It turns out that Cheeks was part of knocking down a Celtics dynasty that was virtually on its last legs, leading the Knicks to a 5 game playoff series victory including a memorable Game 5 victory on the Garden parquet. I'd me remiss if I didn't mention Charles Oakley's 20/20 game that day as well. If memory serves he had 22 points and 25 rebounds, or something in that range.
Fast forward some 20 years later and the Knicks are led by another veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who possesses a similar veteran acumen that Cheeks did. Both won championships and lived, for years, in the second season. Both nearing the end of their careers who want one last shot at the big time.
As a Knicks fan you can talk about the series with the Celtics in many ways. You can point to different keys and you'd be right. The bench needs to step up and keep the game close. The stars have to do what stars do to give the Knicks the chance to win.
But, to me, it comes down to Billups and his ability to defend. The obvious thought that anyone would think of would be will we see a lot of Toney Douglas on Rajon Rondo, which would leave Billups the assignment on Ray Allen. I'd leave Billups on Rondo. I mean, can Chauncey's legs allow him the ability to get through screens and chase Allen around all night? Would you even want him to? I'd leave that for Landry Fields, or Douglas (ahem, derrick brown) and tell Billups to stay 5 feet off Rondo and keep him in front of him. Let him shoot jumpers all day long.
But that's just me.
The playoffs are about matchups and performance, and the Knicks will needs a huge one from a player whose been there before. That's why the biggest key to me in this series is Chauncey Billups vs. the Celtics' back court.