Celtics at that other Garden looking for win #3 vs the Knicks

USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks for the Third of four meetings this season.

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Boston Celtics (15-31) at New York Knicks (17-27)
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #47 – Road Game #24
TV: CSNNE MSG, NBA-LP 755(DTV),752/753(xfinity)
Radio: WZLX 110.7, ESPN NY 98.7
Madison Square Garden
Referees: Tom Washington, Kevin Cutler, Michael Smith


Game Thread l Chat

The Celtics travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks for the Third of four meetings this season. The Celtics won the first two meetings, one in Boston and one in New York. They will meet one more time on March 12.

The Knicks took the Atlantic Division crown last season but are currently in 3rd in the division behind the Raptors and the Nets. They are 3 games ahead of Boston in the Atlantic division standings.

The Knicks are playing the 6th game of an 8 game home stand. The Celtics are making a quick road trip in between 2 home games. This is the first of back to back games for the Celtics with a game at home vs the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

The Celtics have lost their last two while the Knicks have won 2 in a row. The Celtics are 2-8 in their last 10 games and are 6-17 on the road while the Knicks are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 9-15 at home.

The game notes show the same starting lineup as they used in the last game with Brandon Bass at power forward and Jared Sullinger at center. Stevens may stick with this one or change it up again. Chandler is back in the starting lineup for the Knicks and will present problems for the Celtics. On the other hand, the Celtics have Rondo back.



Probable Starters

PG:Rajon Rondo..................................... SG:Gerald Wallace

C: Jared Sullinger

SF:Jeff Green ........................................... PF:Brandon Bass

Celtics Reserves

Vitor Faverani
Kelly Olynyk
Phil Pressey
Kris Humphries
Joel Anthony
Chris Johnson
Vander Blue

Injuries

Jared Sullinger (finger) probable
Jerryd Bayless (toe) day to day (expected to be available for this game)
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Keith Bogans (personal) out



Probable Starters

PG:Pablo Prigioni.......................................... SG:Raymond Felton

C: Tyson Chandler

SF:Carmelo Anthony ..................................PF:Iman Shumpert

Knicks Reserves
Chris Smith
Tim Hardaway,Jr
JR Smith
Pablo Prigioni
Beno Udrih
Toure' Murry
Cole Aldrich
Metta World Peace
Jeremy Tyler

Injuries
Amar'e Stoudemire (ankle) out
Kenyon Martin (ankle) out
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) out

Key Matchups
vs
Jeff Green vs Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo is averaging 27.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and is a tough cover for any player. He scored 62 points and 35 points in his last two games, both Knicks wins. 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. We may also see Brandon Bass defending Melo as he has had success in the past against him.

vs
Rajon Rondo vs Pablo Prigioni
Rondo has been improving with every game since his return. His minutes are also increasing as he gets hit conditioning back. Expect him to be more aggressive against Prigioni and to improve even more in this game.

Honorable Mention
Jared Sullinger vs Tyson Chandler
Sully has been struggling with a dislocated finger as well as a bone bruise and strained ligament in his hand. He also gives up a few inches to Chandler. This could be a tough matchup for the Celtics. We may see more Kelly or Vitor on Chandler if Sully is unable to slow him down.

Keys to the Game

Defense - The Celtics need to especially defend the 3 point line as the Knicks shoot very well from beyond the arc. They have several very good 3 point shooters 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.

Play for 48 Minutes - In almost every game, the Celtics either build a big lead or stay right with teams for much of the game but they inexplicably go away from what works for them and stop passing, stop hitting shots, stop going to the basket, and begin turning the ball over. They must play hard for 48 minute and not let up.

X-Factors

Focus and Revenge
The Celtics are on the road and even though it's not a long trip, there will be a hostile crowd. The Celtics must keep their focus throughout the game and not let the crowd or the referees to take them out of the game. . The last time the Celtics played the Knicks on the road, they embarrassed them and the game ended with Knicks fans booing their own team. I'm sure they have that on their minds going into this one and never underestimate the desire for revenge.
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