Hadfield: Just who, exactly, is leading this Celtics-Knicks series?

No one is quite sure, as of today, if Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony has the upper hand in this series. (Getty Images)
No one is quite sure, as of today, if Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony has the upper hand in this series. (Getty Images)

I have a question I need your help with, dear reader: As it stands today, Thursday, May 2, 2013, are the Celtics leading their first round series against the Knicks? It’s a fair question, actually.

Technically speaking, ESPN, Yahoo, NBA.com and other national outlets have the Knicks currently ahead in the matchup, with a three games to two advantage, as the two teams reunite for what should be a spirited atmosphere in Boston for Game 6 Friday night. But at the conclusion of the Celtics grit-and-grind win in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, the collective reaction has largely dismissed New York’s upper hand, mostly citing the Knicks’ remarks about funerals that never happened and premature golfing trips prior to Game 5 coming back to haunt them.

“I don’t know what everyone’s talking about, getting comfortable and feeling good,” Kevin Garnett said following Boston’s Game 5 victory. “We’re down 3-2. It’s not like we evened it up and we’re going back home. No, we’re down 3-2, so I don’t know what being comfortable is about.”

Confidence is a funny characteristic. You have it then, rather suddenly, almost on a whim, you don’t. Since losing back-to-back games, we’ve arbitrarily decided the Knicks, are without confidence. Meanwhile, we’ve also retroactively confirmed that the Men In Green never wavered in their confidence.

“We’re not getting over-excited, that’s the thing,” Paul Pierce added. “When we lost our games we didn’t get too down and now when we won a couple we’re not getting over-excited. You’ve just got to maintain a certain calm.”

Before we dig any further, I have another question: Do we think there’s something to the Confidence Conundrum? Like its cousin, Momentum, and its crazy uncle, Clutchness, there can be no tangible value placed on Confidence. We debate body language, aggressively read into quotes, and try to pinpoint who, exactly, has The Look and who’s reacting to playoff adversity like Ray Liotta in the last 25 minutes of GoodFellas.

“Momentum means nothing right now,” Jason Terry explained. “This is all about grit and grind. One possession, one quarter at a time and see what happens. We have nothing to lose.”

From Boston’s standpoint, there’s a comfort zone with this particular predicament, not because they’ve been here before, but because they’ve been here, with their backs up against the wall, for a week. The Knicks mindset has undoubtedly morphed over the past day, while the Celtics shifted gears, living on the edge since last Friday night.

If we’ve learned anything, it’s not about the last 245 minutes; just the next 48.

Follow Ryan Hadfield on Twitter @Hadfield__



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…