Boston @ New York
Madison Square Garden
Boston: 104.0 points/100 possessions (t-17th)
New York: 108.3 points/100 possessions (5th)
Boston: 97.8 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
New York: 106.9 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)
Probable NY starters: Toney Douglas(PG), Landry Fields (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amare Stoudemire/Shawne Williams (PF), Ronny Turiaf (C)
Probable BOS starters: Rajon Rondo (PG), Ray Allen (SG), Paul Pierce (SF), Kevin Garnett(PF), Jermaine O’Neal (C)
View from the opposing bench: Knickerblogger
***UPDATE: Chauncey Billups will NOT play tonight
Game 3 thumbnail:
The Celtics look to go up 3-0 and take commanding control of this series. If you haven’t heard, this will be the first playoff basketball game played at Madison Square Garden since 2004. Apparently a lot of important people are supposed to be in attendance.
The update on Stoudemire and Billups: the Knicks are hopeful for Amare’s return, but they remain pessimistic that Billups can be ready by tip-off. Both will be game-time decisions. I’d be shocked if Amare doesn’t at least try to play, though. He’s been working toward this moment all season, and even if his back isn’t fully cooperating, I can’t see him sitting this one out completely. As for Billups, we saw the effect that his absence had on Game 2, as Rajon Rondo got to the rim whenever he wanted. If Billups isn’t able to play, Rondo’s scoring instantly becomes an important factor in this game.
And finally, the rebounding numbers from Tuesday’s game again: Knicks out-board the C’s 53-37, including 20 on the offensive glass. And that was without Amare for most of the game. Surely, the Celtics know they have rebounding concerns, but that hasn’t yet led to any dramatic improvements. So we’ll see if anything changes tonight. I wonder if Doc will call for double-teams against Carmelo down the stretch, because the Celtics showed they had a lot of trouble boxing-out when they abandoned their traditional defense.