The Knicks will have J.R. Smith for Game 5 and will be back in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden. But they still could be entering dangerous territory.
They gave the Celtics hope and a few more days to breathe by not completing the sweep of their first-round series Sunday in Boston. If the Knicks, who are up 3-1, don't knock off the veteran Celtics Wednesday night, the series will change dramatically. The Knicks have the right mentality going into Game 5, though.
"Finish the job," Tyson Chandler said.
"We have to be confident going back home," Carmelo Anthony said. "The Garden will be rocking Wednesday. We'll be prepared for it."
The Knicks, who didn't practice Monday, have won 12 straight at the Garden by an average of 15 points. Three of those wins have come against Boston, including two in this series.
No NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit and won a series. But closeout games are the toughest to get, and the Knicks know Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will fight to bring the series back to Boston for Game 6.
But Anthony wants to win so badly, for his own and the Knicks' playoff legacies. The Knicks haven't won a playoff series since 2000 and Anthony has made it past the first round just once in nine years.