Three NBA playoff games highlight the sports night on Friday, April 22, 2011.
Here's how it might go down.
The Knicks host the Celtics at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 pm, on ESPN. Boston leads the series, 2-0.
PREDICTION: Amare Stoudemire plays tonight, the Garden is energized, and Carmelo Anthony has a big game. Boston will have trouble against an energized Knicks' defense. Ray Allen is due for a big game, and so is Pierce, but it will be Garnett who finds a way to shine, though it won't be enough. The atmosphere in New York will be too much for the Celtics.
Knicks win, 89-84
The Magic meet the Hawks at 8:00 pm, on ESPN 2. The series is tied, 1-1.
PREDICTION: This is the most difficult game to call. Orlando usually puts up better offensive games than they have the first two games in the series. Three Magic players who struggled in the first two games in Orlando will pick it up -- expect Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, and Hedo Turkoglu to have better games, and take the burden off Dwight Howard. Atlanta will awake some sleeping giants themselves, as someone on the bench other than Jamal Crawford will finally step up. The Hawks will not get much out of their big men, though, and fall in a close one.
Magic win, 99-98.
The Hornets host the Lakers at 9:30 pm, on ESPN. The series is tied, 1-1.
PREDICTION: New Orleans has played very well in Los Angeles the past two games, and will continue their momentum at home. Chris Paul remains the main scoring threat, and will maintain his high level of confidence. But it won't matter. Pau Gasol will finally show why he's one of the best big men in the NBA, and will dominate Carl Landry. The Lakers will break it open in the fourth quarter, after three close quarters.
Lakers win, 103-93.