Apr 26, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward/center Kenyon Martin (left) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrate near the end of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. New York Knicks won 90-76. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NBA Playoffs: Knicks-Celtics Game 4 Preview

The New York Knicks have shown they are hands down the better team in their first round matchup against the Boston Celtics, holding a commanding 3-0 lead. The Celtics offense has been nonexistent so far as the Knicks continue to play their best basketball each and every game. Carmelo will try to lead the way for the brooms in Boston as he continues on his scoring tear. The Knicks will be without their second leading scorer J.R. Smith after being suspended one game for elbowing Jason Terry in Game 3. Here’s what you need to know for Game 3:

Apr 26, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is guarded by Boston Celtics guard Jason Terry (4) and forward Jeff Green (8) during the second quarter of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

When: Sunday April 28th at 1:00 P.M.

Where: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts

Watch: ABC

Betting Line:  Knicks (-2.5)

Team Stats: Knicks 87.3 PPG (14th in playoffs) Celtics 75 PPG (Last)

Key Matchup: Carmelo Anthony vs. Paul Pierce/Jeff Green

This goes without saying, but Carmelo Anthony is on another planet right now. If the Celtics have any chance of avoiding the embarrassing sweep, Piece and Green have to frustrate and get under Anthony’s skin. Without J.R. Smith, if Carmelo is out of rhythm, the Knicks will have trouble finding consistent scoring throughout the game. The offense runs through and begins with Carmelo and if not him it’s J.R. Smith. Pierce and Green are smart defenders but guarding and stopping Carmelo throughout a 48-minute playoff game is nearly impossible.

Pierce and Green also have to score, which has been a problem for the entire Celtics team in these playoffs. Not one player is averaging over 20 points per game and the firepower to keep up with the Knicks just isn’t there. If the C’s have any chance to win this game, Pierce and Green have to go off. I just can’t see the Celtics winning this game as they look old and beat down. This might be the last time we see Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the same court together. At least they will end it in Boston as the Knicks sweep them and head on to round 2, something that hasn’t been said in over a decade.

Prediction: Knicks 90, Celtics 78

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Tags: Boston Celtics Carmelo Anthony J.R. Smith NBA Playoffs New York Knicks

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