Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks heads for the net as Paul Pierce (34) of the Boston Celtics defends in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 17, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 87-85. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics - Game 1: Looking For Silver Lining

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New York Knicks: Silver Lining Tough To Accept

Is there reason for optimism after the Knicks heartbreaking 87-85 Game 1 loss to the Boston Celtics? Absolutely. Amare Stoudemire played like the MVP candidate he was during the first half of the season, there were signs of life on defense, and Carmelo Anthony gave far from his best effort and the Knicks were still inches away from victory.

Regardless, the bottom line is that they are down 1-0 and Chauncey Billups isn't going to play in Game 2. Boston isn't going to be caught off-guard any more in this series, they are now fully aware of how the Knicks stack up against them. It is nice that the Knicks played them tough on Boston's home floor, but in the playoffs you can't give away 12-point leads in the second half, you can't afford to lose games when you are winning by three with less than a minute left. In the playoffs, you have to win close games, which is something the Knicks have been beyond inconsistent at all season.

There is no time for the Knicks to hang their heads about their loss Sunday night. They need to walk away with confidence, knowing that they belong on the same floor as the Celtics but more importantly they need to walk away angry at themselves for letting game one slip away. (They could also have some anger at the officials over that horrible offensive foul on Carmelo Anthony late in the game...this is the playoffs, let them play regardless of how much Paul Pierce is acting).

Madison Square Garden is going to be rocking Friday night whether the Knicks are tied up 1-1 or down 2-0 but that doesn't mean the Knicks shouldn't be feeling a must win mentality tomorrow night. The odds will be stacked against them, especially with Billups out of the line-up but chances are the game will be there for taking again in the final minutes, this time the Knicks need to answer the call.


Celtics 87, Knicks 85: Game 1 To Boston On Ray Allen Jumper

Ray Allen’s three-pointer with 11.6 seconds left gave the Boston Celtics a hard-fought — and hard to take if you are a New York Knicks fans — 87-85 victory over New York in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round NBA Playoff series. Boston trailed by 12 at halftime and by five points with 3:37 to play.

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks missed a long three-point attempt with 1.6 seconds remaining. The Knicks have still not won a playoff game since 2001.

Amare Stoudemire had 28 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Knicks. Stoudemire had 12 of the Knicks 21 fourth-quarter points. Anthony finished with 15, but shot just five-for-18 and had only three points after halftime.

Boston had five players in double figures, led by Allen with 24 points. Paul Pierce had 18, Kevin Garnett 15, center Jermaine O’Neal turned in a strong performance with 12 points and four blocked shots, and Rajon Rondo had 10 points and nine assists.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Boston at 7 p.m.


Knicks-Celtics Halftime Score: Knicks Lead Boston, 51-39

The New York Knicks silenced the crowd at TD Garden in Boston by taking a 51-39 halftime lead over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round NBA Playoff series. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire each scored 12 points in the first half for New York.

The sixth-seeded Knicks outscored the third-seeded Celtics, 28-15, in the second quarter. At one point New York went on a 23-9 run.

Rajon Rondo has 10 points to lead Boston, which is really exactly what the Knicks want. Rondo is the distributor for the Celtics and when he is forced to shoot rather than get the ball to Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen the Boston offense is not as good.

Boston led by a point after one quarter, 24-23, but missed an opportunity to open a lead as Anthony spent most of the period on the bench after picking up two fouls in the first 1:28.


NBA Playoff Schedule 2011: Knicks-Celtics First-Round Schedule

The complete first-round schedule for the 2011 NBA Playoff series between the sixth-seeded New York Knicks and third-seeded Boston Celtics has now been released. It is as follows:

Game 1: Sun., April 17 in Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 2: Tue., April 19 in Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3: Fri., April 22 in New York, TBD, ESPN
Game 4: Sun., April 24 in New York, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5: Tue., April 26 in Boston, TBD
Game 6: Fri., April 29 in New York, TBD
Game 7: Sun., May 1 in Boston, TBD

The Western Conference pairings have also finally been determined. They are as follows:

No. 1 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies
No. 2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 7 Charlotte Hornets
No. 3 Dallas Mavericks vs. No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
No. 4. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Denver Nuggets has complete pairings and TV information for all of the first-round action.


Knicks At Celtics Game 1: Sunday Night In Boston

The New York Knicks will make their long-awaited return to the NBA Playoffs on Sunday night. The NBA has announced the schedule of opening first-round games, and the Knicks will be at Boston to face the Celtics Sunday at 7 p.m. ET (TNT).

The other Eastern Conference matchups are as follows:

No. 1 Chicago vs. No. 8 Indiana — Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN

No. 2 Miami vs. No. 7 Philadelphia — Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

No. 4 Orlando vs. No. 5 Atlanta — Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Western Conference pairings are not set yet as the outcomes of this evening’s games will determine the seedings.

SB Nation New York will have all of your Knicks’ playoff coverage as we see if Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups and the Knicks have found enough chemistry to get past the championship-tested Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs.

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