PG: Toney Douglas
SG: Landry Fields
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire
C: Ronny Turiaf
Key Reserves: F Bill Walker, C Jared Jeffries, G Anthony Carter
Key Injury: G Chauncey Billups
Celtics Projected Starting Line-up:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O'Neal
Key Reserves: F Jeff Green, G Delonte West, F Glen Davis
Key Injury: Shaquille O'Neal
The New York Knicks last made it to the playoffs seven seasons ago, but they were swept by their cross-town rivals, the New Jersey Nets. After nearly a decade away from the post-season, the playoffs are back in Madison Square Garden; however, one thing has remained the same– the Knicks are still winless.
The Knicks lost the first three games of the series to the Boston Celtics, and they are hoping to avoid embarrassment. The Knicks have not won a home playoff game in ten seasons, and they will be looking to create history today.
New York lost the first two games of the series by a total margin of five points, but they were blown-out by Boston by 17 points in front of the Garden crowd in Game 3. The Knicks were outplayed the entire game, and the Celtics opened up a double-digit lead in the opening quarter. The fans were quick to "boo" the home-town team, and they were quite disappoint with horrible effort shown by the Knicks.
In Game 3, Chauncey Billups was once again sidelined and Amar'e Stoudemire played limited minutes due to a pulled muscle in his back. The Knicks' stars did not perform well on Friday, and Carmelo Anthony was limited to only 15 points after dropping 42 the previous game.
Today in Game 4, the Knicks must come out strong and they must maintain their energy for the entire game. The Garden crowd will be energized, and the Knicks must feed off that energy. More importantly, the Knicks must find a way to limit Paul Pierce's open-looks. In Game 3 the Knicks defense wad sub-par, and they did not close out on the Celtics' shooters. The best way to win Game 4 will be play physical defense and get off to a fast start.
Three Keys to a Knicks Game 3 Victory:
1. Play with a sense of urgency
2. Feed off the crowd's energy
3. Limit Paul Pierce's open looks