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NBA Playoffs Game 4: Battered Knicks' Season on the Line Against Celtics

Carmelo Anthony's gargantuan Game 2 was one of the great statistical performances in recent playoff memory. Unfortunately for the New York Knicks, that performance came in a losing effort. Once again today, as the Knicks try to keep their season alive when they take on the Boston Celtics, Anthony will likely have to be the guy to do everything. Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups are both doubtful, leaving Anthony as the lone Knick star.

It's hard to imagine Anthony playing any better than he did in Game 2. Even still, it may not matter, if both teams replicate Friday night's Game 3. On Friday, the Celtics shot lights out, especially the combination of Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, who dropped 70 points. Allen, particularly, has been the Knicks' kryptonite in the series, as his three-point shooting has been otherworldly. Eventually, even the great Allen is going to miss some shots, and come back down to earth. The question is whether the Knicks defense can hinder him enough into those misses. On Friday night, him and Pierce had their way.

Without Billups and Stoudemire, the Knicks simply aren't a very talented team on either side of the floor. Toney Douglas quite frankly has flopped as Billups' replacement, and rookie Landry Fields has looked nothing like the player he was through the first half of the season. When you have to rely on players like Jared Jeffries, Shawne Williams and Bill Walker for big minutes, the only playoff games you would have a chance to win would be in the D-League.

So the Knicks have one more shot at winning their first postseason game in a decade. It will be interesting to see the crowd for today's game, one which was so fired up at the beginning of Game 3. One would have to think they had a lot of the wind taken out of their sails being down 3-0 in the series.

Next Game

Boston Celtics
@ New York Knicks

Sunday, Apr 24, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT
Madison Square Garden

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