Tonight, at 7:30 eastern time, the basketball will drop and the Celtics and Knicks will battle for the win. The New York Knicks, currently in first place in the Atlantic division, are trying to keep their lead while the Boston Celtics, in third place, are trying to reek havoc in the race for the Atlantic Division title. If both teams were healthy, which they are not, this regular season game would have an awesome playoff atmosphere just like the game in early January in which these same teams met in Madison Square Garden. Tonight, once again in MSG, the Celtics without their defensive leader and shot-caller Kevin Garnett, the intensity has thinned.
Although we will not see Garnett and Carmelo Anthony renew their individual rivalry, the Boston-New York general rivalry will always be lurking in the air like shadows at dusk. The game later promises to be a good one; hopefully it will come down to the wire.
The Boston Celtics, led by captain, veteran Paul Pierce will attempt to slow down the streaking New York Knicks, who have won 7 games in a row. Pierce, who always has huge nights in MSG, will have Spike Lee yelling in his ear every time he takes a three on the sideline in which Lee is seated courtside. At Madison Square Garden, "The Truth" averages 23 points and 6 assists per game this year. Boston's defensive backcourt consisting of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee will definitely limit J.R Smith and whatever bum the Knicks have bringing up the ball playing point guard. J.R Smith, who, as of late has been the X-Factor for the on-fire Knicks, has been "Mr. Does it all". He has shot lights out from three-point land and has tormented opposing guards off of the dribble. He's instant offense and it will be interesting to see how the Celtics will try to stop him and his hot hand.
The New York Knicks, led by scorer Carmelo Anthony, J.R Smith, and defensive genius Tyson Chandler are the favorites against the hobbled Boston Celtics. They will try to get on the break and outrun the tired and hurt Celtics. Whether or not this strategy will work or not, we'll just have to wait and see. Lately, the Celtics have been getting off to quick starts and then taking their foot off of the pedal. This could be dangerous against a high powered offense like the Knicks. I predict that the Celtics will indeed jump off to a quick lead and then lose it right in the middle of halftime. Hopefully they can regain the lead in the fourth quarter, but I'm just not sure they have the depth and fresh legs they need to do that. I think they will make a late run, but it will be too little, too late. I'm not so confident with this Celtics team without Kevin Garnett, so I'm sadly going to have to go against them tonight.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: NYK:97 BOS:91
A recap post of this game will be made tomorrow.