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New Look Knicks Come to Town Hoping to Renew Old Rivalry

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New York Knicks (6-4) at Boston Celtics (9-2)
Tuesday, November 18
7:30 PM
Game #12, Home Game #7
TV: CSNHD, MSG, NBA LP 755
Radio: WEEI
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

Knicks Blogs Posting and Toasting l A Knicks Fan Weblog l The Knicks Fix

The Celtics have renewed old rivalries with the Lakers, the Pistons and the Sixers and now the Knicks are hoping to renew another rivalry as they come into TD Banknorth Garden. The Knicks have a new GM and a new coach and a whole new outlook. They are now a running team that plays defense and have started the season 6-4.

The last time they started the season 6-4 was 1998, which was the season that they became the first number 8 seed ever to advance to the finals. With their early success this season, they are hoping that they will have similar success come playoff time.

The Celtics swept the series 4-0 last season which was the first time since 2002-03 that the Celtics were able to accomplish that. But, that was a far different team than they face tonight. Isiah Thomas is gone and Mike d'Antoni and his runnning game are in his place. Stephon Marbury is in the inactive list and Chris Duhon is running the show. And, just like every other team in the league after the Celtics's success last season, they are playing defense. The Celtics better not take them for granted.

Probable Starting Matchups
PG:
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Duhon
SG: Ray Allen vs Jamal Crawford
SF: Paul Pierce vs Quentin Richardson
PF: Brian Scalabrine vs Wilson Chandler *
C: Kendrick Perkins vs Zach Randolph
*Just a guess that Doc will start Scal in KG's absence, since Scal got the call last season when KG was out.

Reserves
Tony Allen
Glen Davis
Eddie House
Leon Powe
Gabe Pruitt
Bill Walker
Sam Cassell
Patrick O'Bryant

Probable Inactive
Bill Walker
Sam Cassell

SUSPENDED
Kevin Garnett

Injuries
None

Reserves
Malik Rose
Nate Robinson
David Lee
Mardy Collins
Danilo Gallinari
Jerome James
Anthony Roberson
Eddie Curry
Jared Jeffries
Stephon Marbury

Probable Inactive
Eddie Curry
Jared Jeffries
Stephon Marbury

Injuries
Danilo Gallinari (back) out
Jerome James (personal reasons) out
Jared Jeffries (fibula) out
Eddie Curry (knee) doubtful


Matchups to Watch
vs
Last season, the matchup between Paul Pierce and Quentin Richardson got very chippy. At one point, QRich called Pierce out to fight him. This is a matchup to watch as there is bad blood between these two players.

vs
Zach Randolph is one of the Knicks top scorers and they go inside often. There is going to be quite a battle inside between these two big centers.

Honorable Mention
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Duhon
Rondo has been struggling somewhat lately and Duhon has been playing well for the Knicks. The Knicks want to run and it will be up to Rondo to slow Duhon down and in doing so, slow the Knicks offense down as well.

Team Connections:
Jerome James and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle
Doc played for the Knicks from 1992-1995
Tom Thibodeau was the Knicks' assistant coach from 1996-2000
Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett were teammates in Minnesota
Stephon Marbury and Ray Allen were traded for each other in 1996
Quentin Richardson and Eddie House were teammates with the Clippers
Eddie House played for Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix

Keys to the Game
Start Strong How many times can the Celtics allow themselves to go down by double digits and then come back to win? They need to come out strong and take control of the game from the beginning.
Be Consistent Against Milwaukee, the Celtics seemed to have the game in hand, up by 15 points. But they couldn't hold the lead and had to go to OT to get the win. It seems that either the bench or the starters struggle at times in every game. They need to play as a team and play hard from start to finish.
Guard the Perimeter The Knicks are a good 3 point shooting team. They are shooting 39% from beyond the arc and have 3 players in the top 20 in threes made. Jamal Crawford leads the league in 3's made and so it should be a shoot out at the shooting guard position in this game.
Crash the Boards Rebounding is an indication of effort and desire. When they crash the boards and out-rebound their competition, they will more than likely win because of the effort and desire that go along with rebounding.
Take Care of the Ball The Celtics are 29th in the league in turnovers, averaging 17.2 per game. This is way too many and when a team gives away that many possessions, they are courting disaster.