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 NYK 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
Thumbnail: After game three, where the Celtics brutalized the Knicks into quitting, it’ll be interesting to see if Mike D’Antoni’s team brings any energy to the (Madison Square) Garden this afternoon. If they do, it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll maintain their effort if the Celtics start knocking down shots and applying defensive pressure. If you were the Knicks, would you want to go back up to Boston where elimination almost surely awaits or would you rather just get it over with? They may not have any fire left now that Chauncey Billups is done and Amar’e Stoudemire is doubtful after laboring through 33 ineffective minutes on Friday night.
The Celtics’ staggering game 3 blitzkrieg (a 122.1 0ffensive rating) was a great sign for the offense but Boston won’t get those kinds of open shots in round two. Still, from a rhythm and confidence standpoint, game three was the perfect tonic for the two shaky efforts in Boston. And with the chance to close New York out this afternoon, Boston sets itself up to head down to South Beach with its talents rested and well-practiced.
Will the Celtics be able to bring out the brooms for the first time in The Big Three era? Today’s certainly the best opportunity they’ll have for it.
UPDATE: Stoudemire is expected to try and play today.