Five Takeaways: Knicks Hang In To Take Game 1

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2. Extra Possessions Make the Difference


The Knicks took 79 shots while the Celtics took just 65. There are two reasons for this: offensive rebounding and turnovers.

Boston was an atrocious rebounding team this season and I thought the Knicks would be able to take advantage of that. Though both teams grabbed 40 rebounds in the game, the Knicks pulled down 10 offensive boards to just 4 for Boston. In a close, grind-it-out defensive game, extra possessions are invaluable. New York did a good job converting extra possessions into points, scoring 12 second chance points. New York also won the turnover battle 20-13, giving them 7 extra possessions in this category alone.

They harassed Boston's Avery Bradley, a point guard by default, and forced him into 4 turnovers himself. He was unable to get Boston into their sets, failing to deliver accurate entry passes to the high elbow and low post areas. Jeff Green also turned the ball over 6 times.

The Knicks got 14 more shots up and were +13 in offensive rebounds and turnovers. This is a winning formula that they should be able to emulate throughout the rest of the series.

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images