With Anthony coming off a poor shooting game and Smith perhaps feeling responsible for the Knicks losing Game 4, they might want to try to take on too much and win the game — and series — by themselves.
Mike Woodson might have to address this possibility with his two top scorers before the tip for Game 4. They have a total of eight assists in the series.
“We’re motivated as a team,” Chandler said. “(Smith) is motivated, I’m sure. He’ll come back and do his thing. Hopefully, we’ll finish the job.”
Anthony has been the best player in the series, but the Celtics are making it tough for him.
He is taking 28.3 shots per game, averaging 33 points and hitting 40.7 percent of his attempts. In his last eight regular-season games, Anthony averaged 36.9 points and shot 53.8 percent.
The Celtics probably will continue to be physical with Anthony, and try and throw him off his game. But if the Celtics are successful in frustrating Anthony, the Knicks have to find other ways to win.
They have a major advantage at point guard. Raymond Felton has dominated Boston with his shooting and getting in the paint and making plays. The craftiness and court intelligence of Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni also have been huge for the Knicks.
The Knicks have more depth, have defended better and used their size to beat the shorter Celtics — especially when Garnett is on the bench — on the boards.
“We’re going back home with a lot of confidence,” Anthony said.
By losing Game 4, the Knicks have given their fans a chance to be there to celebrate their first series victory in 13 years. They just want to make sure they don’t give the Celtics a couple of more days to breathe.