After two disappointing games in a row (with the floor condensation on Friday and Connecticut fans not being able to see Garnett/Pierce on Saturday), the Celtics continue their preseason play tonight at Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks. The last time these two teams faced off, last Wednesday, the Celtics pummeled them at the TD BankNorth Garden with a 40-point blowout. Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas mentioned after the game that he felt his players were somewhat intimidated by Boston’s trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. You want my thoughts on that? Good.
The starting lineups for this one is up in the air. As mentioned above, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce did not play on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena against Philadelphia while they were getting a much deserved rest. Doc Rivers would like to give Ray Allen a day or two of rest, but Allen stated that he would prefer to play so he could get into a rhythm. With that in mind, it’s tough to predict the starting lineups, especially considering the fact that Knicks guard Stephon Marbury did not play in New York’s last game. If the Boston trio plays tonight, I wouldn’t expect them to play tomorrow night in New Jersey, and visa-versa. I would assume that we’ll see everybody out on the floor tonight, but I’d expect the starters to play limited minutes (probably no more than 20-25).
I wouldn’t expect another 40-point blowout, as I’d expect the Knicks to come out of the gate stronger and more aggressive than they did Wednesday, but preseason or not, a win is a win. Go get ‘em!
Projected Starting Lineups
C Kendrick Perkins / Eddy Curry
PF Kevin Garnett / Zach Randolph
SF Paul Pierce / Quentin Richardson
SG Ray Allen / Jamal Crawford
PG Rajon Rondo / Stephon Marbury
Kendrick Perkins vs. Eddy Curry
I used this as the key matchup last Wednesday as well, but I have to go with it again. To me, watching Perk bang around with Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph is a much needed test. Can he stay out of foul trouble and play smart defense, despite the size of New York’s front court? That’s one of the biggest keys for this team in 2007-2008, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can play smart basketball and focus less on jawing with the opposition.
FLCeltsFan's thoughts after the break
Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
Monday, October 22
7:30 pm Eastern
TV: Comcast SportsNet, MSG, League Pass (DTV 751)
Madison Square Garden
Given the juggling that coaches do it would be hard to post starting lineups for these last few preseason games so I am not even going to attempt it. I do expect our stars to play in this game and sit out against the Nets but nothing is certain.
After the Celtics beat the Knicks by 40 points last week, Isaiah said that his team was intimidated by the Celtics stars and that they were playing against the press rather than the team. If so, that is a good thing and it gives the Celtics a leg up on the competition. They could be a dangerous team to play after being embarrassed in the last game as they will be looking for pay back and it probably won't be the cake walk the last game was. I have a feeling that Doc will play the three stars at least a quarter or two in this game. RA has said that he would rather play than sit and KG and PP sat out the last game. Also I expect Doc to sit them against New Jersey since the Nets stars didn't even travel with the team to Worcester.