Saturday at 3 PM the bell will ring, signaling the start of the Knicks first round bout with the Boston Celtics, but 2013 is far from the first time that these teams have squared up against each other in the playoffs. This week’s Throwback Thursday takes a look back on New York and Boston’s rivaled playoff history.
Despite all of their postseason success, the Celtics only hold an 8-6 lead in series wins over New York. This year’s matchup is sure to be one for the ages with the Knicks topping the Atlantic Division for the first time since 1994 and Boston playing with tons of emotion as they attempt to unite their whole city after Monday’s unfortunate disaster.
Now, on to your history lesson.
The Celtics took care of business rather swiftly against the Knicks in 2011, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked. The Knicks showed signs of being a major threat in the future, making Boston earn their victories by a combined five points. Melo was still on his honeymoon with New Yorkers at that point and earned their respect with a 42-point, put the team on his shoulders type of effort when Chauncey Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire both left the game due to injury. It’s probably my favorite memory of Anthony as a Knicks so far and it would have been capped off perfectly had Jared Jeffries made a simple lay-up in the game’s closing moments.
The ’90′s was one of the quietest decades in franchise history for the Celtics. Right as Patrick Ewing was entering his prime, Larry Bird was exiting his and the Knicks won their only playoff series against the Celtics in 1990, 4-2.
The Knicks probably overachieved in 1984 by taking down Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons in the first round, but they weren’t able to advance any further after meeting Larry Bird and Boston next. New York lost to the eventual champion Celtics, but made a series of it behind Bernard King’s 29.1 points per game. Bird put on a show in the deciding seventh game, putting up a 39-point 12-rebound and 10-assist triple-double. The Knicks also lost a series to the Celtics in 1988.
The Knicks took down the favored Celtics in a tight seven game series (touched on at 4:20 of the video) en route to their second NBA Championship in 1973. They also beat them in 5 games in both 1972 and 1974.
In their two playoff meetings with Boston in the 1960′s, the Knicks never stood a chance. Bill Russell and company rolled through New York en route to his 10th and 11th rings. Can’t blame the Knicks for not being able to take down an all-time great like him. The Celtics beat them 3-1 in 1968 and 4-2 in 1969.
Unfortunately we couldn’t come across any Knicks-Celtics action from this decade, but we did come across this footage of the George Mikan led Minneapolis Lakers taking on the Knicks in the 1953 NBA Finals.
1955 – Celtics Won 2-1
1954 – Celtics Won 2-0
1953 – Knicks Won 3-1
1952 – Knicks Won 2-1
1951 – Knicks Won 2-0