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 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)
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)
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