The Boston Celtics have a huge match up tonight against the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Celtics trail in the series two games to none and tonight’s match up at the TD Banknorth Garden is a must win, The organization cannot afford to find themselves stuck in a three-to-zero hole, The odds of coming back from that are very poor and most fans would agree that the roster the Celtics are currently fielding is not the type of team that can come back from such a large deficit.
The one defensive match-up that the Celtics are predictably struggling with is guarding Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. Listen, we know he is going to get his 25-30 points per game, that is a given. The difference is that the Celtics have to make him earn those points. Making him as inefficient as possible has to be the team’s goal. This means making him take upwards of 30 shots to get his points as opposed to 20. The Celtics have actually done a decent job guarding Anthony but they clearly need to do better. Jeff Green and Paul Pierce can both guard him in spurts and that is exactly the option head coach Doc Rivers has to work with. Pierce usually guards the opponent’s best small forward, but Green can be effective as well and it is important to keep Pierce as fresh as possible on the offensive end. The Celtics just have to keep limiting Antony’s air space when he has the ball as much as possible.
The Celtics face a must win game tonight and they need to figure out a way to try and contain Anthony as much as possible.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team home page on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18