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

Knicks vs Celtics NBA Handicapping

The theory being floated in Boston goes like this. Since you have to beat Miami to get to The Finals, do it this way:

1. Forget about seeding and rest your top players.

New York Knicks (42-26) at Boston Celtics (36-33)
Tuesday, March 26
TD Garden, Boston
7 p.m.
Odds: Boston -2 at Bookmaker
O/U: 191.5

Matchup | Preview

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Keep Paul Pierce to about 30 minutes a game and let Kevin Garnett sit out the rest of the regular season to allow his bum ankle to get better. At least be 100 percent and forget about trying to get the No. 7 playoff seed, because . . .

2. Miami will be going balls to the wall as the Heat try to break the all-time record for most consecutive regular-season wins.

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And if the Heat make it to 33 (tie) or 34 (break the record), maybe they’ll keep their feet on the accelerator and try to make it all the way to 39 in a row, burning valuable energy that might be put to better use in the playoffs.

3. So a Celtics (8 seed) vs. Heat (1 seed) playoff series might not — in the above situation — be as much of a mismatch as it seems.

That’s the theory, anyway, and the Celtics are certainly holding up their end of the bargain with the way things are going right now. Garnett won’t play tonight when New York Knicks come to town. Boston lost four straight over a 6-day period as it makes do without Garnett.

Every game has been close, and every game has a caveat (bad call in the final minute, foolish foul, etc.).

But they’re losses nonetheless, and right now Boston has settled into the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference standings and is looking at a probable series with either these Knicks or the Indiana Pacers. [ad-6571516]

No doubt Boston would prefer the Knicks, who don’t much like it when the Celtics decide to play in-your-face defense. Garnett and Carmelo Anthony have a nasty history, and the C’s current starting backcourt (Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee) can shorten a game with ball pressure that prevents other teams from quickly getting into their offense.

Boston coach Doc Rivers realizes as much as anyone how small the margin for error has been for his team since Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa all went down for the year with injuries in a one-week span.

And Rivers will spend the next week getting his team healthy and ready for perhaps one last bite of the apple.

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Garnett’s status is holding off oddsmakers for the time being, and the Knicks aren’t sure if center Tyson Chandler will be available. But NY loves the way Anthony has bounced back – averaging just about 28 ppg since returning after a knee ailment.

Boston enjoys doing battle short-handed, and the home court will be more than welcomed after spending its last three on the road.

CELTICS 102, KNICKS 99.

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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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