Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 10/31/14
Paul Pierce needs no motivation to play against New York. Why would the Knicks give him any?With a win last night over Indiana, the New York Knicks clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup against Boston. Given both teams’ recent history against each other, it’s probably not a surprise, then, that today’s big news is that Carmelo Anthony still doesn’t really get the Celtics. From ESPN New York:“That’s in the back of our minds,” Anthony said of the 2011 defeat. “We want to beat Boston. I mean, let’s be quite frank … This playoff series for myself, it’s very important for us as a team, as a city, as an organization. We’re looking forward to this season.”Of course Carmelo wants to beat the Celtics. That part makes perfect sense. You want to advance in the playoffs, you want to beat a divisional rival, you want to move on.But suggesting that the Boston series means more to you personally? Melo. Buddy. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE CELTICS WANT.We can talk for days about how Boston’s defense will improve with Garnett finally playing consistently in the playoffs and how Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee (maybe) are coming around and how Jeff Green has been an all-star in the second half of the season.But once we’ve talked ourselves to death and discussed every possible angle from an X’s and O’s standpoint, we need to acknowledge that Boston wins games on a combination of X’s and O’s and the weird things throughout a series that motivate them. Quentin Richardson called the Celtics “actresses” in 2010 and helped  jump-start Boston into a trip to the Finals. A long-standing beef with LeBron and the Heat nearly led to a beyond-shocking upset last year.  With nearly every expert picking New York (thereby motivating Boston already) and with the Celtics finally having some semblance of health for KG and Pierce, why would Melo admit that this series means something more to him than an average playoff series?Don’t get me wrong: Melo is an incredible player who COULD destroy Boston offensively if he got hot at the right time. But he’s crazy if handing the Celtics a tack and a printed sheet of billboard material is a gamble he’s willing to take.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FSU’s Egan reported Williams girlfriend's Facebook to cops

Cowboys VP: Tony Romo “very questionable” for Week 9

Report: Warriors sign Klay Thompson to $70M extension

Cubs oust manager Renteria, setting stage for Maddon

Officially official: Michigan's Dave Brandon has resigned

RG3 won't 'try to be a normal quarterback' on Sunday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant, Joseph Randle reportedly argue before practice

DeAngelo Hall re-tore Achilles tendon while making pizza

Madison Bumgarner was once roommates with Russell Wilson

Report: Dave Brandon to resign as Michigan's Athletic Director

Wild's Vanek linked to alleged money laundering scheme

Jets fans start 'Fire John Idzik' website

Carlos Boozer shows up to arena in Halloween costume

Auburn at Ole Miss: Five things you need to know

WATCH: Goran Dragic punks Suns teammates with baby dino

WATCH: Johnny Manziel cusses out referees at Cavs opener

Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons are 'Run DMC'

Analysis: Alex Gordon wouldn't have scored on Game 7 error

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

November games that will shape the College Football Playoff

WATCH: Flyers equip. manager pulls prank with fake snake

Simi Valley team recreates Sandlot photo for Halloween

Ranking the Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL

WATCH: Vanilla Ice rocked the halftime show at T'Wolves game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

Baseball team recreates Sandlot pic

Top 10 QBs in the NFL

McDonald unlikely to face D.V. charge

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.