PREGAME: Knicks-Celtics by William Botchway

The New York Knicks are bringing the brooms to Boston this afternoon. Up 3-0, the Knickerbockers are on the verge of a sweep, but unfortunately they must do this without J.R. Smith. Smith is suspended for a game after elbowing Jason Terry in the head in one of the weirdest plays I’ve seen in a while. The elbow itself didn’t look forceful enough to hurt Terry, yet I don’t think that there was a flop. Either way, the rest of the team will have to make up for the lost scoring and rebounding that Earl provides off the bench. They’ll also have to help all the girls in the crowd who ever anxious to get some pipe.

Without a second scorer, Carmelo Anthony knows that he will be relied upon to carry the scoring load. He’ll come out of the gates shooting and driving to the hoop at all costs. He’s going to score at least 40 points today. Unfortunately I won’t be home to watch it, but I think Melo is going to have a memorable performance.

Much like in Game 3, look for the Knicks to keep up the defensive effort for the whole game, not just in the second half. The Celtics struggled to score throughout the whole game, and they a bad offensive rebounding team. This allows the Knicks to get back in transition quickly and get some points on the board.

Looking ahead to the second round, I’d like to see Tyson Chandler show more signs of life. Chandler is obviously injured and isn’t playing like himself. Kenyon Martin has been able to fill the role perfectly, but going into the next matchup I want to see Chandler get back on track. Look for him to get some extra minutes.

I am predicting the Knicks to win this game and the series today. This of course means that the Knicks will be celebrating after the game. Here comes the essential question: Does the rest of the team let James White, Quentin Richardson, and/or Earl Barron celebrate with them? There’s a possibility that those guys are going to just stand around with each other while everyone else parties on top of Shumpert’s hair. Just make sure that Jason Kidd doesn’t have to drive anywhere after the game…

By William Botchway

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