Boston Celtics (9-12) at New York Knicks (5-13)
Sunday, December 8, 2013
12:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #22 – Road Game #12
TV: CSNNE MSG, NBA-LP 751(DTV),751/752(xfinity)
Radio: WZLX 110.7, ESPN NY 98.7
Madison Square Garden
Game Thread l Chat
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The Celtics travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks for the first of four meetings this season. The Knicks took the Atlantic Division crown last season but are currently in 4th in the division just half a game ahead of the last place Nets. It was also the Knicks who eliminated the Celtics from the first round of the playoffs last season.
Both teams come into this game on a two game win streak. The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games while the Knicks are 2-8 in their last 10. The Celtics are 4-7 on the road and the Knicks are 2-7 at home. The Knicks consecutive wins came after nine straight losses. The Celtics have won 5 of their last 7 games after a 6 game losing streak.
While the rivalry will have lost a bit without KG and Paul Pierce, they are still the Celtics rivals for the division. The Celtics also need to take the Knicks seriously in spite of their 5-13 record as they still have stars on the team and are coming off their two best games of the season.
Update. Kenyon Martin will miss this game with a sore ankle. Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr will get the start and Carmelo Anthony will move to the 4. I don't have time to switch the pictures, though.
Rajon Rondo (ACL)out
Kelly Olynyk (ankle) out
Tyson Chandler (fibula) out
Jeff Green vs Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo is averaging 25.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and is a tough cover for any player. Jeff Green needs to make Carmelo work on the defensive end and he needs to stay with Melo on defense and make him work for every shot. Granted he won't be able to get under Melo's skin like KG used to, but he can defend and make him work.
Jared Sullinger vs Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani is averaging 15.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and needs to be defended all the way out to the 3 point line. Bargnani has a height advantage over Sully, but Sully has a strength advantage. This one will be interesting to watch.
Keys to the Game
Defense - The Celtics need to especially defend the 3 point line as the Knicks have shot 33-61 in their last 2 games. They have several very good shooters from beyond the arc and the Celtics need to make sure they don't give up open looks from the outside.
Rebound - The Celtics need to rebound as a team in order to keep the Knicks from getting second chance points. Much of rebounding is effort and desire and when the Celtics show both on the boards, it usually transfers the rest of their game.
Run! - The Celtics need to run at every opportunity. They have young legs and energy on their side and they need to use it to their advantage. If they can beat the defense down the court, they will get some easy shots.
Take the Ball Inside - The Celtics need to try to get the ball inside and not settle for outside shots all game, especially if their shots aren't falling. Taking the ball into the paint will usually either give them an easy shot or draw a foul.
Don't Over Dribble - The Celtics are at their best when they are moving the ball and not just dribbling out the clock. They need to share the ball and move it without a lot of dribbling.
On the Road and 3-Pointers
The Celtics are on the road and even though it's not a long trip, there will be a hostile crowd. The Celtics can't let the crowd bother them. The Knicks can kill you with 3 pointers if they are allowed to get going and gain confidence in them. The Celtics must stop they beyond the arc.