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Celtics host Knicks looking to avenge their lone preseason loss

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The Celtics and Knicks meet for the second time in the preseason.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

at 
New York Knicks (4-1)  at  Boston Celtics (4-1)
Thursday, October 22, 2015
7:30 PM ET
TV:  NBA-TV, CSNNE, MSG2, NBA-TV Canada
TD Garden

The Celtics and Knicks meet for the second time in the preseason.  Both teams were undefeated when they met the first time and they are both 4-1 as they prepare to meet this time. 

The Celtics didn't play well in their first meeting and didn't move the ball well or defend well.  They were out of sync the entire game.  Hopefully they can get back to team ball in this game and come away from this game with a win.

The starting lineups are totally up in the air.  The teams may try to run the rotations that they hope to use in the season opener,  or they may sit their best players to rest them before they begin the season.  We may see some semblance of the rotation that the Celtics will use for the regular season, or we may see a lot of the players on the bubble to give them a chance to either prove themselves or not. 

Isaiah Thomas will more than likely miss this game as the Celtics are trying to be cautious with him after he developed tendonitis in his knee.  Derrick Williams is day to day for the Knicks with an illness.  The Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis missed their first meeting and is expected to play in this one.


Possible Starters
PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Evan Turner
PF:  David Lee
C: Tyler Zeller

Probable Reserves
Jae Crowder
RJ Hunter
Jonas Jerebko
Jared Sullinger
Perry Jones III
Jordan Mickey
Kelly Olynyk
Terry Rozier
Isaiah Thomas
Corey Watson
James Young
Amir Johnson

Head Coach

Brad Stevens

Injuries

Isaiah Thomas (knee) day to day
Jae Crowder (thumb) probable

Players to Watch


The frontcourt rotation seemed to be settled early in the preseason when it was said that David Lee and Tyler Zeller would start and Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk would come off the bench,  but there could be a chance for Jared Sullinger, Jordan Mickey and Jonas Jerebko to crack that rotation if they can manage to play well enough.  Also, Perry Jones would seem to be the odd man out, but he will have a chance in these last 2 games to prove he belongs. 


Possible Starters
PG:  Jose Calderon
SG:  Arron Afflalo
SF:  Carmelo Anthony
PF: Kristaps Porzingis
C:   Robin Lopez

Possible Reserves
Lou Amundson
Darion Atkins
Sasha Vujacic
Cleanthony Early
Langston Galloway
Jerian Grant
Kyle O'Quinn
Wesley Saunders
Kevin Seraphin
DaJuan Summers
Travis Trice
Lance Thomas

Head Coach

Derek Fisher

Injuries
Derrick Williams  (illness)  day to day

Players to Watch

The star of the Knicks is Carmelo Anthony and he has been playing very well so far in the preseason.  He is always a threat to have a big night. 
Kyle O'Quinn has had big games against the Celtics when he was with the Magic and he has been playing well for the Knicks and he had a strong game against the Celtics in their first meeting. 
Robin Lopez mans the middle for the Knicks and needs to be a focal point for the defense in the paint.
The Celtics will get to see the Knicks 7'3" rookie, Kristaps Porzingis for the first time.  They will need to work hard to keep him from being a force in the paint on both ends. 

Keys to the Game
Defense
- The Celtics are building their identity on their defense this season. However, they seemed to slack off against the Knicks in the first game.   They need to continue to build a tough and swarming defense. Defense will be even more important as they get into the regular season.

Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics turned the ball over 18 times against the Knicks the last time they met.  They need to make crisp passes and take better care of the basketball.  They were too sloppy the last game and need to be sharper in this one.

Run, Run, Run! -  The Celtics need to use their depth to their advantage and run on every possession.  They have the young legs and the players to run the Knicks out of the gym.

Rebound - The Celtics need to box out and be more effective on the boards.  Against the Knicks the last time,  they were out-rebounded on the offensive end 18-11.  The Celtics have got to crash the boards and beat the Nets to the rebounds.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics allowed the Knicks to out-play them in their last game.  They have to get back to being the more aggressive team and beat them to loose balls and rebounds and be the more aggressive on defense and in going to the basket.

X-Factors

Home Crowd - These two teams met in NY the first time but this time they are on the Celtics home court.  The home crowd should give the Celtics a boost in this one.

Vengeance - The Knicks are the only team to beat the Celtics in the preseason and they should be looking to avenge that loss.