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The Knicks have to change their mindset starting tomorrow in that first game in Boston.

NBA Playoffs: Underdog Knicks Must Change Game Plan Against Celtics

In baseball there is an old adage: “Good pitching beats good hitting.” That has been proven true time and again, especially in a seven game playoff series. Now the New York Knicks should go into their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Celtics with this in mind: a good defense will beat a good offense. That is why the Knicks have to change their ways on the court; otherwise, the Celtics are going to win this series.

Make no mistake, coach Mike D’Antoni’s team is much better than Knicks teams of the last few years. One can look to Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony as obvious reasons for that, and they have strengthened the play of Chauncey Billups and company with their presence. Still, the obvious thing one can gather since Anthony came to the Knicks is that this is an offense minded team. The problem is they are facing Kevin Garnett and the Celtics, and that solid defense is going to pose problems for them without a doubt.

The Knicks have to change their mindset starting tomorrow in that first game in Boston. With Ama’re going head-to-head with Garnett, we will see a very physical match-up, and the Knicks are not at a disadvantage as they would have been a year ago. D’Antoni has got to get his players ready for a physical game – lots of contact and plenty of defending.

The Knicks have scored more points per game than the Celtics (106.5 – 96.5), and there is no disputing that superior offense, but they have also allowed more points (105.7 – 91.1) and the Celtics were number one in the league in that category. That superior defense is obviously capable of shutting down the Knicks machine. If the Apostrophe Duo – Amar’e and ‘Melo – are held in check, this series will be quickly over.

Even before this series starts, we Knicks fans have to be thankful for being here. This season the games always seemed to matter (even before the Anthony trade), and that kept me watching and hopeful. Since that trade there has been a feeling of euphoria and pride as the team returned to the playoffs, but we also have to note that our bench is much weaker because of that trade, and the defense is a big question mark in this series.

Still, we are there and D’Antoni’s team should know what it has to do. A good defense does shut down a good offense. Now it is up to the Knicks to change their attack plan; otherwise, they will be watching the finals at home.

Photo credits: NBA.com

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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