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Boston Celtics vs. N.Y. Knicks Game 2 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Celtics vs Knicks NBA Handicapping

So much for prevailing thought. The Celtics went into this series feeling that they had a pretty good shot at taking out the No. 2-seed Knicks.

Eastern Conference
 Boston Celtics (0-1) at New York Knicks (1-0)
Tuesday, April 23
Madison Square Garden, New York
8 p.m. EST
Spread – Knicks -6.5 at TopBet
O/U – 185.5

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Boston backers felt that the Knicks are basically a one-on-one team, and that the Celtics’ many could stop the Knicks’ one – Carmelo Anthony.

The score so far – Anthony 1, Celtics 0.

Melo laid 39 on the Celtics’ heads on Saturday in Game 1 of the series, what passes for the Celtics bench accumulated a total of 4 points and the Knicks allowed only 8 points in the final 12 minutes in winning a game that they could have and probably should have lost.

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Boston’s late-season strategy doesn’t appear to have paid off. Doc Rivers basically gave cornerstones Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett time off whenever he felt they needed it, and winning took a back seat to getting healthy and rested for perhaps the team’s last toboggan ride.

But all time off appears to have fostered is a losing culture. The Celtics went 5-11 over the final month of the regular season, and looked absolutely gassed in the fourth quarter of Game 1 when a 7-point lead evaporated and Boston couldn’t get off a decent shot. Jeff Green (26) led the Celtics in scoring but as has happened so many times, he turtled when it was nut crunching time.

River thinks the road to recovery goes through Garnett, who huffed and puffed his way through an ineffective (4-for-12) 8-point effort in nearly 37 minutes. [ad-6571516]

For all his scoring prowess, the Knicks were actually outscored by 3 points during the time Anthony was on the court. The real damage was done by PG Ray Felton, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, who combined for 38 points and provided just enough offense to make the Celtics pay for help defense against Melo.

New York newspapers weren’t too impressed with the Knicks’ performance in Game 1, and claim that Boston may have blown its best chance of winning at Madison Square Garden. The Celtics did, after all, stay alive by making all 19 of their free throws.

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Celtics stock peaked in the three weeks after the Rondo/Sullinger injury plague and Boston pulled together. But that was then and this is now, and instead of the Celtics of old, we’re seeing just the old Celtics.

It could all change with one pull-together effort at MSG on Tuesday night, but there’s no evidence that Boston can get it done. New York should get the cover in this one, and if that doesn’t do it for you, we’d suggest an over play.

These teams shot a combined 41 percent in Game 1 – during the regular season Boston shot 46. 5 and the Knicks were at 44.8.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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