C's, Knicks Already Set To Meet in Playoffs
WALTHAM, Mass. - While you prepare yourself for an inordinate amount of Boston-New York storylines this week, the Celtics will do their best to avoid over preparing for the Knicks. Boston and New York already know that they're destined to meet this weekend in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The Atlantic Division rivals clinched their playoff matchup with separate victories this past weekend. The Celtics secured the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with their win over the Magic Saturday night in Orlando, and less than a day later, New York clinched the second seed by beating Indiana Sunday afternoon. Now the two bitter rivals know that they'll collide in the first round.
Both teams determined their seeds with victories this weekend, and as fans, we all won as well. This is going to be one heck of a series, one that several Celtics described as a matchup that will be “fun” for them to participate in.
That being said, this next week could become a little over the top regarding Celtics-Knicks coverage. It is likely that six full days will have passed between the moment that these teams found out they’d play each other and the moment Game 1 tips off. That’s plenty of time for beat writers in each sports-hungry city to complete a deep dive into every facet of the matchup.
It’s also plenty of time – maybe too much time – for each team’s coaching staff to break down every player, play and tendency of the opponent.
Sometimes having too much time to prepare for an opponent can be a bad thing. Doc Rivers admitted back in October that his staff had over prepared for the Miami Heat leading up to Opening Night. Rivers and his coaches decided to alter some philosophies on defense that typically would go untouched, all because they had so much time to dissect the opponent as the game approached. Miami wound up scoring 120 points on 54.4 percent shooting.
Rivers admitted again on Monday that having a full week to prepare for an opponent can cause issues.
“If it was a real week (leading up to the Knicks series), then yeah, I’ve always thought that,” Rivers said. “Both teams would get stale and that first game you wouldn’t know what would happen.”
The good news for the Celtics is that this isn’t what Rivers would call a “real week.” They have some business to take care of before they begin their full-on preparation for Game 1.
“The difference is we have other games in the way,” Rivers explained.
Boston has two games remaining on the schedule that will interfere with their preparation for the Knicks. The Celtics will play host to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and then head to Toronto for the regular season finale Wednesday night.
As a result of those games and the surrounding circumstances, the Celtics believe that they will only have only a couple of days to turn all of their attention toward New York.
“We feel we’ll play Saturday because the Rangers play on Sunday,” Rivers said. “So you’re not going to have a lot of time – like true time, where there’s no other team in front of you and you just focus on them. You’ll have two days.”
Maybe that’s a good thing for the C’s. Will they study the Knicks throughout the week? Sure. But they won’t cloud their minds with information overload.
The media surely won’t be in the same boat. Reporters are going to nail home every storyline that they can find, all to build the intrigue for what is sure to be an incredible first-round series.