The I-76ers

Around the Atlantic: Kenyon Martin, Jason Kidd Step Up as Knicks Win Game 1

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Knicks relied on two players who have a combined age of 75 and together have 30 years of NBA experience to beat the Boston Celtics 85-78 in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs today.

Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin combined for just 18 points, but it was their defense and leadership down the stretch that helped the Knicks get over the hump late in the game. Martin got the crowd into the game when punched an attempted dunk by Jason Terry (who is now more of a “Paper Airplane” than a “Jet”) out to the foul line in the first half.

K-Mart also played the entire fourth quarter with Tyson Chandler, who struggled with his conditioning after missing a few weeks with a neck injury, on the bench. Martin, who was signed in late March, nearly had a double-double, snagging 9 rebounds to go along with 10 points.

Kidd defended Paul Pierce at several key points in the game, which isn’t really an ideal matchup for the Knicks, but the 40 year-old PG did whatever he had to do to help New York get the win. J-Kidd seems to have a tendency to see things before they happen- he always makes the right pass, comes up with a big steal, or will hit a 3-pointer in the most clutch situations.

Kidd finished the game against Boston with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

While Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith combined for 55 points (20-48 shooting), it was Kidd and Martin that really were the key factors in today’s victory for the Knicks. If the wily veterans continue to play the way they did today, and Anthony and Smith start taking less ridiculous/higher percentage shots, the Knicks shouldn’t have a problem getting past Boston in the first round.