I think too much can be made of game 1 in this series. I’ve heard plenty of people say, “Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony went 8 for 29 from the field and the Knicks still only lost by 2. That may be true, but a poor Knicks defensive unit held Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Glen Davis and Rajon Rondo to 17-52 shooting and 10 turnovers between the four of them, and the Celtics still won. Now there’s a statistic.
Also, Amar’e Stoudemire was unstoppable for big chunks of the game, shooting 12 of 18 from the floor and scoring 28 points. Ronny Turiaf shot 4-5 and had 9 points with 4 blocks, and I doubt either of those numbers are matched the rest of this series. Chauncey Billups is not playing in this game, and while Toney Douglas certainly has the ability to put points up on the board, a Knicks team without Mr. Big Shot just isn’t nearly as scary.
The Celtics defense did a solid job in Game 1, and while I don’t expect much better in Game 2, I do expect much of the same. The Knicks aren’t a good half court offense, and the Celtics do a good job of forcing their opponents to be efficient in the half court setting by getting back well defensively, stopping the fast break.
I don’t think -7 is a great number for Boston, but if I’m picking a side, it’s the better team playing at home in good health against a bad defensive team playing without their point guard.
New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics (-7)
Want to see how I predicted Round 1 before the games started? Click HERE!