The Knicks Loss is the Celtics Gain
The Celtics WILL reach the 2011 NBA finals.
After two difficult games at home against the New York Knicks, the Celtics cruised to a first round sweep with two easy games at the Mecca of basketball.
No other team in the NBA playoffs needed an easy sweep more than the Celtics, and because they got one, they’re going to the finals. Game 1 of there series was close but ended with Knicks veteran point guard Chauncey Billups sidelined with a knee injury. Game two was equally competitive but another injury befell the Knicks. Amar’e Stoudemire’s back could not hold up so Boston went on the road to New York against a hobbled team and cruised to the finish.
Before this series Boston was a team on the ropes. They were late 70’s Ali, hurt but still great and leaving us all wondering if the losing was by design or if the old magic was gone. No Perkins. Rondo looked sluggish and unenthusiastic. O’Neal a damaged giant. The other O’Neal a question mark. Then came the Knicks and the Celtics were back. No team could have been more perfect for them. The Knicks simply cannot contain Rondo. Two weeks ago he looked lost, but a four game sweep against hobbled Knicks vets and back up guards have turned him into a triple double machine. Jermaine O’Neal hadn’t proved anything yet. A week against the likes of Jared Jefferies, Shawne Williams, and Sheldon Williams have given him the confidence to play a legitimate center for the remainder of the playoffs. The team had no momentum but now they’ve crushed a team in four games for the first time in years. Momentum is everything in the playoffs. And most importantly, the Celtics were tired and injured after game 82. Now they will have extra time to heal up and plan for the next series. Nothing works in a veteran teams favor more than rest and time to game plan.
The matchup against the Knicks was fortuitous, yes. The Celtics had were going to win that series. The injuries to key Knicks, however, were even more fortuitous, making this series the perfect launching off point for the Celtics post-season. With Billups and Amar’e healthy the series would have gone at least five games and all five would have been a lot more draining. Now, they can rest easy after two easy road victories. Look out NBA, the Celtics are coming.
-Old Ben (Chris Aubin…the identity has been REVEALED!!)