Series: 3-2 Knicks
When: 7:00 PM
Where: TD Garden
Network: MSG or ESPN
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Paul Pierce
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett
Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28)
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Pablo Prigioni
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
If someone had told us before the series began that the Knicks would be up 3-2 heading the Boston, all of us would have been OK with that.
I mean we all expected a tough series between two teams that don’t like each other and can play tough defense at all times.
This was supposed to be a knock down, drag out war that people who are paid to make predictions thought would go six or seven games depending on if you thought the Knicks could close out the series in Boston.
But then things got really good for the Knicks and really bad for the Celtics in three short games. The Knicks, with lock down defense and just enough scoring put the Celtics, who looked totally lost during their 0-3 start, on the brink of elimination.
Then J.R. Smith had his Charlie Ward moment. With Game Three out of reach, Smith elbowed Jason Terry in the face and got himself suspended.
Charlie Ward late in a Game Five blowout loss to the Heat in the 1997 East Semifinals got into a fight with P.J. Brown on the free throw line. The Knicks lost a ton of key guys to suspensions, that are still stupid to this day, and they ended up blowing a 3-1 lead to the Heat.
The Knicks are 0-2 since that elbow took place and the momentum of this series has totally changed. After the loss in Game Five on Wednesday I thought about the Ward fight with Brown and how it affected that series so much.
Could it be possible that the turning point in this series could be that elbow?
Yes it is possible. But, it’s mainly something the national media and Jason Terry will try to perpetuate into some kind of bonding moment for the Celtics.
The facts are that Melo and J.R. the past two games did not shoot the ball well or were suspended and it basically killed the offense for the Knicks. Raymond Felton is the only player that has been consistent in this series. Not exactly something anyone ever expected to read.
If the Knicks two best players are not playing or not shooting the ball well it is going to be very hard for them to win. Also shooting 5-22 from three, like they did last game, also doesn’t help.
If the Knicks were as embarrassed as they sounded yesterday and Wednesday night for the “Funeral” clothing fiasco, I hope they are ready to make amends tonight.
The Celtics have risen from the dead to create havoc for the Knicks. Lets all hope they are ready to shake off the last two performances and finally end this series.
Enjoy the Game!
Five Questions About Tonight’s Game
- Can Melo get his shot back on track?
- Will J.R. Smith bounce back from a poor Game Five?
- Can the Celtics keep up their good ball movement?
- Can Prigioni, Kidd or Shumpert provide any additional scoring?
- Can the Knicks finish the Celtics off once and for all?