Celtics take on Knicks for the second time this preseason

USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics will face their first back to back set of the season tonight as they take on the New York Knicks for the second time this preseason.

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New York Knicks (1-1) at Celtics (0-3)
Saturday, October 12, 2013
7:30 PM ET
TV: NBA-TV, CSNNE, MSG2
Preseason Game #4, Home Game #3
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH
Referees: John Goble, Brent Barnaky, David Guthrie

Game Thread l Chat

The Celtics will face their first back to back set of the season tonight as they take on the New York Knicks for the second time this preseason. The Knicks are also playing in the second of back to back games, having dropped a game to the Raptors 100-91 on Friday night. It's worth noting that this is Brad Stevens' first experience with back to back games as well since he didn't face this phenomenon in the college game.

Knicks coach, Mike Woodson has announced that he plans to rest Carmelo Anthony, Metta World Peace, and Raymond Felton in this game. The Celtics are not only playing on the second straight night, they are also playing in their fourth game in a six-day span. The Celtics could take the approach of sitting veterans like Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace and other main guys or, they can continue to play them in limited minutes in their search for combinations that work. The Celtics have yet to find a starting unit that meshes and with a new coach and many new players, they could use all the experience as a team they can get.

The Celtics have started 3 different lineups in their first 3 games. Since only one starter from that group has posted a positive +/- number, it's fairly certain that we will see a 4th different starting five out there for tonight's game. Hopefully it will be a combination that works. One suggestion might be to start Jordan Crawford or Phil Pressey at point alongside of Avery Bradley at the 2 guard spot.

Hopefully we will see more effort from top to bottom in tonight's game, regardless of who starts and who comes off the bench. Against the Sixers, the lack of effort stood out. While fatigue from playing in 4 games in 6 nights may be a partial cause for the lack of a running game and a sub standard effort, this team is young and should be able to overcome those hurdles.

Celtics Roster

Chris Babb

Brandon Bass

Damen Bell-Holter

Keith Bogans

Avery Bradley

MarShon Brooks

Jordan Crawford

Vitor Faverani

Jeff Green

Kris Humphries

Courtney Lee

Kelly Olynyk

Phil Pressey

Rajon Rondo

DeShawn Sims

Jared Sullinger

Kammron Taylor

Gerald Wallace

Injuries

Rajon Rondo (ACL) out

Keith Bogans (thumb) questionable


Player to Watch

After a DNP in the first game, Phil Pressey has been making his case for back up point guard quite effectively. He needs to continue his strong play in order to beat out Jordan Crawford for the back up point guard spot.

Honorable Mention: Jared Sullinger has improved in each of the 3 games so far and as his conditioning continues to get better, he may continue to improve. His play was one of the few bright spots for the Celtics last night. He has a knack for getting inside and knows how to finish once he gets there.

Knicks Roster

Cole Aldridge

Carmelo Anthony

Andrea Bargnani

Tyson Chandler

Ike Diogu

Chris Douglas-Roberts

Raymond Felton

Tim Hardaway Jr

CJ Leslie

Kenyon Martin

Toure Murry

Josh Powell

Pablo Prigioni

Iman Shumpert

JR Smith

Chris Smith

Amare Stoudemire

Jeremy Tyler

Beno Udrih

Metta World Peace

Injuries

JR Smith (Knee) out

Amare Stoudemire (knees) out

Jeremy Tyler (finger) out

Player to Watch

Iman Shumpert lead the Knicks with 18 points in their first game against the Celtics. They would do well to keep a man on him.

Honorable Mention: Any one of several young guys who are trying to make the team and will probably see extended minutes with key players sitting out for the Knicks.

Keys to the Game

Run! Run! Run! - Coach Stevens wants the team to run but they've been walking more than running. They were out scored in fast break points by the Sixers 30-12.

Rebound - The Celtics were out rebounded 54-43 by the Sixers and they need to make more effort to crash the boards.

Hit Some Shots- The Celtics shot just 36% against the Sixers. Players are being too unselfish at times and they are missing shots they should make. Someone needs to hit some shots. They are better shooters than that percentage indicates.

Defense! - After allowing 52% shooting in their first two games, the Celtics allowed the Sixers to shoot almost 50%. They must do a better job on the defensive end.

Don't Panic - It's still the preseason. Players are still learning the system. The coach is still learning the players. It's going to take some time.

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