Neither the New York Knicks nor the Boston Celtics have played all that well this year, but both are going to try to get the job done against the other when they meet in a nationally televised duel on Friday night at the TD Garden.
The Knicks are really is some trouble right now, as they are starting to run out of time to get back in the race in the Atlantic Division. The team was beaten again on Thursday night by the Chicago Bulls at home last night, but at least it was the team’s fourth cover in its last six games. Yesterday, we discussed the fact that both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were playing inconsistent ball, but both were able to play well on Thursday night. Stoudemire came up with 34 points and 11 boards, while Melo had 26 points and six rebounds in spite of a bit of a shoddy shooting night (10/26). The big question is what Head Coach Mike D’Antoni is going to do to change all of this. On nights that the offense has been great, the defense fails like it did yesterday. On nights that the defense has been great, the team just doesn’t figure out how to get the job done on the offensive side of the court.
It took a bit of time this year for the Celtics to get going, but all of a sudden, the team has won six out of seven and is definitely headed in the right direction. Boston is back above .500, though only by a single game. That makes this one all the more crucial, because it could be the difference between staying above .500 for the rest of the year and slipping back into mediocrity. This schedule just isn’t helping out this old squad, and at the end of the day, the stats are showing just that. Paul Pierce, normally a man who is good for at least 20 points on the average night, is down to just 17.8 points per game this year, while Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are only good for 28.0 points per game between them. Rajon Rondo has had a great season, averaging 15.0 points, 9.4 assists, and 5.1 boards per game, but he has been battling a slew of injuries as well and might not be in the fold in this one because of a groin injury.
The Final Word: Though the Knicks did win the first meeting of these two teams this year on opening night at Madison Square Garden, we don’t think that they stand a chance in this one whether Rondo plays or not. Boston is just the better team, and there is a reason that it had won eight straight in this series prior to this point. Go with the boys from Beantown to get the job done to start off the weekend.
New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics Pick: Boston Celtics
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.