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Danny Ainge, what were you thinking? The Celtics are now 15-12 since the Kendrick Perkins/Nate Robinson for Jeff Green/Nenad Krstic deadline deal. Ainge says it was for the best, but this honestly was the one obstacle that prevented the Celtics from getting the top seed in the East. Maybe they wouldn't have gotten a team like the Knicks—with Amare and Carmelo—if this trade hadn't happened, they would've got the Pacers in a 1/8 matchup. The Knicks are still getting used to Melo and Melo is still getting used to the Knicks. He hit his first game winner a week ago, and is really starting to find his role along with star forward Amare Stoudemire. This matchup is sure to be one of the best (behind Oklahoma City/Denver) in the entire playoff field.
PG: Rajon Rondo vs Chauncey Billups
This one was quite the toughy, but not only does Rondo have the ability to pass the ball rather than shoot, during clutch moments like Billups, he outplays Billups using crazy ball handling skills, great court vision and a knack for finding teammates open.
SG: Ray Allen vs Landry Fields
Even though Fields has the backing of Spike Lee, who adores him, he's not going to get the best of Ray Allen. Allen just recently, as we all know, is the all-time leader in 3-point field goals, defeating Reggie Miller. Even though Allen can be deadly from outside, he can take it to the rack too.
SF: Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
Two big reasons I took Pierce here. One, Doc Rivers made a smart play and rested Pierce for a week. Now, if you watched the Blazers Mavs game (go mavs!), you saw the miracle that is Jason Kidd, and his legs were fresh, allowing him to go 6-10 from behind the arc. If Pierce can imitate this, because he got even more rest than Kidd, good-bye New York.
Two, Carmelo is still getting used to the Knicks, if this was Boston and Denver, it would have been a harder decision, considering Melo did better there.
PF: Kevin Garnett vs Amare Stoudemire
Garnett is getting old. Period. He's great at those behind the head mid range jumpers, but is slowly starting to lose the offensive post presence that made him great in the first place. Amare is flourishing under Marc D'Antoni's run and gun offense (if you recall, same coach/same player combo in Phoenix a few years back).
C: Glen Davis/Nenad Krstic vs Ronny Turiaf
With the loss of Kendrick Perkins (sigh).... the Celtics lost the defensive post presence they had, but at least they got Nenad Krstic, not that he's a great defender, but at least he plays. Glen Davis is the undoubted emotional leader of this team, and his presence on the floor is greatly felt by the team and its fans. Ronny Turiaf is decent, but nothing too big, don't get your hopes up on this man.
BENCH: Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks
The Boston Celtics have the clear advantage here, with playoff experienced players like Delonte West and Sasha Pavlovic, and newer, younger, more talented players like Jeff Green.
The Celtics are going to prove too much for this inexperienced and young Knicks team.
Celtics in 6