, the Celtics could have broken the current record for largest margin of victory over New York (45 points) instead of settling for a 41-point win.

Sunday's win was yet another lesson learned by the Celtics who continue to figure different ways to win.

"We're performing our jobs better, more consistently," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters prior to the game. "And as a result, you're putting yourself in position to have a chance to win."

It was about as flawless a game as the Celtics have played in quite some time. And with that we have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Boston's blowout win.

THE GOOD
First quarter dominance: For the second time in as many games, the Celtics put an opponent in a huge hole that they could never climb out of. Against the Denver Nuggets, the Celtics led 39-15 after the first quarter. And on Sunday, Boston opened with a 34-11 lead after the first.

Brandon Bass: He finally got a chance to not just guard an elite player such as Carmelo Anthony, but actually go at him on the other end of the floor. His ability to establish himself in the post early on was one of the keys to the Celtics taking control of the game and never letting up. Bass finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Jared Sullinger: Sunday was a nice bounce-back game for Sullinger, who had struggled shooting the ball in Boston's two previous games. He was able to do pretty much whatever he wanted to against the Knicks, finishing with 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting.

Jordan Crawford: Crawford is making a strong case for Eastern Conference player of the week honors with yet another strong game for Boston. He led the Celtics with 23 points which included six made 3-pointers, more than any Boston player has made this season. He also dished out a team-best seven assists. But maybe the most impressive stat of the night for Crawford was the fact that he had zero turnovers.

THE BAD
Carmelo Anthony: There was never a point in the game when Anthony's presence was anything more than just a tangerine orange blur running up and down the court. He had 19 points which led all New York scorers. But more telling? He also had a plus-minus of minus-40. Ouch.

THE UGLY
Knicks effort: You aren't always going to shoot the ball well, and you may have defensive lapses at times, but the lethargic performance by the Knicks was just inexcusable. They have had their share of injuries that have without question hurt their chemistry, play and of course, their record. But that doesn't explain away the pitiful performance they put on Sunday. If they're trying to get head coach Mike Woodson fired, performances like the one we saw on Sunday will make it happen.