PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS...

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The Boston Celtics (19-4, 1st in the East) face off against our New York Knicks (16-9, 5th in the East!!!)

At the world famous MADISON SQUARE GARDEN


Tonight the Knicks roll out in Madison Square Garden to try and correct their shaky home record, but at the same time extend their EIGHT GAME WINNING STREAK BABY!!! What stands in their way? Well only last years NBA finalists the Boston Smelldicks... Can the young, athletic, run and gun Knicks topple the Goliath, OAP, zimmer-frame peddling Celtics? Tune in tonight to find out!

STARTING FIVES

PG...............SG..............SF...............PF...............C
....................
Rondo..........Allen...........Pierce........Garnett.........O'neal

PG...............SG..............SF...............PF...............C
....................
..........Felton.........Fields.........Gallinari.........Chandler.....Stoudemire....

GAME PREVIEW

The Knicks come into tonights game looking to extend their longest winning streak since the glory days of 1994. After a shaky start the co-captains Felton and Stoudemire stamped their mark on the Knicks, shaking things up in the locker room, motivating the team, finding their feet and finding each other to lead the Knicks on an unprecedented run. After two years of soul-searching, player-hunting and ****-teasing the Knicks finally found their PG "of the future" and their big man of "right now". The tandem of Felton and Stoudemire are performing solid game in game out and the new star of New York, Amare "Stat" Stoudemire is putting up the highest numbers of his career and just beat the longest 30+ point scoring streak in New York basketball history. Anyone still talking about inflated statistics?

Boston are on a pretty impressive streak of their own, looking for their 11th straight when they come to the Garden, the longest current winning streak in the NBA. Both teams come into this one red hot, who wants it more?

The Knicks faced the Celtics once before this season and dropped a close one at the "other" Garden. The Knicks went down 105-100 but this was when the team was still in the early days of gelling. This time round the Knicks will be looking for revenge and are extremely hungry for wins. Doc Rivers had this to say on facing the on-form Knicks:

"They're probably going to be extremely fired up for this game and I'm hoping our guys can match that intensity... Any time a game has energy, it's great. It's really great for us because finding ways to get them up is always nice when you don't have to do it."

While many will be confident of the Knicks pulling this one, out of the 13-1 streak the Knicks have been on, only three of the teams they have beaten were winning teams. However, wins over West coast powerhouses New Orleans and Denver will spur the Knicks on to a big performance against the Celtics in front of the home crowd.

"We have confidence. We know how good we can be. We see the room for improvement," Stoudemire said. "We can get better. We have confidence that we can win. Every game is a different story. We just have to make sure we are ready to go and play smart."

One thing the Knicks will be looking to exploit is the lack of bigs on the Celtics roster at the moment. Jermaine O'neal and Kendrick Perkins are both out and Shaq is a doubt after missing their last outing at the weekend. Even with Shaq the Celtics will be hard pressed to deny the smoking hot Stoudemire.

STARTING FIVE MATCHUPS

Raymond Felton vs Rajon Rondo

Felton is on form and playing great. Currently the Knicks 2nd option on offense certainly has more in his bag of tricks than the stunted offense of Rajon Rondo. Felton has the better jumpshot, better outside game and is decent at getting to the rim. Rondo is better inside and is currently averaging the most assists in the NBA right now at 14 per game. Still, Felton did post 17 assists in the Knicks win over Denver and the Knicks block party will look to keep Rondo out at the rim.

Landry Fields vs Ray Allen

Impressive rookie Fields will be looking to school veteran sharpshooter Allen tonight. His fundamentals and solid all round game will greatly help the Knicks who haven't had a SG who can hold down the floor at both ends for several years.

Danilo Gallinari vs Paul Pierce

Gallo was the Knicks catalyst last time they faced off against the Celtics at the Garden scoring 31 points and locking down Pierce. However he was also the weakest player on the floor in Boston earlier this season going 0-6 from the floor. Pierce also averages 26ppg against the Knicks. This matchup will be key to the success of the Knicks tonight.

Wilson Chandler vs Kevin Garnett

Will the Thrill has improved significantly this season and he will be looking to abuse his athleticism over the OAP Celtics. Chandler's versatility will be key being able to guard the 2/3/4 and abuse his speed and hops over them on the offensive end.

Amare Stoudemire vs ???

Whoever logs the most minutes at C for the Celtics tonight won't be putting the brakes on Stat. Boston's best chance at slowing him will be KG but Amare's power and athleticism will let him get virtually anything he wants inside against the diminished Celtics frontcourt.

KEY MATCHUP



The high-flying Knicks

VS





The Boston Cripples

Ahh, those Celtics jokes never ever get old!

SMOKES PREDICTION

Celtics 105 - Knicks 110

This will be a close game, Boston will keep the Knicks lower than their recent 115ppg average over the last 14 games but hom court advantage and the abuse that Stoudemire is going to dish out with his 30 point performances in tow should be enough to topple the Celtics.



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