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Celtics need to fix offensive woes in Game 3

4/26/2013
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Celtics have scored a total of 48 points in the second half of Games 1 and 2.The Boston Celtics enter Game 3 against the New York Knicks looking for answers, primarily on the offensive end. In the first two games of the series, the Celtics have scored a total of just 149 points.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the Celtics’ second-fewest points scored over a two-game span in a single postseason in franchise history. Their worst two-game stretch came against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals, when they scored just 146 points in Games 6 and 7, both losses.

Offensive Struggles

The Celtics’ offensive deficiencies this series have been due to their inability to score in the half court.

During the regular season, Boston ranked eighth in the NBA in half-court efficiency, averaging 0.91 points per play. In two games this series, the Celtics have averaged just 0.75 points per play and are shooting only 37 percent in the half court.

Boston Celtics Half-Court Offense
This Season

The Celtics offensive struggles have mostly been limited to the second half of games.

In fact, they’ve looked good in the first half, taking leads into halftime in both games. Boston has shot over 54 percent from the field and outscored the Knicks by 10 points in the first half this series.

After halftime, it’s been a different story.

The Celtics have scored a 48 combined points in the second half in the two games this series and have posted a dreadful half-court scoring rate of 0.49 points per play.

The Celtics set a franchise record low with 25 points in the second half in Game 1. That record stood for just three days, as they scored just 23 points in the second half in Game 2.

Boston is shooting 22.2 percent from the field in the second half this series, by far the lowest percentage by any team in any half this postseason. The next-lowest is by the Houston Rockets, who’ve shot 34.8 percent in the second half in their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics have struggled to make shots from all areas of the court, most notably around the basket. The Celtics have made just six of their 17 field goal attempts from inside the restricted area and only four of their 12 layup attempts in the second half this series.

Comeback from a 2-0 Deficit?

History isn’t on the Celtics’ side after dropping the first two games. Of the ten previous times in franchise history they have trailed a best-of-seven series 2-0, the Celtics went on to lose the series nine times.

Their only best-of-seven series comeback after dropping the first two games came in the 1969 NBA Finals when they defeated the Lakers in seven games.

There is some history on the C’s side going into Game 3. The Celtics are 23-10 all-time at home against the Knicks in the postseason, winning 11 of its last 12 meetings in Boston.

However, the most important number for the Celtics is zero. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the postseason.