|Posted by shawn cassidy on April 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM|
The Celtics lost to the Knicks three out of four times this season. In the final two games the Knicks beat the Celtics with ease. In the first two games where the Celtics won the first match up, and almost won the second. Rondo was still around running the show.For the second time in three
years, the Celtics and Knicks will meet in the first round of the
playoffs. This series is not even close to a rematch. The Celtics have three players from the 2011 team(Pierce-KG-Green), and the Knicks just have Melo. Amare was there, but he's not active for this series, and he's not expected to play.
Jan 7, 2013Boston 102, New York 96
Jan 24, 2013New York 89, Boston 86
Mar 26, 2013New York 100, Boston 85
Mar 31, 2013Boston 89, New York 108
Boston Celtics: Jeff Green will be the guy who needs to take his game up an extra notch. He's got the skill set, and he's shown his ability to score and takeover games. Jeff's quest starts against New York. If the Celtics have any chance, it's now or never this season. Nothing will be easy for the Celtics. Jeff Green is one guy who can make things easier, and the Celtics have no shot without him.In the four games that Jeff played against the Knicks. He averaged almost 18 points a game along with 6.5 rebounds, and close to 3 assists. Jeff Green had a poor 2011 playoff run with the Celtics, and now he's able to erase the bad memories.
New York Knicks: JR Smith is the guy who strikes fear into my soul. He can score 30-40 points easily, and I hope that doesn't happen. Smith has been on fire, and throughout his career he's been a streaky player. Smith is more then capable of making the Celtics pay. He scored 32 points against them in March, and he was the guy who put the Knicks on his back in that game. With the Celtics being one of the best if, or if not the best at guarding the three-point line. All we can hope is that the Celtics can guard the Knicks,and mainly Smith behind the arc.
Who can be the better defensive anchor?
Kevin has already made a name for himself, and the same can be said about Tyson Chandler. During the 2011 title run for the Mavs. Many close to the team said Tyson had the same impact on defense as KG did for the Celtics. I think the series comes down to who plays defense. KG, and Chandler rested towards the end of the season, and both guys may bot be 100%. It sounds like Kevin could be actually healthy,and Chandler is up in the air on how healthy he is. I think the Celtics have an edge because KG is an all-time great who knows what he's doing inside and out.
My concern with the Celtics and KG? Can KG play more? Can they stretch him to 35 minutes? The Celtics do get a lot of rest the series. They get two days off in between games more then three times this series. KG rested leading into the playoffs. I hope he can give more, because the Celtics fall apart without him. The record of 7-13 in their last 20 games shows that, and KG was out most of the time.
Paul Pierce doesn't need to get in a pissing contest
Paul Pierce needs to be the steady Celtic. He's the leader in areas that KG can't be. Paul will be needed to guard the best player on the other team, and he will be asked to control the offense. Paul has made his career on killing the Knicks, but his role will be much different without Rondo. Pierce needs to be what the team needs him to be during moments. If they need a shot, he can get that for them, and if the Celtics need to get a guy like Jeff Green going. Pierce will need to be the jack of all trades in this years playoffs, and especially in the first round.
Can Melo make it out of the first round?
Melo has made it out of the first round once in his career. I think Chauncey Billups assisted him on that in 2009. Before Billups arrived in Denver Melo had never made it past the first round, and in the past two seasons with the Knicks. Melo hasn't moved on to the second round. For some players it's in their heads. So, the Celtics may want to get him off his game, or weaken his confidence early in the series. Melo is having a MVP type season, and he's coming off a scoring title. The Celtics need to rattle his cage.
Who wins the series
I believe the Celtics edge the Knicks out in 6 games. The Knicks are banged up a bit, and I think the Celtics played opossum for the last month of the season like they have in the past. The Celtics need Green to have a great series like I said, and if that doesn't happen the Celtics lose. They need Jeff around 20 a night, or more in some games. The Celtics bench is more then capable of winning games, and their also a bench that will hurt you. Who will show up. In the end the Celtics have something about them that forces me to pick them.