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Chandler: Felton 'better game by game'

The Knicks trailed at halftime in Games 1 and 2, mostly because their offense stuttered -- a combination of the Celtics' swarming defense, and Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith's isolation-heavy plays.

"Sometimes Melo and myself get doubled and sometimes tripled, and we tend to still shoot, try to shoot over guys," Smith said. "We can do a better job of moving the ball."

That's happened more in second halves, when Raymond Felton takes over most of the point-guard duties, bringing a faster pace and aggressiveness to pick-and-rolls. While Pablo Prigioni has efficiently controlled the ball in first quarters, the Celtics' bigger and defensive-minded lineups have exposed his lack of burst turning corners off of screens.

But Felton has exploded by the Celtics, getting deep into the paint and scoring himself or making plays for others.

"He's getting better game by game," Tyson Chandler said. "He's starting to read situations, he's making great plays. Defensively, he's really picking up full court. I think the more playoff experience that he gets as the series goes along and we move on, he'll get better and better."

Felton's pick-and-roll success has rubbed off on Anthony and Smith in second halves.

"We try to take advantage of [pick-and-rolls]," Melo said. "If they switch, we have a couple mismatches that we need to exploit."

Those mismatches have included the Knicks going smaller and the Celtics having a thinner bench. That's enabled the Knicks to wear down their opponent later in games with their diverse pick-and-roll sets.

The Celtics have also laid back a bit defensively down the stretch in both games because of foul trouble. That's given the Knicks flexibility attacking off of screens. In Game 2, when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both finished with five fouls, the Knicks significantly outscored the Celtics in the second half, 45-23.

MORE PRESSURE, NO PROBLEM: In the first quarter of Game 2, Garnett and Brandon Bass each got fooled by Anthony's head fake, leading to contact and a pair of fouls.

The Celtics have been smothering Anthony, but the extra pressure has helped him get the Celtics to bite -- whether on a shot or slipping to the basket. The Celtics will continue to be all over Melo in Game 3, but he'll be ready.

"They're doing a lot of switching, so I try to take advantage of that if a big is on me," he said. "I try to get them in foul trouble. If a small is on me, I try to take them down in the post."

If the Celtics over-do fouling Anthony, once again, that could be a key difference in the game.

MELO'S PLAYOFF MUSIC: During last summer's Olympics, the players nicknamed Anthony "Radio Raheem," based on the character from Spike Lee's famous film, "Do the Right Thing," who blasted tunes on his boombox. In London, Melo was the team DJ, known for his wide-ranging collection of music.

His sound taste even goes back to the 1940s and 50s, which he applies to playoff preparation.

"I listen to Frank Sinatra a lot," he said. "I'm already a mellow guy, but it keeps me super calm. I don't like to get too excited. You've got to expect the unexpected in situations like [Friday night]. ... Sometimes I listen to Tony Bennett when I'm sitting home drinking wine by the fireplace, a Christmas-time thing."

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