When: 8:00 PM
Where: TD Garden
Network: MSG or ESPN
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
Celtics (#7 Seed, 41-40)
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
Tonight will be emotional for the Celtics and their fans. It has been 11 days since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon and the Celtics will playing a game at home for the first time since that horrible day.
With the desperation from the fact that they trail 2-0 and the first playoff game at home giving them a boost already, the added significance from the tragedy could jump that up ten fold.
The Knicks must weather the storm that the Celtics will bring on them to begin the game. They have played great first halves this series and will look to do so again tonight. Of course playing a complete game for the Celtics has been a problem.
Tonight is the swing game of the series. The difference between being up 3-0 and being up 2-1 is huge. If the Celtics win, they know they are back in the series and have forced at least a Game five. If the Knicks win, they will force the Celtics to do something no team in basketball has ever done, comeback from down 3-0.
The Knicks did all they could do in the first two games of this series. They defended home court and know the worst that could happen this weekend is that they head home tied 2-2 and still with home court advantage.
But, we really don't want to see that at all. The Knicks have to aim for at least a split of the two games this weekend. If they can do that, they head home to the Garden with a chance to close out the series at home.
The Celtics have been written off and basically given no shot to win the series. I don't see them making this a series either, but that does not mean I respect them any less. The Knicks are not taking them lightly either. To win this series, like we thought before it started, the Knicks will have to earn it.
Tommy Dee on Twitter this afternoon asked fans what they thought would be the keys for tonight. What I said was on top of weathering the storm in the first half was attacking the rim and playing consistent defense.
Or, just do what they have done in Games One and Two. The Knicks have a formula to beat the Celtics and they have put it to good use already to get the 2-0 lead.
Now lets see if that plan makes the trip to Boston and if they can have their first 3-0 series lead in a seven game series since the second round sweep of the Hawks in 1999.
Enjoy the Game!
Five Questions About Tonight's Game
- Can the Knicks handle the expected burst the Celtics will have to start the game?
- Will they be able to get Garnett and Pierce is foul trouble again?
- Can Jeff Green step up after struggling for the last game and a half?
- Raymond Felton played well in Game Two, can he keep that up tonight?
- How many points will Carmelo score tonight?