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Celtics Visit the Other Garden


Boston Celtics (64-16) at New York Knicks  (23-57)
Monday, April 14
7:30 PM ET
Game #81,  Road Game #41
Madison Square Garden
Chat    l   Game Thread  

Knicks Coverage    Straight Bangin'    l   Posting and Toasting    

This is the 4th game between these two Atlantic division rivals. The Celtics have won all three of the previous meetings.  Although the rivalry isn't what it used to be in the good old days, there have been more than a few testy moments between these two clubs this season already, including Quentin Richardson and Paul Pierce being ejected in their second meeting and QRich challenging Pierce to a fight on the way out. 

Even through they are out of the playoffs, the Knicks have picked up their play since Donnie Walsh took over the club.  They beat the Bobcats, Pistons and Magic before falling to the Hawks in their last game.  So, even though they are out of the playoffs and looking for a good lottery pick, New York hasn't just quit and are still playing hard.  They may be playing to impress Walsh and for their jobs next season.  They especially will want to beat the Celtics because of the bad blood between these two teams.  They felt disrespected when the Celtics beat them by so much in their first meeting and there have been hot tempers in every game. 

New York is 4-6 in their last 10 games and 15-25 at home.  The Celtics are 9-1 in their last 10 games and 30-10 on the road.  The Knicks are 1-14 in the division and the Celtics are 12-2 against division rivals.    Whether the Celtics win or lose this one, the most important thing in this game is to come out of it without any injuries. 
Probable Starters
Celtics:      Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins 
Knicks:     Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Jared Jeffries, David Lee, Zach Randolph
Celtics:    Scot Pollard, Leon Powe, Eddie House
Knicks:    Stephon Marbury, Jerome James, Eddie Curry 

Key Matchups
Kendrick Perkins   PPG 7.1 RPG 6.20 APG 1.0 EFF + 11.93
Zach Randolph   PPG 17.6 RPG 10.30 APG 2.0 EFF + 19.06

Kevin Garnett     PPG 19.0 RPG 9.30 APG 3.5 EFF + 25.00
David Lee       PPG 10.8 RPG 8.80 APG 1.1 EFF + 16.67

Keys to the Game
Play for Pride  This game has no meaning for the Celtics.  They are 3-0 against the Knicks already including a 104-59 drubbing.  They won't face the Knicks in the playoffs.    The only reason to play to win this game would be for pride. 

Prepare for the Playoffs  The Celtics need to use this game as a tune up for the playoffs, whether that means working on a particular area, playing the bench more to give them more continuity, resting the starters, or getting into a regular rotation.

Don't Get Hurt   The last thing the Celtics need right now is an injury and the Knicks have been known to play a bit harder than they should at times especially Nate Robinson.  The Celtics need to play smart and stay healthy.

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