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Celtics rebuild better, beat Knicks 108 - 97

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We're better than the Knicks. So there's that.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics came out strong and established a quick early lead and held the Knicks at arms length for the rest of the game.

Marcus Smart got the start but his night was almost over soon after it began as he turned his ankle when he got tangled up with Jose Calderon. Thankfully he was able to get his ankle re-taped and returned to the game shortly after.

Smart had an excellent all around game, showing a little more aggression going to the hoop and even posting up.  He also showed great court vision and hit a few outside shots. And of course he was harassing guys on defense and getting deflections.

Brad Stevens made a good decision to cover single cover Carmelo Anthony instead of bringing the double teams. That forced his less talented teammates to face more defenders when Anthony wasn't shooting.  For his part Melo looked disinterested unless he was shooting.  Kinda feels like he's going through the motions until he gets to make his appearance in the All Star game and then shut it down for the year.

Jared Sullinger was a bit of a beast tonight. He did most of his damage inside (where a lot of fans would like to see him spend more time) with rebounds, tip ins, and savvy post play.

Avery Bradley also had himself a fantastic game.  He had his shooting stroke going and showed no ill effects from the fractured off-hand he's playing through.

As Stevens has hinted at, he gave James Young longer minutes.  He had a couple of buckets (including a 3 pointer of course - correction: it was a long 2 pointer) and at times he looked a little unsure of himself, but didn't play badly by any means.

Langston Galloway is a hustle guy that gives the Knicks a spark. Jason Smith can hit an occasional mid-range shot. Tim Hardaway Jr. has some offensive talent.  But overall the talent level on this team is as low as advertised.