Celtics (56-26) vs. Knicks (42-40)
Celtics: PPG Paul Pierce (18.9); RPG Kevin Garnett (8.9); APG Rajon Rondo (11.2)
Knicks: PPG Carmelo Anthony (26.3); RPG Amare Stoudemire (8.2); APG Chauncey Billups (5.4)
These two teams squared off in their respective regular season finales, with the Celtis resting all of their starters while the Knicks held out Anthony and Billups. The Boston reserves won 112-102, getting 39 combined points off the bench from Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic.
The Celtics swept the four-game season series, but their average margin of victory was just 6.5 points. Garnett killed New York this season, averaging 22.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in his three games against the orange and blue. New York was the only team in the NBA this season that Garnett averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds against.
Anthony sat along with everybody else in the Knicks final regular season game, but he averaged 27.8 points and 8.5 rebounds over the four games prior. Bostons starters havent played since April 10.
Both teams made significant roster changes during the season, and as a result, have been up and down at times. Pierce vs Anthony and Garnett vs. Stoudemire are the marquee matchups, but the point guard battle between Rondo and Billups will be one to keep an eye on. Rondo's speed vs Billups' power and veteran savvy could have a major impact on how this 13th playoff meeting between these two division rivals plays out.