With Chauncey Billups listed as day-to-day for Game 3 with a left knee strain, Toney Douglas may very likely have to take the reins at point guard, once again. In his latest ESPNNewYork.com playoff diary entry, TD looks back on his first-ever playoff start, going head-to-head with Rajon Rondo and what he anticipates the atmosphere to be like in the Knicks' first home playoff game since 2004.
First of all, how are you feeling after Game 2, and what's the latest with Amare and Chauncey?
I feel good -- ready for Game 3 at the Garden. Amare and Chauncey are working hard to get back on the court. They're very important to our success. They're veteran players, so we know they are focused. I'm hoping they can go tomorrow, but if not, the rest of us just have to step up that much more. We'll have to play our hearts out like we did in Game 2 and leave all our effort out there on the floor.
Assess how you played in Game 2 and what are you working on to prepare for Game 3?
We all have some things to work on after Game 2. Today we watched a lot of film and worked on our team defense. I just have to focus on staying aggressive and setting the tone on the defensive end from the start of the game. Also, I don't want to make any little mistakes; pay attention to detail. Boston is a team that will go on runs and jump ahead of you quick, so I just want to keep my composure for 48 minutes.
What's it like guarding Rajon Rondo for an entire game? What makes him so dangerous?
I have to watch him in transition mainly; that's where he gets most of his points. All of us have to get back up the court quickly, even it's just so he sees bodies in front of him. That will slow him down from thinking about pushing the ball up the court. We all just need to stay focused on playing team defense. That doesn't just go for Rajon Rondo; that goes for the whole team.
Fans got to see a special performance from Carmelo in Game 2. But what was it like being on the court with him, seeing what he did? Was that one of the best individual games you've seen in person?
It felt good being out there with Carmelo. He's one of the greatest players in the NBA, especially finishing games. He played his heart out. Even though he had 42 points and 17 rebounds, he also had six assists. Even though he was tired, and we knew it, he gave it his all.
Compare your first two playoff games to what you predict tomorrow night.
It will be like night and day. We'll be on our home court. That's something I'm really excited for. 20,000 screaming New Yorkers will be like having a sixth man on the court. It will be great to get that support from our crowd that Boston was getting from their crowd Games 1 and 2.
How do you envision the environment being at the Garden?
Electric, exciting. I can't wait to play at MSG. This is going to be a very unique experience. It's the first playoff home game in [seven] years, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect. It will be a surprise for us as players and the fans.
Before Game 2, Mike D'Antoni compared your speedy style of play to a "waterbug." What do you think about that analogy?
Well, I'm not really even sure what that means [laughs].
What's the best nickname you've heard from a fan? Right now, I'm going with "X-Man" because in my opinion you're the team's No. 1 X factor.
Thanks man, that's a great compliment. It feels good to know that people think I'm a key to this team's success. I just have to make sure that I go out there and am ready to perform tomorrow night.
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