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

NYPD: Suspect dead after two U.S. Marshals, cop…

A suspected sex offender died during a shootout inside a West Village smoke shop that left two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective wounded, officials said.

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.