Some New York Knicks fans may be concerned after their team’s poor shooting performance in Game 4 against the rival Boston Celtics, but Game 5 is going to be far different. Not only will the Knicks win, but the environment is such that the game is basically theirs for the taking.
It certainly helps New York that the scene has shifted back to New York City. The Knicks went 23-18 on the road during the regular season, compared to 31-10 at home, so it just goes to show how much of a difference home-court advantage makes. More importantly, New York has already won two games at Madison Square Garden this series.
That’s where the fans come into play. New York Knicks fans have something to cheer about for the first time in almost a decade. Not only is their team in the playoffs, but they’re actually competing at that level and not an immediate candidate for an early exit.
Given how rowdy that crowd can be, especially with a fine super fan in the form of acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, it’s a certainty that the game tonight is going to be loud from start to finish. That could give the Knicks’ players a little extra push on the court, providing just the right amount of momentum to seal a spot in the Conference Semifinals.
Speaking of extra pushes, how about the fact that sixth man J.R. Smith is going to be back in action after missing Game 4 due to a suspension following an elbow to Boston guard Jason Terry‘s face? Smith’s presence was sorely missed in Game 4, leaving New York without a solid spark to help offset star forward Carmelo Anthony‘s shooting woes. Sure, the Knicks made a strong comeback, but the lack of Smith clearly hurt them down the stretch.
That won’t be the case tonight. Smith will be ready to play, and he wants to advance just as badly as the rest of his teammates. Him being on his game combined with the passionate New York crowd, not to mention, the Celtics’ core starting to show its age, could easily swing the pendulum in the Knicks’ favor.
All in all, tonight’s game is not going to be one to be missed.