Saturday, April 23, 2011
Time for the broom?
Surprise, surprise, but the amazingly the Boston Celtics are on the verge of a sweep of the New York Knickerbockers. Despite being outplayed for large portions of games 1 and 2, the Celtics found a way to out execute New York in the final 2 minutes of each contest to pull out last second wins. Then in Game 3, playoff basketball returned to Madison Square Garden only to see the would be patrons file out early as the C's torched the Knicks.
Why have the C's gotten to this point so quickly, as it almost looks like a replay of 2010? The injuries to Amare Stoudamire and Chancy Billups have severly wonded the Knicks, but they had leads into the final seconds of the first two games. Each meaningful regular season game reflected the games in Beantown, with the Knicks racing too leads and seemingly in control, only to have Boston out execute New York in crunch time and pull out close wins.
The biggest mismatch in this series has been the coaching mismatch, as the masterful Doc Rivers has outmanuvered Mike Dantoni in each contest. Game 1 saw Rivers draw up a perfect two for one play in the final 40 seconds with an inbound lob pass to Kevin Garnett, followed by a defensive stop then a slice cut off a screen to a wide open Ray Allen for the game winner. Game 2 saw an isolation for a Kevin Garnett jump hook followed by a quick double team/chase of Carmello Anthony that led to a turnover and a win. Game 3 for some reason watched the Knicks play zone in the 2nd half against Ray Allen and Paul Pierce who dropped bomb after bomb on the Big Apple. Add in the riduculous decision not to guard Rondo and let him regain his mojo to do whatever he likes, the Celtics are now on the verge of a sweep and some much needed rest for a round 2 showdown against Miami.
With the way the C's limped into the post season, it was again hard to see this coming but here we are with a replay of 2010 happening right in front of us again. Let's hope it continues on into June.