Those Celtics old schoolers who remember the days in the 1960s, 70s and 80s when the Celtics and Knicks used to war and trade jabs at their respective Gardens will enjoy the first round of the NBA players when the two meet again.
For the first time since 1990, the Celtics and Knicks will meet in the postseason and this should be an interesting series that could go either way. The Knicks feature three former or current All-Stars in Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups and Mike D’Antoni’s high powered offense that racks up points.
But there have been several problems, however, since Anthony joined the team by trade in February. The Knicks are only 14-12 since he joined the club and of their seven straight wins, five are against losing teams. Yet, the Knicks carry the potential to beat the Celtics on any night; they are not your typical sixth seed.
The Celtics are 3-0 against the Knicks this season with the season finale coming Wednesday at TD Garden, a game that neither coach will show any of their playoff hands.
Here is a summary of the three meetings:
Oct. 29, TD Garden — Celtics 105, Knicks 101: In the third game of the season, Rajon Rondo recorded 24 assists and Paul Pierce collected 14 rebounds and Kevin Garnett 10 as the Celtics held off a late New York rally. Glen Davis tallied 16 points off the bench. Amar’e Stoudemire led the Knicks with 27 points while Wilson Chandler (who is no longer with the team) added 19 off the bench.
Dec. 15, Madison Square Garden — Celtics 118, Knicks 116: Another slugfest in New York as Paul Pierce sends the fans home disappointed with an 18-footer with 0.4 seconds left to apparently seal the game. But Stoudemire hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that was ruled just a split-second too late and the Celtics held on. Without the O’Neals in the paint, the Celtics started Semih Erden and he managed 6 points in 13 minutes. Pierce scored 34 while Ray Allen added 26 and four 3-pointers.
March 21, Madison Square Garden — Celtics 96, Knicks 86: Celtics played poorly for the first half before a furious fourth-quarter rally to beat the Knicks in their first meeting with Carmelo Anthony. Ray Allen took a Jared Jeffries elbow to the eye, requiring seven stitches while Anthony was dazed in a late-game collision with Rajon Rondo. Celtics outscore Knicks 59-35 in the second half and Anthony scores 5 points after intermission.
Knicks stats vs. Celtics:
Stoudemire: 27.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2 bpg
Anthony: 22 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg
Billups: 13 ppg, 5 apg, 32 percent shooting