The 2013 NBA Playoffs begin Saturday. The Knicks are looking to win their first playoff series in over a decade.
1.) How will New York adjust to Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee’s ball pressure?
Lee and Bradley have been a terror on the defensive end this season. The Knicks have handled ball pressure well (just 11.6 turnovers per game) and must be able to keep cool against these two guys. Bradley only appeared in 50 games for Boston this season so he won’t be on any all-defensive teams but, he petrifies point guards with his lateral movement. Bradley is a top 5 on-ball defender. Lee has helped bolster the defensive backcourt with his length(Jason Terry isn’t guarding anybody). The Knicks should mix it up with many screen-n-rolls.
2.) Over/under 10.5 player technical fouls for the series?
This series features five players who are in the top 25 for technicals this season(Anthony, J.R., Chandler, Garnett, Jordan Crawford). Don’t forget about Jason Terry who talked junk in game to LeBron in the 2011 Finals and backed it up with a lights out worthy performance. The magnitude of this series is on level 70. I see eleven techs being whistled.
3.) How healthy are Chandler and Garnett?
One or other not being at 100% will dictate the series in favor of the other. If KG can’t anchor the Boston’s interior defense with high energy, they are getting swept. Boston’s interior is embarrassing without him. If Chandler can’t play help defense like he did last regular season with high energy, Boston will prolong this series to six or seven games.
4.) Can Jeff Green pick up offensive slack?
The ancient Celtics rely on Pierce(35) and Garnett(36) to do their heavy lifting offensively but Green has taken his scoring to a new level this season(46%FG, 38%3pt both career bests). Green has an advantage on offense because he can isolate, drive to the rim, and spot up for 3. KG and Pierce will not be able to outscore the hot shooting Knicks every game. Green will have to continue his regular season success to keep Boston in it on offense.
5.) Will Carmelo have a signature F*** you game?
This series has Carmelo F*** you game written all over it. The altercation between him and KG make it too easy for me to pick this series for it but, Carmelo has not had one of these games yet in the playoffs. I like to call F*** you games where someone poops on the other team with shots you’ll remember for the next 20 years (LeBron G6 ECF 2012, Jason Terry NBA Finals G5 2011, Kobe G6 ECF 2010, Pierce G6 ECF 2010, Dwight ECF G6 2009, every NBA Finals Jordan won). It is time for Melo to go for 45 and complete a sweep against a rival
Carmelo will have f*** you game but it won’t be the close out. J.R. Smith instagrams a picture of him dunking on Jason Terry and pic stitches LeBron’s Terry dunk. KG goes out guns blazing in the final game of series, throwing chairs on the floor, biting off ears, flipping off Marv Albert and crew.
Knicks in six (Knicks will win, not confident in games picked)