W2W4: Knicks at Celtics, Game 4

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
9:41
PM ET
BOSTON -- The Knicks have a chance to win their first playoff series in 13 seasons on Sunday afternoon. They're up 3-0 on the Celtics and can complete a sweep with a win in Game 4 at TD Garden.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on; tipoff is at 1 p.m. ET (ABC):

NO J.R.: The Knicks' bench has outscored the Celtics' reserves, 90-33, this series. But Boston may be able to close the gap Sunday because the Knicks will be without sixth man J.R. Smith.

Smith was suspended one game without pay by the NBA for striking the chin of Jason Terry in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

Smith, the Sixth Man Award winner this season, is New York's second-leading scorer in the playoffs. He averaged 16.3 points per game in New York's first three wins over the Celtics.

It's unclear who will fill the void left by Smith but Chris Copeland is a candidate to get more minutes on Sunday.

Copeland started Game 1 for the Knicks but has not scored in 24 minutes on the floor in the series.

MELO'S SHOW: Carmelo Anthony said sweeping the Celtics on Sunday would be a "dream come true."

If Anthony can score on Sunday like he has in the first three games of this series, his dream may become a reality.

Anthony's averaging an NBA playoff-high 32 points per game this postseason. He's shooting 46 percent from the field and has hit 50 percent of his 3s (8-for-16).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Anthony is on pace to set a franchise record for scoring average in a series against Boston.

Patrick Ewing averaged 31.6 points in the Knicks' first round win in 1990 over the Celtics. Bernard King poured in an average of 29.1 points per game in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston in 1983-84 (a Knicks win). Willis Reed averaged 27.5 points per game in the Knicks' loss to the Celtics in the 1967 Eastern Division semifinals.

DEE-FENCE: There's been a combination of strong defense by the Knicks and awful offense from the Celtics so far in this series.

Boston has scored just 225 total points thus far. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the Celts' fewest point total over any three-game span in a single postseason in franchise history. The Celtics' franchise low for a four-game span in the postseason is 325 points. Boston would need to reach 100 points in Game 4 to prevent from setting a new 4-game low.

New York has held Boston to 39 percent shooting and forced an average of 17 turnovers per game in the series.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.9 3.4 0.6 35.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Smith 3.5
StealsJ. Calderon 2.0
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.4