With the funeral on hold, the New York Knicks will get another chance to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night when they visit the Boston Celtics.
Much was made of the Knicks holding a "funeral" for the Boston Celtics before Game 5. The team dressed in black on their way to Madison Square Garden.
"We need to stay out of the paper and just concentrate on playing," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "What you wear has nothing to do with how you play on the basketball floor."
The Celtics may not have appreciated it, but the deciding factor in Game 5 wasn't wardrobe. It was shooting percentage.
The Knicks, a team that relies heavily on the outside shot, only managed to go 39.5 percent on Wednesday. Carmelo Anthony enjoyed a particularly difficult night, hitting just 8-of-24 from the floor.
"Well, we were going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried," Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith said. "Basketball is a very humbling game."
It was humbling for Smith as well. After returning from a one-game suspension, Smith went 3-for-14 from the field.
The Knicks only had 13 assists on 32 made baskets.
"There are a lot of things we can do better offensively," added Woodson. "It's more about moving the ball, side-to-side. We have to get that figured out."
The Celtics seemed to figure some things out offensively in Game 5. Mostly, Boston just made more jump shots than most nights in the series, but the Celtics shot 45.7 percent from the field.
"We are looking at each one of these as Game 7s. We are playing a really good basketball team," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We know that. We have to be really good defensively. We know our limitations on the other end. For us to move on we have to be really great on defense."
They were on Wednesday.
One decision Rivers made in Game 5 that paid off was the shortening of his bench. Rivers only played Jason Terry and Terrance Williams off his bench and Terry really stepped up in the two Boston wins.
On Wednesday, Terry went 5-for-9 from long range and had 17 points. Jeff Green paced Boston with 18, Brandon Bass also netted 17 and Kevin Garnett was amazing, once again. He scored 16 points, as did Paul Pierce, and pulled down 18 rebounds.
"No shenanigans, no nothing. We know what they're running, they know what we're running, it's just all out," said Garnett. "Who wants this? This is what it is."
No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series. Only three have forced a Game 7, so the Celtics are still fighting an uphill battle. Momentum, though, is on their side.
"It's not going to be easy by any means going to Boston and getting a win there," Woodson said after practice on Thursday. "But still, we control our own destiny. We have won in Boston. We have to see what we're made of now."
If the Celtics win on Friday, Game 7 will be Sunday in New York.