When: 3:00 PM
Where: Madison Square Garden
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
Celtics (#7 Seed, 41-40)
PG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett
Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28)
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Iman Shumpert
SF: Chris Copeland
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
There are a lot of great things that happen in sports that people around this country have been able to witness over the years.
I can say that, in my mind, there is really nothing better then a Knicks playoff game at Madison Square Garden.
The roar from the crowd is always louder, the chants of DE-FENSE are always a little more motivational and the aura that the building gives to an event like the NBA Playoffs is second to none.
This afternoon starts a journey that we all hope the Knicks take us on all the way through the middle of June. It has been 40 long years since the Knicks were NBA Champions and today could be the beginning of the end for that drought.
To begin that march towards a championship, they will face hurdles in its way that will do everything in their power to trip them up and eliminate them.
The first hurdle is the Boston Celtics.
With the tragic events that unfolded in the Boston area this past week, we as a nation and New Yorkers support Boston and it's people in it's path towards normalcy.
They were there for us after 9/11 and we are there for them now.
I will not be rooting against Boston. I will be rooting against the Celtics. I will be rooting against the players and coaches that are apart of the Celtics. I will root for the Knicks to beat them and advance in the playoffs.
But, I will not be rooting against the city of Boston or the people who call that great city home.
The Knicks know that the Celtics, even with age and talent going against them in this series, will be fired up. They will be ready to show the world they still have something left in the tank.
The pressure is squarely on the Knicks. They are the favorites, everyone who is paid to talk or write about the NBA is picking them to win the series. The Celtics have no pressure and can enjoy the underdog role.
The pressure falls specifically on Carmelo Anthony, who will try to advance out of the first round for only the second time in his career. Although we all know he is a superstar in this league and deserves more credit then he gets, his career playoff record haunts him.
This is his time to take over this city, the NBA and let all the doubters/haters know that he is the best. This is Anthony's time to lead the Knicks, the team he demanded to be traded to three years ago, to glory.
The playoffs are a time where an NBA player can take his career to the next level.
This is the time where the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony can start the journey together towards the title that has eluded them both for way too long.
Five Questions About Tonight's Game
- Can the Knicks defend home court?
- Will anything happen between Anthony and Garnett?
- Will Pierce be 100% and does he have any "Knicks-Killer" Magic left?
- Which 6th Man, J.R. Smith or Jason Terry, will have the biggest impact today?
- How will Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin look in their return from injuries?