New York Knicks star players Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups will be game time decisions when the Celtics and Knicks meet again tonight in game three of their opening round match up at Madison Square Garden.
Stoudemire pulled a back muscle warming up for game two and essentially missed the entire game. Billups injured his knee in the closing seconds on game one and has been out since. Of the two, Stoudemire is more likely to play as Billups may need a few more days to heal. The Knicks have been surprisingly resilient considering they have been without two of their three star players. Not many people would have expected the Knicks to still be in game two after losing both players. Regardless, the Celtics bench needs to step up. The bench was once again absent from the scoring sheet allowing the Knicks to erase leads set forth by the starting five. Even with Stoudemire and Billups the Celtics should roll past the Knicks, however, the second unit’s inability to put away games has been dogging the Celtics all year and is dangerously close to costing them some games in the playoffs.
The game will once again be an epic encounter for the ages, but it would be nice to blow the Knicks out and coast into the second round. Not sure if you noticed, but the Celtics are old and they cannot afford to play any more games than they have to. There are way to many miles on this team and each extra game will just add to the wear and tear this team cannot afford at this stage of the season.
All of course will be well on Sunday when Shaq returns right? No, he is not. How about when we finally see the fruits of the Kendrick Perkins trade? Still nothing…