On Sunday night, the Boston Celtics were able to win Game 1 of their best-of-seven series with the New York Knicks in dramatic fashion. Ray Allen hit the go ahead three-pointer with just 12 seconds left that led to their win.
The Celtics only led for one minute out of the 48 in the second half, but they were ahead at the only time it matters, with all zeroes on the clock.
The Knicks were in control for the majority of the contest and dominated the second quarter, but were unable to close the game out. This Celtics may have stumbled into the playoffs, but they still believe they can win, especially at home.
Playoff experience is one asset the Knicks do not have, and the one guy who has been there before, Chauncey Billups, will have to miss Game 2 after straining his left thigh late in Game 1.
I’m sure Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni was preaching in the locker room that they can hang with the Celtics and that they outplayed them on their own court, etc. The fact of the matter is that the Knicks have to feel deflated after what happened in Game 1.
When you have a chance to go out and steal Game 1 on the road, you have to finish the job. The Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets and Atlanta Hawks all went on the road as underdogs and stole Game 1. The pressure is now off them because they at least salvaged a split.
With Billups out for Game 2, the Knicks lose not only their experience, but their go-to guy to handle the ball. Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will have a field day on both ends of the floor regardless of which Knicks backup guard he goes up against, Toney Douglas or Anthony Carter.
I expect Rondo to have a monster game, culminating with a triple-double.
The Celtics are favored by seven points in Game 2, and they get my call to cover that spread and win the game going away.