The New York Knicks will look to advance to the second round and end the Boston Celtics season in Madison Square Garden in Game 5. The Knicks dominated the first three games but hiccupped in Game 4 without J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony not being efficient.
It’s hard to expect a sweep in the playoffs especially against a veteran team filled with pride like the Celtics, but with the way the Knicks dominated the first three games, losing game four was a little bit of a letdown for fans.
With the brooms stuffed back into the closet, all Knicks fans want is to end this series at home and move on to round two, something they haven’t said since the iPod wasn’t created yet. Here’s everything you need to know for Game 5:
When: Wednesday May 1st at 7:00 P.M. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
Betting Line: Knicks (-8.5)
Key Matchup: J.R. Smith vs. Jason Terry
As you can see from the line that Vegas gave, it will be a big upset if the Celtics win Game 5 and send this series back to Boston. The suspension of J.R. Smith for Game 4 obviously play a big role in the loss and his return will hopefully have this Knicks team back in sync.
Celtics guard Jason Terry is a main reason why the C’s avoided a sweep. Terry was lights out in overtime and might have regained that confidence that carried the Mavericks on their 2011 championship run. The Knicks can’t have him getting hot because he’s a very streaky shooter and they don’t want to be on the wrong side of that.
If J.R. Smith comes back and is effective right away, I have full faith that the Knicks will win Game 5. His agent will probably send over the game tape of Game 4 to Glen Grunwald and the Knicks front office to show them how valuable Smith is to this team when they are in long-term contract negotiations.
As I wrote earlier, this game will fall on the shoulders of Carmelo Anthony. This game is huge for his legacy, as he needs to show he can close out a playoff series especially in front on his home crowd. Players like Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, and Kenyon Martin of course need to play well, but this is Melo’s game.
The Garden will be rocking during Game 5 and the Knicks have thrived off the home crowd all season, especially in big games. I can’t see the Knicks falling on their face in this game; if they do they can be in big trouble. The Knicks are clearly the better and more talented team and they will show it in this game just like they did in the first three.
Prediction: Knicks 94, Celtics 82