The 2011 NBA Playoffs begin on Saturday, with eight first-round series all playing their first game over the weekend. Who do we think will move on? Will there be any upsets? Which series will end quickly, and which will go the distance? SB Nation's trio of NBA writers -- Tom Ziller, Mike Prada and Andrew Sharp -- will be making their picks for each pick in this StoryStream. Next up: the highly-anticipated Celtics vs. Knicks series.
Boston in 7. For the balance of the season, the Celtics were a much, much better team. The Knicks go two deep in terms of star power; the C's go four deep, and have home court advantage. I can't see Boston losing more than one game at home, and I can definitely see the Celtics winning in New York.
ANDREW SHARP (link)
Both teams enter the playoffs looking to do two things. A.) Survive as long as possible, and B.) Avoid embarrassment. Not exactly the ideal playoff mindset, especially for the Celtics, who looked like the best team in the East until six weeks ago. 'Course, that's when the Kendrick Perkins trade happened, and... You know the story by now. They're both struggling, they're both desperate, and they both have insane fans-all of this makes them the perfect matchup in a seven game series. The Pick: Boston in 7.
The Celtics beat the Knicks four times this season, but three were in tight games and the fourth was in a meaningless finale. New York is fully capable of stealing one of the first two on the road as the rested Celtics get back in rhythm, setting up two games at the Garden with a wild crowd. I don't expect Boston to win both, meaning we'll get to Game 5 with the series tied at two, setting up for a hell of a Game 7.
A lot in this series depends on Rajon Rondo. If he is fully engaged, Boston wins easily. If he is not -- and I suspect that will be the case -- this series goes seven, and Boston will struggle to pull through. Celtics in 7.
Keep up with our Celtics Vs. Knicks, NBA Playoffs section for all the coverage of this series you need. For more on the Knicks, head over to Posting And Toasting and SB Nation New York. For Celtics' coverage and analysis, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston.