Celtics vs Knicks: MSG 7:30PM
Happy Easter Knicks Nation. Tonight the New York Knicks (45-26) host the Boston Celtics (38-34). New York is trying to win the season series for the first time since the 2003/4 season. Depending on how the seeding in the Eastern Conference shakes out these two teams might meet again in the playoffs. The Knicks are on a 7 game winning streak, powered by J.R. Smith’s unbelievable play, while the Celtics are winners of the last two games without KG in the middle. Boston always seems to get over their injuries and persevere. Today’s match-up will probably be another chapter in the Knicks-Celtics drama.
#Celticstalk: KG is with the #Celtics on this trip, but Doc Rivers said he will not play tonight vs #knicks.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) March 31, 2013
Keys to the Game:
- J.R. Smith has been on an outstanding run the last 7 games. He has changed his game from an inconsistent deep shooter with poor shot selection to an efficient decision maker who drives the ball to the basket as his first option. If he continues this trend today, the rest of this year and possibly his career, J.R. Smith might become a star. Time will tell.
- Tyson in or out? As of now Tyson is day to day, but the Knicks doctors have terrible track records over the last few years, so to believe that he is OK is completely dubious. The Knicks need the combo play of Tyson and Kenyon to solidify the defense for today and the playoffs.
- Carmelo Anthony has been a leader since coming back from his knee-draining procedure. Even though he has not shot the ball well he has made quick decisions with the ball and has helped in ball movement. When the Knicks move the ball, they win; it is that simple for NY. Melo needs to remember that and continue to do so.
- Kenyon Martin needs to stay out of foul trouble and give the Knicks a solid 25 minutes of play until Tyson comes back. Martin has taken control as the leader of defense on and off the court. If you get a chance to watch him on the court, watch how he barks out orders and holds players accountable after plays. Communication on the D is very important and Kenyon is bringing his experience to the table.
- Raymond Felton has had an up and down season in my opinion. He has not been the floor general I was expecting, but he has done a decent job on this 7 game winning streak. Ray can drive the ball with the best of them, especially when he is driving hard for the lay-up, however his sloppy ball handling and shot selection is something undesirable to me. If the Knicks want to win today and in the playoffs, Ray must take every possession with urgency.
Overall, the Knicks are in good position to win the Atlantic Division. They are 4 games up on the Brooklyn Nets and have a comfortable lead in the rest of the division. The Knicks are currently in the 3 seed, but are just a half a game out of the 2. This flip-flop in seeding expects to continue until the Knicks or the Pacers start to lose and the other can lock up the 2 seed.
I expect today to be another great game between the Knicks and the Celtics. Hopefully the Knicks can continue their streak with the playoffs on the horizon. Happy Easter!
Peter A – Knickswag
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