Boston Celtics (2-1) at New York Knicks (0-1)
Preseason Game #4
TV: CSNHD (Boston), MSG2 (New York)
Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)
Referees: Pat Fraher, Tyler Ford, Tre Maddox
For the second time this preseason, the Boston Celtics will play the New York Knicks in Connecticut. After beating the Knicks 106-86 just three days ago, Fisher will have another crack at the Celtics in just his second preseason game as a head coach. The New York Knicks are still in the infantile stages of implementing their new triangle offense, and their first contest against the Celtics showed that they still have a long ways to go. The Celtics are also implementing a new offensive system emphasizing pace and space. In their first contest against the Knicks, the Celtics shot 11-22 from the three-point line and 14 points off of the fast break. While I’m sure Brad Stevens was thrilled with the three point shooting, we still need to capitalize on more fast break opportunities.
This rematch will allow the Knicks to show what they have been able to accomplish in the last few days of training camp, and it will also give the Celtics experience in competing in back-to-back games. Hopefully, the Celtics can get back to their winnings way in their second matchup with the Knicks after losing to the Raptors 116-109 on Friday.
Once again, it looks like Rondo, Green, Faverani, and James Young will be out against the Knicks. However, Stevens is giving Gerald Wallace the night off for rest, and Joel Anthony will take the place of Olynyk in the starting lineup. Also, it looks like it will be Iman Shumpert's first game back from his hamstring injury. He may find his way into the starting lineup tonight if he is finally 100% healthy.
Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Joel Anthony
I'm sure most fans may panic when they see Joel Anthony in the starting lineup, but it sounds like Brad Stevens just wants to give a few guys some rest. It is unclear if Olynyk will come off the bench, but Stevens said he wanted to get a longer look at Joel Anthony. This definitely hurts from a competitive standpoint since Olynyk is a much better option offensively than Joel Anthony, but it is just a preseason game. It will probably be good for Anthony's moral to get some minutes after not being a major part of the rotation. It will be interesting to see if Anthony is able to improve the starting lineup's defense at all.
Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey, Evan Turner, Rajon Rondo
Avery Bradley, Marcus Thornton, Rodney McGruder, Tim Frazier
Evan Turner, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, James Young
Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy, Christian Watford
Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller, Joel Anthony, Vitor Faverani
Rajon Rondo (hand) - Out
Jeff Green (calf) – Out
Vitor Faverani (knee) – Out
James Young (hamstring) – Out
Gerald Wallace (rest) - Out
Jose Calderon, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Samuel Dalembert
I am assuming that Fisher will go back with the same starting lineup that he used against the Celtics in their first faceoff. The big question in this starting lineup is whether or not Iman Shumpert will resume his role as a starter since he reportedly will play in this game. He is battling with a hamstring injury, so Fisher may choose to bring him along slowly and keep JR Smith in the starting lineup.
Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni, Shane Larkin
JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Carmelo Anthony, Cleanthony Early, Travis Outlaw, Quincy Acy
Andrea Bargnani, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Smith, Langston Galloway, Orlando Sanchez, Travis Wear
Samuel Dalembert, Cole Aldrich, D.J. Mbenga, Andrea Bargnani, Jason Smith
Iman Shumpert (hamstring) – Will Play
Jason Smith (knee) – Out
Keys to the Game:
Pace and Space
The Celtics were able to shoot 11/22 from the three-point line in their first win against the Knicks. Last night, the Celtics shot 14/28 from three against the Raptors. However, they only scored 14 points on the fast break against the Knicks and only 7 fast break points against the Raptors. If they can continue their hot shooting while also getting out on the break a little bit more, they should be able to run away with another win. With Joel Anthony taking Olynyk's place in the starting lineup, we will likely lose a little speed and floor spacing. Hopefully, guys like Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger can pick up some of the slack.
In the first matchup, the Celtics held the Knicks to shooting 40.6% from the field and 20.8% from the three point line. However, the Raptors were able to shoot 50% from the field in the Friday night matchup. If the Celtics can defend the way they did in their first matchup against the Knicks, they should be able to get back to their winnings ways. With Joel Anthony working his way into the starting lineup tonight, the Celtics should have a more formidable front line than usual.