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Now Knicks have veterans, and a lead on Celtics

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm •  Published: April 21, 2013

With Ray Allen signing in Miami last summer and Rajon Rondo lost for the season with a knee injury, the Celtics are missing their starting backcourt from the previous five years, when they won each Atlantic Division title. They have no true point guard and little experience on their bench, which was outscored 33-4 Saturday.

Boston committed 21 turnovers, leading to 20 points for the Knicks.

"I think, you know, at this point, regardless of we haven't played together for a long period of time, it's about our offensive concept and that's what we preach each and every day," Pierce said. "Ball movement, make the extra pass. It doesn't matter who you put out there on the court or how long they've been here, that's our system. We know when we play that way, we're successful."

Garnett shot only 4 of 12 in the opener, and the Celtics said they must find a way to get him more involved. That won't be easy without a point guard who knows how to set up his teammates in the right spots.

They could use a player like Kidd, instead of having to go against him.

"Jason Kidd last night, my gosh, he was unbelievable. He created havoc," Rivers said, pointing to something he's heard New England Patriots coach Bill Belicheck discuss.

"These people go to the draft combines and they get all excited about what the guy ran in the 40, instead of looking at the film and see who gets there first with their mind, and that's what Jason did last night. I mean he had two steals, man, that there's guys 10 times quicker than him that never would have gotten, but he sees it before it happens and he reacts. And he's beating people with his mind right now. He beat us last night, for sure."

That's what Woodson wanted when he sat down with general manager Glen Grunwald last summer. His wish list included "guys that had a defensive attitude and a little edge about them," and for at least one game it appeared he has more of them than the Celtics do.

"When you got Jason Kidd on the floor who's been in as long as he's been in, and Kenyon, I mean it makes a world of difference," Woodson said.

"That was the whole reason for adding those guys to our team," he added. "They have played a major role in our success this season."


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