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Knickerbockers Return to Playoffs ENERGIZES The Big Apple......by Paul 'MR NFL' Adamo

Knickerbockers Return to Playoffs ENERGIZES The Big Apple......by Paul 'MR NFL' Adamo

The revival of the New York Knickerbockers under GM Donnie Walsh has catapulted the Knicks into the first round of the NBA playoffs, facing their old rival the Boston Celtics. The Knicks have returned to the postseason for the first time since 2004. The seven game series against the Boston Celtics opened last nite in the TD Garden . The Celtics a 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference and the Knicks seeded in the 6th slot played a closely contested game in the fourth quarter with Ray Allen's three point shot with 11 seconds on the clock  the difference in a 87-85 Celtic win. The Knicks had built a12 point lead at halftime and then decided to give the Celtics numerous chances to steal the game in the second half and in the final five minutes Boston capitalized on NY's poor play. After a strong shooting first half the Knicks could not make a big shot in the last two quarters, with Anthony being the major culprit going 1 for 11 down the stretch. He was also stripped of the ball three times going th the basket as Paul Pierce made an excellent defensive steal with under a minute left. Another Anthony mistake followed as he was called for an offensive foul, pushing off as Pierce guarded him. The Knicks rushed the ball upcourt after Allen's three but  a last second shot by Anthony again clanked off the back rim. He scored only three points after the intermision. Amare Stoudamaire was dominate with a number of powerful drives and soft jumpers as he went for 28 points. He was also active on the glass and blocked two shots. An leg injury to Chauncey Billips in the final two minutes also has Knick's fans wondering if the series is over before game two is even played if Billips can not suit up for the remaining games.  
Game two Tuesdat night now becomes the pivotal game for the Knicks. A loss, to go down 2-0 would make the series a huge mountain to climb asking the Knicks to win 4 of the final 5. Sunday night the Knicks were in the new Boston Garden against a Celtic team that has been title contenders for the last three years. But it's not the same Celtic team without Kendrick Perkins so no one really knows how the Boston defense of playoffs past will continue against  the Knicks big trio of Carmelo Anthony, Armare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billips.
The series could easily be decided with another last minute shot by either team. This season all five games betwwen the teams have gone down to the last minutes of the game. Stoudemire did dhis job in game 1 and now Anthony will need to step up and play like a top 10 player in the league in game 2  if the Knicks hope to win. These two players are the two best players in the series, but surprisingly the bench play in game 1 was advantage Knickerbockers.
The Celtics are aging and their stars are no longer the dominant forces that they once were, but they do have the experience necessary to find a way to win close games without playing well as they did in the opener. If the Knicks push the series to a 6th or 7th game the younger NY team will wear down their older opponents.  The Celtics have the home court advantage if a 7th game is needed. However, the last time the the Knicks faced the Celtics in a deciding playoff game in Boston, a young Patrick Ewing hit a long distance three point jumper from the corner shocking Bird, Parrish and Mchale and the Beantown fans. If the Knicks can even the series Tuesday night, a raucous, frenzied NY Madison Square Garden crowd will welcome home the team for the third game.

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