It goes without saying that the Knicks need to win at least one game in Boston to win their series against the Celtics, but the chances of them winning a Game 7 on the road would seem miniscule at best.
Heck, should a Game 5 in the 2-2-1-1-1 format be necessary (the Knicks can’t possibly get swept, could they?) it would sure be nice to know that New York was capable of snagging a victory in Beantown before crossing into potential do-or-die territory on the road.
No Chauncey Billups tonight, which may actually be addition by subtraction. For the Knicks to win, they must play uptempo whenever possible — a style not suited to Billups’s achy-breaky game. The team went 4-1 with Toney Douglas as a starter when Billups was injured in March — against some damn good teams — and he’s proven that he’s capable of doing the job.
Sure, TD is inconsistent, but when he plays well, the Knicks usually win.
Obviously Carmelo Anthony needs to play better — and I think he will — but not at the expense of derailing Amar’e Stoudemire’s moxie. Tonight would be the perfect time — in Billups’s absence — to see an extended effort by the two Knicks’ superstars to play the 2-man game, and force the Celtics into compromising defensive positions.
The fan and media spotlight is getting brighter on wallflower Landry Fields, but if he can replicate his Game 1 first-half defensive effort on Ray Allen, that would be perfectly acceptable. Anything else from him at this stage of his neophyte career is gravy, especially a contribution on the boards.
Perhaps the X-factor will be the play of Shawne Williams. He hasn’t shot the ball well at all since injuring his shooting hand several weeks ago, but if he weer able to dial it up from long-range, that could neutralize the effect of losing Billups’ potential scoring.
We’ll see how it all shakes out in a little over 2+ hours.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section or shoot me a tweet @LoHudKnicks.