Press-Republican

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May 1, 2013

Knicks, Celtics fans tout their teams

PLATTSBURGH — New York Knicks fans have high hopes that their team will clinch their first playoff series in 13 years tonight.

“We’re on fire,” Heather Van Arsdel said. “It’s our time.”

The team narrowly missed sweeping Boston in game four of seven on Sunday, coming back from a 20-point deficit to snatch the lead in the fourth quarter but ending in a tie at the buzzer.

In overtime, the Celtics rallied to win 97-90, thrilling some fans at Plattsburgh sports bars, among them was Todd Fortin of Peru.

Cheering his team from Mickey’s Restaurant and Lounge, he said wasn’t surprised by the Celtics’ comeback. He expects Boston will defeat the Knicks in tonight’s game, too, at Madison Square Garden.

’NOT WITHOUT RONDO’

Tom Martisus, a lifelong Celtics fan, wasn’t feeling as hopeful as he watched Sunday’s game at Geoffrey’s Pub.

“I know the season’s going to end today or the next game,” the Peru man said.

Martisus said he’d had some enthusiasm at the season’s start, but then, he felt, the players’ age started to show.

He said a significant factor, too, has been All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury in January.

The team finished the season with a record just slightly over .500; the Knicks wrapped it up at .659 with a 54-28 record and their first division title since 1994.

’GOOD DEFENSE’

Chris Phillips had his eyes on the flat-screen at Geoffrey’s; he had hoped the Knicks would sweep on Sunday.

They’d been sloppy, he said, but their defense was keeping them together.

“They’re always playing good defense. The team is doing a good job, but they’re lacking scoring.”

It didn’t help that the Knicks lineup didn’t include J.R. Smith, he said, who earned a one-game suspension following a flagrant foul during game 3.

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