The two hottest teams in the NBA are probably the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. The Celtics have won 10 games in a row, while the Knicks come in having won eight in a row and 13 of their last 14. We'll find out whether the Knicks are for real when they take on the Celtics in Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
There's been a lot of talk about how an old rivalry has been "renewed." Back in the 1970s, the Knicks and Celtics were the two best teams in the league and fought through many playoff wars. But that was nearly 40 years ago. Since then, the Celtics and Knicks have almost never been good at the same time. The Knicks were down for much of the 1980s when Boston was elite, and the Celtics had some lean years in the 90s when the Knicks emerged. For the first time a while, both teams are playing well at the same time.
But to the players, this isn't much of a rivalry. At least the Celtics players, that is. Via Celtics Blog:
"It's a rivalry? Man ... I didn't know we had a rivalry going," Paul Pierce said with a laugh. "If that's what you all want it to be, if it's going to sell more tickets, get more viewers, I guess so. You all make up the rivalries; we don't, to be honest."
Rivalry or not, this matchup will likely be decided by the battle between Amare Stoudemire and Kevin Garnett. Stoudemire has emerged as a borderline MVP candidate this year, and his unstoppable-ness was well chronicled in this Wall Street Journal profile. Garnett and the Celtics will have to be on their game tonight.