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NBA Playoffs, Celtics Vs. Knicks: Boston, New York Rekindle Old Rivalry In First Round

There's nothing like a Boston-New York rivalry in the playoffs, and I mean nothing.

While the Red Sox and Yankees account for the majority of the rivalry, there are two other teams that have played a major role in the feud: the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.

The official schedule for the Celtics-Knicks first round series has not been released, but it is widely speculated that the series will begin on Sunday, April 17, considering that the Bruins play the Canadiens in game two of their opening round series on Saturday night before heading to Montreal for games three and four.

Boston and New York are two of the three remaining original NBA teams from 1946, with the Golden State Warriors (then the Philadelphia Warriors) being the other. During the days of Patrick Ewing and Larry Bird, the Celtics and Knicks were considered legitimate rivals, but the rivalry died down in the 1990's and 2000's when both teams fell upon hard times.

The rivalry began to rekindle during the 2010-11 regular season, as the Knicks re-loaded in the offseason with stars Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton, which gave the city hopes of once again being competitive.

Both teams met for the first time this season back on October 29, 2010, with Boston prevailing 105-101.

Yet the biggest regular season meeting between the two came on December 15, 2010 at Madison Square Garden. It was a tightly contested game all-throughout, but Paul Pierce made sure the C's came home with the win, sinking a last-second jumper to give Boston a hard fought 118-116 victory.

Boston proceeded to win the next game against New York, toppling the Knicks 96-86 on March 21, 2011 in the first meeting between the two teams since Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups were traded to the Big Apple.

Coincidentally, the Celtics and Knicks will play each other in the regular season finale for both squads at TD Garden on Wednesday night, although neither team will likely give away any secrets to the other.

The Celtics and Knicks have met 12 times in the playoffs, with their most recent postseason series coming in 1990 when New York beat Boston 3-2 in a five-game series. Boston and New York have split their 12 postseason series, with each team besting the other six times in the playoffs.

Only twice in those 12 meetings have the series lasted seven games, with the 1984 Knicks beating the Celtics, 4-3, in the Eastern Conference semifinals and the 1973 Knicks besting Boston in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals before going on to defeat the Lakers in the NBA Finals, marking their second NBA title.

Of course, Boston has had much more success than New York in the playoffs, winning an NBA-record 17 NBA Championships while appearing in 21 NBA Finals.

As far as predictions go, Tom Ziller at SB Nation believes that the Celtics are the better team in this series, but not by that much, as he predicts Boston will top New York in seven games.

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.