The Boston Celtics, up 2-0 in their first-round playoff series with the New York Knicks, won’t be going on an Easter egg hunt anytime soon. However, they will be hunting for wins over the weekend in a not-so-friendly environment.
Starting on Good Friday, the Celtics will be in Madison Square Garden, and by the time the Easter weekend is over, they are hoping that their hunt doesn’t lay an egg.
The Knicks are a battered and beaten team, with power forward Amar’e Stoudemire listed as probable for Game 3 with back spasms, and point guard Chauncey Billups listed as questionable with a sprained knee.
Billups received a cortisone shot for his knee and had it drained on Wednesday. Billups was hurt in Game 1 while driving to the basket in the second quarter, and did not play in Game 2.
Stoudemire sat out the second half of Game 2 after a pulled muscle caused back spasms that kept him out of action.
Meanwhile, Celtics center Shaquille will be out of the lineup again for Game 3 with a strained calf, and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 4.
The Celtics won the first two games with crucial baskets in the final minute, and coach Doc Rivers, while pleased with the 2-0 advantage, isn’t as pleased with the current style of play from his team.
“We can play smarter,” he said. “We gave them so many extra possessions and things like that. A lot of it was our rotations that we have to get better at, we have to be smarter at (but) we’re 2-0. That’s good, and the good thing is we have to play better and we will play better.”
On Monday morning, while Celtics fans will be recovering from Easter egg hunts and ham dinners, the Celtics will be hoping that their special hunt reaps a different kind of reward.
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