The New York Knicks will look Tuesday night to wash the bad taste out of their mouth from their heartbreaking Game 1 loss in Boston. Unfortunately, they will have to do it without starting point guard Chauncey Billups, who will sit out tonight with a strained left knee. Toney Douglas will step into the lineup for Billups, along with Anthony Carter likely seeing a bump in minutes.
Boston will still be without center Shaquille O'Neal who was replaced admirably by Jermaine O'Neal in Game 1, as he badly hurt the Knicks front line on the offensive glass and with his second chance points. Ronny Turiaf, Amare Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony all need to do a better job of boxing out and controlling the paint.
Anthony will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Game 1 effort, which ended with him missing a potential game-winning shot. The Knicks need Anthony to play like the superstar that he is if the they want any chance to pull off this upset. Stoudemire is coming off a terrific effort, where many people believe he should have received even more touches down the stretch in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see how the Knicks two stars divide up attacking the rim tonight, especially without Billups on the floor.
Douglas has had a very good season for the Knicks but he is ready to play 35-40 minutes as the point guard in a playoff game? The answer to that question will go a long to determining whether or not the Knicks can even up the series tonight.
Expect another close, hard fought game. Hopefully, the Knicks learned their lesson from Game 1 and will close out the Celtics late if they have a chance.