Eastern Conference 1st Round Matchup: Celtics vs. Knicks

Posted by By at 15 April, at 10 : 57 AM Print

First Round Playoff Matchup – Eastern Conference

(3) Boston Celtics 56-26 vs. (6) New York Knicks 42-40

In this battle of 2 of the NBA’s older and more historic Franchises, The Boston Celtics face off versus the New York Knicks in their 1st Round Playoff Matchup.  Finishing 3rd overall in the East, The Celtics have home-court advantage, and considering the fans base of each team, the “6th man” can and will most likely play a huge roll in this series.

Player Stat Leaders:

PPG
Celtics: Pierce – 18.9ppg
Knicks: Anthony – 25.6ppg

RPG
Celtics: Garnett – 8.9rpg
Knicks: Stoudemire – 8.2rpg

APG
Celtics: Rondo – 11.2apg
Knicks: Billups – 5.3apg

This matchup will undoubtedly be even better then it looks to be on paper.  On one hand we have the Celtics who look like they are on their last legs.  With an aging roster who have had difficulty staying healthy all season, The Celtics hope they have one more serious run left in them as Coach Doc Rivers tries to take The Celts back to the NBA Finals.  On the other hand, The Knicks are a team with many question marks.  This is a team that went through a complete overhaul at the Trade deadline and has played just a .500 ball since the trade went down that brought Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to The Big Apple.  The Knicks can score, this no one questions….but can they stop anyone else from scoring?  The Knicks are second last in the league in opponent’s points per game and The Celtics are far too wise to not take advantage of the Knicks Defensive woes.

Season Series Scores:
10/29/10 – Boston 105 vs. New York 101
12/15/10 – Boston 118 vs. New York 116
03/21/11 – Boston 96 vs.   New York 86
04/13/11 – Boston 112 vs. New York 102

Player Matchups:
PG: Rajon Rondo vs. Chauncey Billups
SG: Ray Allen vs. Landry Fields
SF: Paul Pierce vs. Carmelo Anthony
PF: Amare Stoudemire vs. Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O’Neal vs. Jared Jeffries

As seen during the season series, The Celtics have dominated the Knicks.  This is an extremely intriguing matchup for the 1st round.  The Knicks are a totally different team than the one that suited up earlier in the season.  With Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Playoff veteran Chauncey Billups on the court it’s going to be tough for the Celtics to slow down the Knicks offense.  The big question mark heading into this series is whether or not New York will play and D during the series.  In the last 10 games of the season, they have shown glimpses that they can play better defense, but will need more than a glimpse to stop this determined Celtics squad.  Carmelo Anthony was brought to New York to help lead the Knicks back into the Playoffs and eventually into the Finals.  Step 1 has been accomplished and the load just got a lot bigger on his shoulders as the road to the Finals starts in Boston.

In Boston, we have seen a team that has lost countless number of man-games this season.  Injuries to Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Delonte West have made it a tough go at it this season.  Add to this the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to The Thunder in exchange for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green and the Celtics are looking quite susceptible down low.  The loss of Perkins came to light late in the season as Boston had limited help down low as Krstic won’t be able to stop Amare by himself.

The Celtics have been down this road before.  They know what it takes to make it to the NBA Finals having been there twice and winning it once in the past 3 years.  They are a determined group of players and Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Shaq have all been there, and done that.  An injured Rajon Rondo has limited his play in the 2nd half of the season, but Boston hopes to have him return to his MVP like numbers earlier this year to assist in another drive to the Finals.

The Knicks were 2 different teams this season.  Version 1.0 had the Knicks faithful excited for a promising future as they were playing above .500 ball, and Version 2.0 is Star-Studded and come with very high expectations.  How much fight does this version of the Knicks have heading into the Playoffs?  Can they rely on Star-power for an entire season or will Carmelo, Amare and team take the next step and cohesively play as a team to slow down the Veteran Celtics squad?

This series is sure to bring excitement and dramatic finishes as these two teams are filled with NBA stars, new and old.  Look for this series to go the distance as these well respected clubs face off starting this weekend.

TELEVISION SCHEDULE:

GAME 1 at BOS, Sun., April 17, 7 p.m., TNT
GAME 2 at BOS, Tue., April 19, 7 p.m., TNT
GAME 3 at NYK, Fri., April 22, 7 p.m., ESPN
GAME 4 at NYK, Sun., April 24, 3:30 p.m., ABC
GAME 5 at BOS, Tue., April 26, If Necessary
GAME 6 at NYK, Fri., April 29, If Necessary
GAME 7 at BOS, Sun., May 1, If Necessary

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One Comment

  1. NYMike, 7 years ago Reply

    Knicks in 7. Mark my words. Melo and Amare cant be stopped!


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