As the 2013 NBA Playoffs are in full swing, the New York Knicks did exactly what they were supposed to do through two games- win on their home court.
But as the series shifts to Boston, the Knicks should know what they are about to be in for.
They have to play Friday night, in Boston, in the Celtics’ first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings. The TD Garden will be an emotion filled building and it would be an understatement to say that it’s going to be a tough building to play in.
Do you remember how Madison Square Garden was filled with emotion after Hurricane Sandy? It was as if there was no way in the world the Knicks could lose their opener to the Miami Heat. This will be a similar environment, if not a more emotion filled one.
But the Knicks are ready for this.
The reason why dates all the way back to the offseason.
When Knicks’ general manager Glen Grunwald reshaped this roster by adding a slew of veterans, this Knicks team wasn’t just assembled to win in the postseason, it was built to win on the road in the postseason.
That’s what great teams do. They can go to hostile environments and win games when they count.
These veteran Knicks are battle tested. Many of them spent years winning big playoff games on the road in front of some of the loudest crowds imaginable. Whether it is at Boston, at Indiana, or even at Miami, these Knicks won’t be phased by going on the road.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is confident that his team will respond well to being away from The Garden, telling ESPN’s Jared Zwerling that this is one of the best road teams he has ever coached.
“This is the best team I’ve coached as a head coach from a road standpoint,” he said on Wednesday. “That just says a lot for the guys in the locker room. … It’s not easy winning on the road. You’ve got to do everything perfect to win on the road, and if we’re able to do that and keep it close and put ourselves in position, we’ll have a legitimate shot.”
As it pertains to this series, the numbers are on the Knicks side.
They won both games in Boston this season and in NBA history, teams that went up 2-0 in a playoff series had a .940 winning percentage (233-15). Since the league went to a seven-game first-round format in 2003, only eight times (out of 89) a team came back from a 2-0 deficit to win the series.
In addition, the Knicks are 9-2 all-time in best-of-seven series when leading 2-0. and it has been 44 years since the Celtics came back from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series.
Having said that, it won’t be easy.
Nobody ever said contending for a title would be.
But these Knicks aren’t only ready to hit the road, they are ready to win on the road.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.