Before the season began, if I would have told you that the New York Knicks would potentially be staring down a potential first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, admit it, you would probably have been a bit nervous about the possibility.
But if the Knicks can hold onto the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, that’s exactly what will happen and it’s something that Knicks fans should welcome.
After Sunday night’s 19-point win, the Knicks won the regular season series against Boston for the first time since 2003-04.
That’s a trend I would expect to continue in the postseason.
Just two years ago, the Celtics swept the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, but the opposite could hold true this season, especially if the Knicks continue to play as well down the stretch as they have during their recent eight-game winning streak.
Boston should have Kevin Garnett back for the playoffs, but he can run his mouth all he wants and throw as many Honey Nut Cheerios comments Carmelo Anthony’s way, but it likely won’t matter.
Even with KG in the lineup, this Celtics team is an awful rebounding team. With a healthy Tyson Chandler (hopefully) and a rejuvenated Kenyon Martin in the Knicks frontcourt, that gives the Knicks a huge advantage on the glass.
In addition, this Celtics team is not a typical Doc Rivers coached team as they aren’t a great defensive team.
New York should be able to get whatever they want offensively. Make no mistake about it, Boston will defend well through stretches, but they aren’t as dominant at that end of the floor as they have been in recent years.
Finally there is the Rajon Rondo factor.
Without Rondo in the lineup, the Celtics offense doesn’t scare anyone.
As odd as it would have been to say at the beginning of the season, the Celtics are likely the most favorable first round matchup the Knicks can hope for.
That makes getting the No. 2 seed even more important.
The Knicks want to stay as far away from the Chicago Bulls as possible. With the Bulls currently tied for the No. 6 seed in the East, believe me, they don’t want to take their chances that they could have to face the Bulls tough frontline in the first round, especially since the Knicks have lost all three games against Chicago this season.
So with 10 games remaining in the regular season, I say let the hot streak continue and let’s bring on the Celtics in the playoffs.
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