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N.Y. Knicks vs. Boston Celtics NBA Game 6 Preview & Free Pick

Knicks vs Celtics NBA Handicapping

Some people get life in the NBA – the ebbs and the flows, the way many players in true Michael Jordan tradition use any perceived slight to their advantage once the playoffs come around. Then there are the New York Knicks.

Eastern Conference
New York Knicks (3-2) at Boston Celtics (2-3)
Friday, May 3
TD Garden, Boston
7 p.m. EST
Spread – Knicks -2 at DSI
O/U – 181.5

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No one knows how much the Knicks’ stunt of all the players wearing funeral-like black garb to Wednesday’s Game 5 in New York motivated the Celtics. Maybe not at all. But the statement it made was obvious – that this series was history.

Instead, at minimum Boston’s stunning Game 5 win prevented New York from closing out their Eastern Conference quarterfinals set and forced everyone to trudge back to Boston for tonight’s Game 6 at what will certainly be a raucous TD Garden.

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Not being able to bring the hammer down is starting to raise a few red flags about the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. New York’s superstar scorer has been spitting cotton in the last two games – he was a miserable 10 for 35 (28 percent) from the floor in NY’s overtime loss in Boston in Game 4, then followed that up with an 8-for-24 clunker at home in Game 5.

Total for the last two games: 18 for 59 (30 percent).

Anthony is capable of breaking out of his shooting slump without notice, and he claims to still have plenty of confidence:

“We’re just not making shots,” he said. “I don’t think Boston is doing anything that they haven’t been doing. We good.”

For their part, the Celtics still have miles to go before they sleep in this series, and Boston’s key players are starting to accumulate heavy mileage. [ad-6571516]

Doc Rivers has shortened his rotation (Courtney Lee, Chris Wilcox and Jordan Crawford were DNPs in Game 5), forcing Paul Pierce (44 minutes), Jeff Green (42), Brandon Bass (40) and Kevin Garnett (39) to all stay on the court about 10 minutes longer than they usually do.

Rivers was able to bleed some good minutes out of seldom-used guard Terrence Williams, who lent a hand when New York ramped up its defensive efforts in the second half. Game 5 marked the first time in three playoff games in New York that Boston was not outscored by a large margin (the teams each scored 47 total in the second and third periods.

So will the Knicks try the funeral black attire schtick again tonight?

“I’m done with the black thing,” said J.R. Smith. “We were going to a funeral, but looks like we got buried.”

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Rivers has pointed out several times this season that the playoffs allow time for rest, but there was only a one-day respite between Games 5 and 6, which works against the Celtics and its aging rotation.

Boston’s task tonight is keeping enough gas in the tanks of Pierce and Garnett and getting the game into the fourth period.

Can Anthony and the Knicks continue to shoot so poorly, especially on 3s? Just a hunch, but Knicks end it here with a cover as fatigue finally catches up with the Celtics in the second half.

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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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