2012 NBA Playoffs: Would New York Knicks Stand Chance vs. Celtics or Heat?


How would Knicks last in these Eastern Conference Finals?

This year’s NBA Conference finals have been entertaining and fun to watch. In the west you had the young, draft-built team in the Thunder, fueled by superstar Kevin Durant, going against the veteran, championship proven Spurs.

In the East you have the hated, heavy favorite Miami Heat going against the hard-working future Hall-of-Famer’s in the Boston Celtics.

All these teams have big superstar names leading their teams: Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo.

The Knicks also have some stars of their own in Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar’e Stoudemire. We all know them and the rest of the Knicks team couldn’t beat Miami in the first round, losing in five games. But could the Knicks have beaten this current Miami team who has not played with Bosh, failed to deliver in the clutch, and are playing different than their two previous playoff series? Let’s take a look.

I think the current Heat struggles are being very overshadowed by how well the Celtics are playing. Their chemistry and smoothness in offensive sets takes years to execute. Having a fantastic floor general in Rondo who puts the ball right where only you can get it doesn’t hurt either. Also having hungry veterans in the ‘Big Three’, who everyone counted out from the beginning of the season by saying they were too old, throws gasoline on their fire.

The Heat are still the Heat though. LeBron James is the best regular season player and Dwyane Wade is a former Finals MVP. These two ran circles aroun the Knicks and I don’t think the outcome would have been much different if it was Knicks vs. Heat in the Conference Finals. Obviously a lot of momentum and confidence would have swung New York’s way, but after seeing four losses that weren’t close games, especially in Miami, I don’t see the Knicks coming close in a series vs. the Heat.

A Knicks vs. Celtics series would be much more interesting. On paper, the Knicks can match up with the C’s. Carmelo vs. Pierce would be fun to watch with both players having the same style of scoring. A healthy Shumpert vs. Rondo would be awesome TV. I think one of the reasons Iman was drafted was for this exact reason, to put on ball pressure on Rondo. Tyson on Garnett would be a phenomenal matchup; both big men who take pride in their defense are two tough dudes and leaders.

I still think the Knicks would just fall short against the Celtics just like they would against this Heat team. The Celtics have IT. I can’t explain on paper what IT is, but if you watch them play you know what I’m talking about.

They get it. They know where each other are going to be five steps before they move. They aren’t afraid to get on each other when times get tough. They have a top tier coach in Doc Rivers. A solid bench. Four leaders on the court. And above all, they have the hunger and motivation to win. The chip on their shoulder is enough to beat the Knicks, who I feel like would play to not too lose, and the Celtics would play to win.

The New York Knicks have a way to go if they want to compete in the East. Just put on game tape of the Celtics, Spurs, or Thunder. They have IT. The Knicks are looking for it.