Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Celtics [Print without images]

Monday, March 21, 2011
Game 69: Celtics vs. Knicks

By Greg Payne

(49-19, 20-13 away)     -- vs. --     (35-34, 19-14 home)
at Madison Square Garden, New York City, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

PAYNE'S THREE THINGS TO WATCH
GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)
New York (35-34) has 13 games left, and it appears to be on its way to reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The team is seventh in the conference, one-half game behind sixth-place Philadelphia and seven ahead of Milwaukee in ninth.

The Knicks failed to create more separation from the Bucks on Sunday, losing 100-95 at Milwaukee while hitting just 38.6 percent of their shots. They've dropped five of seven and are 7-8 since acquiring Carmelo Anthony from Denver last month.

"They're frustrated, and that's good," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We're trying to get this done. We'll get it done. It's just a matter of staying calm and knowing our problems and working through them."

One of the problems has been poor defensive play, and New York has show some improvement over the last three games. The Knicks have allowed an average of 99.3 points after giving up 117.3 over the previous three.

While the defensive issues appear to be waning, Anthony could provide a spark offensively after scoring 23 points Sunday. He was held to six points while making just 2 of 12 shots in a 99-95 loss at Detroit two nights prior. The forward had 32 points for the Nuggets in a 113-99 loss at Boston on March 24 of last year.

The Knicks are in for a series of rough tests during this homestand, also hosting Orlando and Milwaukee. They've dropped 14 of 16 meetings with the Celtics, and nine of 11 at MSG.

Read the full preview HERE.