Over at our splendidly run Boston Celtics sister site, Hardwood Houdini, they’re feeling pretty happy about the final 36 seconds that transpired in Game 1. Over here, we’re less than thrilled. But nonetheless we’ve cast our differences to the side for a fireside sharing of some thoughts regarding what still promises to be a hard fought, extended, and taxing series. I assure you, these answers were e-mailed before Game 1. Don’t they look eerily accurate?
Courtesy of Brian Cloney:
Reasons why the Celtics will win:
Team defense-The Celtics led the NBA giving up only 91.13 points per game on the season. A fete that may be hard to duplicate at this stage in the season, however, a team that thinks of defense first may have enough left in the tank to shut down one of the more prolific scoring offenses in the league.
Ray Allen-Do the Knicks have anyone that can stay with Allen for 4 quarters? Guarding Allen/just being able to slow him down will be a tough task for anyone on the Knicks roster. If Allen can get it going early, other opportunities will open up as a result causing more of a nightmare for a Knicks team that struggles to make stops on the defensive side of the ball.
Bench-The rotation may be short off of the bench, but Doc will have to pick his spots in order to give the aging Big Three some much needed rest without causing to much of a disruption to the flow of the game. The Celtics will look to exploit matchups whenever possible and the likes of Delonte West and Glen Davis could prove to be the difference makers in the series.
Reasons why the Celtics will lose:
No Shaquille O’Neal-Without Shaq the Celtics have no inside presence to combat the Knicks and their lack of an inside presence. Shaq has been ruled out for at least game 1 and we’ll have to wait and see on the rest of the series. Jermaine O’Neal and Nenad Krstic will look to fill the void in the middle.
Scoring Points-The Celtics have been the worst scoring offense since early March. Can the Celtics get it going when the games count or will they continue the trend of lackluster basketball?
Old Age-The team has struggled down the stretch failing to ramp up production when the games mattered most. We went into the season with the mindset that the team just needed to make the playoffs. Well, this has happened. Can the Celtics get back their killer instinct?