The series that kicks off the 2013 NBA playoffs happens to be one of the most storied and eagerly anticipated matchups of the entire postseason. Fresh off of an Atlantic Division crown, the New York Knicks are looking to prove that they have supplanted the Boston Celtics as Eastern Conference contenders.
By virtue of a late season 13-game winning streak and the MVP-level play of Carmelo Anthony, New York secured the second seed and with it the right to host the dangerous, but consistently inconsistent, seventh seed Celtics.
Though New York took the season series 3-1 from Boston, it is worth noting that Anthony shot a mere 35 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range in those four games. He managed 25.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and three assists, but clearly had some trouble with Boston's defensive schemes.
These are two teams reeling from the effects of injuries, as New York is likely to be without Amar'e Stoudemire and just recently signed Quentin Richardson and Earl Barron to replace Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace down low. Boston is going to war without star point guard Rajon Rondo and key players like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Courtney Lee all coming off of various injuries.
In a first-round brimming with intriguing matchups, the latest incarnation of the New York-Boston rivalry figures to be one of the most heated and fascinating.
Let's take a look at what to expect out of each of the possible seven games in the series.
Statistics accurate as of April 19th, 2013.