Series starts tonight, folks. Most people say the series starts once the home team loses but thats stupid. The series starts game 2 when adjustments are made. After both teams have kind of showed their hand and given a little more insight into how the rest of this series is gonna play out. Championship players like the Celtics and their Coach Doc Rivers will make the necessary changes. And Mike Woodson – a guy who’s been knocked throughout his career for his playoff coaching – will need to respond.
My number 1 worry comes in the form of Tyson Chandler. He was basically non existent. 0 points, 0 blocks, 0 assists, 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of play. The bulging disc in his neck is clearly affecting him. Doc Rivers and that cocksucker Garnett probably smell blood in the water. I would go right at Chandler if I’m Boston. Maybe Chandler mans up through the injury struggle and holds his own. We all know the type of warrior he is. But the Knicks may not be able to withstand another dud of game like that from their big man. Does Woodson stick with his defensive rock? If he is struggling, does he go with Kmart and the smaller lineup? Can Kmart continue to produce on both ends of the floor and fill Chandler’s shoes? Can the Knicks hold the Celtics to another 25 point second half if Chandler goes missing again?
I think thats gonna be the first big adjustment of the series. The Chandler/Garnett/Kenyon Martin dynamic. It was the crux of the Knicks defensive success and the Celtics offensive woes. Whichever team wins on that adjustment will obviously regain the advantage in that department and change things dramatically. The questions and adjustments obviously don’t stop there though. Does Boston let Carmelo shoot another 30 shots? Are they content with letting Melo get 30, 35 points if its not efficient? Are they prepared for game 2 when JR Smith most likely starts draining a lot of the big shots he missed on Saturday? After a putrid second half of offense, who does Doc turn to? Jeff Green or the vet Paul Pierce? What kind of changes do you make to address a team scoring eight points in the final quarter of a playoff game? I don’t even know what moves Doc can make with that old ass lineup.
In its most basic form – can the Knicks and an injured Chandler maintain the same level of defense from game 1? Can the aging Celts maintain their solid defense but address their incredible offensive woes? Its a fine line that can tip in either direction through winning the battle on a couple of adjustments. 8pm tip, Woodson vs Doc. KG vs. Chandler. Boston vs. NY. We find out who wins these battles.