When the Celtics and Knicks face off, it’s always a battle of two different styles of basketball.
You’ve got the Celtics, who preach defense and half-court offense for the most part, and the Knicks, who aren’t too familiar with that word “defense”, and like to get out and run.
But that isn’t going to stop the Celtics from playing their game, especially on the defensive end.
“We expect to see [defense] every night, but we just have to do it,” Doc Rivers said. “And this is not an easy team to defend. They’re a good offensive basketball team.”
Credit their offense largely in part to Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, the latter of which killed the Celtics in Game 1 until the closing minutes when the C’s clamped down on him.
“That’s tough to do for 48 minutes,” Rivers said. “The way he was going [in Game 1] we would take our chances on someone else. It was the anyone-but-Amar’e defense in the end.”
With defense comes transition basketball, and that’s where Rivers feels the C’s can be successful. They may not be known for the fast break, but it’s definitely successful when they use it.
“If we can score easy baskets and get in our transition game, on our end we’re OK with that,” Rivers said. “We don’t want [the Knicks] to do that, but, yeah, we want to run. I think that’s probably something that people are wrong about our team is we would like to get out and run because in a half-court slower game it’s easier to help off of [Rajon] Rondo and clog up our offense.”