kevin garnett

The Celtics fully expected to have a size edge when they kept Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass up front and started both Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, but that hasn’t translated well enough to the scoreboard.

“We’ve been tempted to try to exploit matchups that might not even be advantages,” said Ainge. “I mean, Jason Kidd can still play. I coached Jason Kidd when he was a three-time All-NBA player, and I don’t ever think it’s a mismatch when Jason Kidd’s guarding someone (Pierce, for example). I think at this stage of his career, he probably defends bigger guys much better than he defends quicker guys. I don’t think that’s a huge matchup advantage for us.

“It would help if we could space the floor better, or get Jeff Green posting up Jason Kidd. But I just don’t think those are major advantages that we have, and we’re spending a lot of time in these last three games trying to exploit those. And it’s not through any fault of anybody. I just think the Knicks have played really good defense, and they’ve exposed our weaknesses.

“So far in this series,” he added, “New York has been the better offensive team and the better defensive team.”

– Reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald