Game 6: Knicks at Celtics preview


So you’re saying there’s a chance.

Down 3-0 in the series a week ago today, the Celtics gave themselves a real shot to come back with a 92-86 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in Game 5. The Celtics are back at home, where they’re 28-14 this season.

The Celtics will be the first to tell you they don’t have to try to win for games in a row. They have to try to win the game at hand. They’ll make history by stringing four of those singular efforts together. Celtics guard Jason Terry is expecting a live crowd Friday night.


“It’s going to be a Game 7 atmosphere,” said Terry. “It’s the last one at home if we don’t take care of business, so I imagine our fans are ready. They’re fired up, and I expect a warm welcome.”

No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit. The Celtics can make things really interesting by forcing a Game 7 Sunday afternoon in New York.

Here are the details for Game 6:

Tipoff: 7 p.m.
Series: New York leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2
Broadcast info:Television: CSNE, ESPN; Radio: WEEI (93.7 FM)
Officials: Ken Mauer, Ed Malloy and Bennett Salvatore

Probable starters:

PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Paul Pierce
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Pablo Prigioni
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler


Heavy minutes: The Celtics used only seven players Wednesday night; five of them played 35 minutes or more. The biggest worries are Pierce (44 minutes) and Garnett (39 minutes). Playing every other day is good for fans, but it’s bad for a team using a limited rotation. It would be difficult for Doc Rivers to use a seven-man rotation again; perhaps Courtney Lee or Jamal Crawford will come off the bench in Game 6.


Adjustments: Here’s an alarming stat if you’re a Knicks fan:

Will the Knicks switch their offense up at all in Game 6? Will they give the ball to Anthony in something other than isolation? Will they run more pick-and-rolls with Felton and Chandler?

Pressure on the Knicks: A quick look at the New York Daily News Knicks page tells you all you need to know about how Knicks fans are feeling right now. Anthony, J.R. Smith, Mike Woodson, and New York’s entire mental makeup are being questioned, and for good reason. The comparison stories to Red Sox-Yankees in 2004 are already being written. A Game 7 would put a crazy amount of pressure on New York.


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