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NBA Playoffs: Celtics keys for Game 3

Can the Celtics play for a full 48 minutes on the road at MSG?

1 How much do the Knicks have left?

The Knicks are saying all the right things in the papers. After two tight losses to the heavily favored Celtics, they’re insisting their heads are still in the game.

“We’re still confident. As they say, and everybody says, it doesn’t start until somebody wins on the other guy’s court,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They held service.”

But after seeing the veteran C’s turn it on late twice to put them away, New York is surely looking over its shoulder a bit going into Game 3. From here, all signs point to a sweep.

2 When will Boston play a full 48 minutes?

The Celtics fell behind in Game 1, only to win it on Ray Allen’s clutch 3-pointer. Boston trailed at halftime of Game 2, but were saved by Kevin Garnett in the waning seconds.

If they can start games as well as they’ve been finishing them, putting the Knicks on the golf course should be no huge feat.

But can they do it?

Boston sleepwalked through the end of the regular season. Though they’re going to bounce the Knicks, are they on their game enough to make it easy on themselves for once? Or will this be a struggle?

3 What does ’Melo’s big night mean?

Carmelo Anthony’s 42-point, 17-rebound performance in Game 2 could be one of two things.

If the Celtics are lucky, the monster showing was merely an anomaly; a rare deal from a superstar forced to carry his team on his back in the playoffs. Explainable, unlikely to repeat.

If the Celtics aren’t lucky, Anthony’s night could indicate they just don’t have it in them to stop an elite scorer at this stage in the season. If Anthony’s good for 42, what could Derrick Rose do? How about LeBron James?

That’s a scary thought.

 
 
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