The New York Knicks look to continue their hot streak and extend their winning streak to eight tonight when the welcome the Boston Celtics to Madison Square Garden on this Easter Sunday. Here is what to watch for.
Current Standings – New York: 45-26, 2nd in the Eastern Conference (11.5 games behind Miami, 1st in Atlantic Division (4.0 games ahead of Brooklyn). Boston: 38-34, seventh in the Eastern Conference (19.0 games behind Miami)
Injury Update – New York: Rasheed Wallace (out, foot), Amare Stoudemire (out, knee), Tyson Chandler (questionable, knee/neck), Kurt Thomas (out, foot) Boston: Kevin Garnett (out, ankle), Rajon Rondo (out, right knee), Jared Sullinger (out, back), Courtney Lee (probable, ankle)
Previous Meeting - This past Tuesday in Boston the Knicks won in convincing fashion by a score of 100-85. There was really never any doubt as to who was the better team in that game as the Knicks took a fourteen point lead into halftime with a thirty point 2nd quarter. J.R. Smith led all scorers that night with 32 points on 13 of 24 shooting, While Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 29. Jeff Green was the Celtics leading scorer with just 19 points.
What’s at Stake – The Knicks look to keep their league leading seven-game winning streak rolling against a very bruised and broken Boston Celtics team who are without both Garnett and Rondo. With the Nets idle tonight, the Knicks would gain a 4.5 game lead over them in the division with a win. More importantly a Knicks win tonight would continue their momentum as they take their talents to South Beach on Tuesday night in their showdown against the Miami Heat.
Key Matchup – Boston guards vs. the Knicks defense. In their last meeting, the Knicks defensive pressure and intensity really set the tone. The Celtics finished that game with 19 turnovers, 12 of them coming from Paul Pierce and Jordan Crawford. With the likes of Felton, Prigioni, and Shumpert, I look for the Knicks to continue to pressure the heck out of the Celtics backcourt, especially without Rajon Rondo running the show.
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