NBA Playoffs: No Billups a big problem for Celts?

Don’t take Toney Douglas lightly in tonight’s Game 2 (7 p.m., TNT, CSN, WEEI).

Reports out of Knicks camp are that point guard Chauncey Billups will not be able to play in tonight’s Game 2 due to a left knee strain sustained in the last minute of Game 1.  

This may or may not be a good thing for the Boston Celtics.

Plenty of times this season, the C’s have lost when opposition’s key player sat. It’s an unfortunate trend that’s carried over from last season.

“I think, for us, we have to be even more focused because we haven’t done a good job when star players sit,” Paul Pierce said. “Throughout the course of the season we saw that opportunity many times and we’ve lost those games.

“I don’t know if we’re taking them for granted or taking them too lightly because they’re missing a player, thinking that the team wouldn’t play as hard.”

It’s hard to believe that will be the case this time.

“If you take someone lightly in the playoffs then shame on you,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Everybody is capable of playing.”

Backup Knicks point guard Toney Douglas is plenty capable, too — and he might even be better than Billups at this point.

Douglas is the one who hit that clutch 3-pointer to give New York a Game 1 lead with 37 seconds to play. In fact, he’s hit the most treys in the league since the All-Star break.

“Douglas is dangerous,” Rivers said. “He does different things. Obviously, his speed is a factor. He takes big shots, as you saw [Sunday] night. So we’ll be prepared for both ways.”



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