Mar 31, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Jeff Green (8) defends New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) as he controls the ball during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 108-89. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: New York Knicks (2) vs Boston Celtics (7) Preview

Playoff Schedule 

Game 1 – Saturday, April 20, Boston at New York, 3 p.m., ABC

Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23, Boston at New York, 8 p.m., TNT

Game 3 – Friday, April 26, New York at Boston, 8 p.m., ESPN

Game 4 – Sunday, April 28, New York at Boston, 1 p.m., ABC

Game 5* – Wednesday, May 1, Boston at New York, TBD

Game 6* – Friday, May 3, New York at Boston, TBD

Game 7* – Sunday, May 5, Boston at New York, TBD

Season Record

New York Knicks (54-28, Atlantic Division Champions) vs Boston Celtics (41-40, third in Atlantic Division)

Season Series: New York Knicks 3-1

January 7, 2013 (102-96 for Boston)

January 24, 2013 (89-86 for New York)

March 26, 2013 (100-85 for New York)

March 31, 2013 (108-89 for New York)

Key Matchups

Carmelo Anthony vs Paul Pierce

Tyson Chandler vs Kevin Garnett

J.R Smith vs Avery Bradley

Stat Leaders

Points: Knicks – Carmelo Anthony (28.7), Paul Pierce (18.6)

Rebounds: Knicks – Tyson Chandler (10.7), Kevin Garnett (7.8)

Assists: Knicks – Raymond Felton (5.5), Paul Pierce (4.8)

Fun Fact

Up until this season, the Boston Celtics had won the Atlantic Division every year Kevin Garnett had been with the team.

Why the New York Knicks will win this series:

There are just too many question marks on the side of Boston. The health of Kevin Garnett is still up in there, Avery Bradley will likely start out-of-position at point guard, and the Celtics second-unit (Williams, Crawford, Randolph, Wilcox) has no playoff experience whatsoever. Carmelo Anthony has been lights-out as of late, finishing the season as the leagues leading-scorer at 28.7 points a night. If not for LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Anthony could easily be the MVP of the NBA in 2013. Boston is going to focus a lot of their defensive pressure on Carmelo, but with his recent hot streak, that may not be enough. The Knicks roster is full of battle-tested, hungry veterans who are ready to take that next stride in the East and compete with the likes of the Miami Heat for that top spot. Fans and experts have made fun of their age in the past, but in the postseason, it will all pay huge dividends for the Knicks. New York is still extremely deep, despite key injuries to guys like Amare Stoudemire and the now retired Rasheed Wallace.

How the Boston Celtics can pull off the upset:

They have the backing of an entire country behind them. With all due respect to the city of New York and their Knicks, each and every American citizen will have a soft spot for these Boston Celtics heading into this series, after the tragic events that took place Monday afternoon at the Boston Marathon. It could become very uplifting, and almost be the extra boost the Celtics need to push the Knicks to the prink. From a basketball standpoint, Boston is in the top-10 in the NBA in both opponents field-goal percentage (44.1%) and opponents three-point field-goal percentage (34.2%). In their only win against the Knicks this season, Boston held New York to just 40% shooting, and Carmelo Anthony to just six made shots on 26 attempts. Outside of Anthony and J.R Smith, New York doesn’t have many guys who can create their own shot. Contain those two, and this series becomes a heck of a lot easier.

Final Prediction: New York Knicks in seven

Chris Walder is the Editor of Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports

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Tags: Boston Celtics Carmelo Anthony J.R. Smith Kevin Garnett NBA Playoffs New York Knicks Paul Pierce

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