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The Celtics take on the new look Knicks at that other Garden

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The Celtics continue their 2 game road trip through New York with a visit to division rival Knicks.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports


at
Boston Celtics (3-1) at New York Knicks (2-1)
Saturday, October 15, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Preseason Game #5
TV: CSNNE MSG, NBA-TV
Madison Square Garden
Referees: Tony Brothers, Sean Corbin, John Goble

The Celtics continue on their short road trip with a visit to division rival New York Knicks. Unlike the Celtics who have kept their core mostly the same over the offseason, the Knicks have made quite a few changes. They brought in Brandon Jennings, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. They have plenty of talent but how that talent fits together remains to be seen.

Noah sat out the Knicks first 3 preseason games with a hamstring injury. He returned to practice on Wednesday and injured his ankle and sat out Thursday once again. He practiced on Friday and is expected to play in this game. Derrick Rose is in LA for his rape trial and has missed the entire preseason so far with Brandon Jennings starting in his place.

Kelly Olynyk was scheduled to be re-evaluated this week but his doctor has been unavailable and so he is still out and limited to non contact drills. Terry Rozier recovered from the 7 stitches he got against the Hornets to play against the Nets. He suffered a hip pointer in Thursday's game vs the Nets and missed practice on Friday but is expected to be good to go for this game.

This is the third straight home game for the Knicks and their last home game of the preseason. They will face the Celtics again in Boston on Wednesday, October 19. This is the Celtics 5th game in a row away from Boston Garden but a couple of those were considered to be home games. After this game, the Celtics will finish the preseason with 2 straight games at Boston Garden.



Possible Starters

PG: Isaiah Thomas 4
SG: Avery Bradley 0
SF: Jae Crowder 99
PF: Al Horford 42
C: Amir Johnson 90

Probable Reserves
Ben Bentil 50
Jaylen Brown 7
Marcus Georges-Hunt 45
Gerald Green 30
RJ Hunter 28
Demetrius Jackson 9
Jonas Jerebko 8
Jalen Jones 52
Damion Lee 56
Jordan Mickey 55
Terry Rozier 12
Marcus Smart 36
James Young 13
Tyler Zeller 44

Injuries
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) out
Terry Rozier (hip) probable

Head Coach: Brad Stevens



Probable Starters

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Courtney Lee
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Kristaps Porzingis
C: Joakim Noah

Possible Reserves
Willy Hernangomez
JP Tokoto
Maurice Ndour
Chasson Randle
Justin Holiday
Kyle O'Quinn
Lou Amundson
Sasha Vujacic
Ron Baker
Marshall Plumlee
Damien Inglis
Mindaugas Kuzminskas

Injuries
Joakim Noah (ankle) probable
Lance Thomas (heel) questionable
Derrick Rose (personal) out

Head Coach
Jeff Hornacek

Key Matchups
vs
Jae Crowder vs Carmelo Anthony
Jae prides himself on locking down opponents and Carmelo Anthony is a challenge for anyone to guard. He is averaging 15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and is always capable of exploding for a big game.

vs
Al Horford vs Kristaps Porzingis
The 7'3" Porzingis is a tough cover and has been opening a lot of eyes around the league after being booed by Knicks fans on draft night. He is averaging 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Keys to the Game

Defense - Playing tough team defense is the key to winning every game. The Celtics need to concentrate on getting stops and keeping the Knicks' offense off balance. Both teams are shooting 40% from the field, but the Knicks are shooting 40% from beyond the arc to just 30% for the Celtics. The Celtics have to play tough defense, especially on the perimeter. The Knicks will have plenty of 3-point threats with Brandon Jennings, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis all capable of firing from long range.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They have to be more aggressive in going after loose balls, in grabbing rebounds, in defending, and in going to the basket.

Rebound - Much of rebounding is effort and desire and when the Celtics put out the extra effort to win the battle of the boards, they seem to play better overall. They have to grab rebounds to keep the Knicks from getting out on the break and to keep them from getting second chance points. The Celtics are averaging 44 rebounds to 38 for the Knicks and they have to continue to put out the effort to win the battle of the boards.

Move the Ball - When the Celtics move the ball and find the open man, they play very well. When their assist total is high, they are tough to beat. When they start to play hero ball and stop moving the ball, they usually lose and look terrible while doing it. They need to play as a team with no hero ball.

Smart Offense - Take good shots. The Celtics need to take shots when they are open and not force contested shots. They need to move the ball and they need to run and then run some more to get the ball up the court before the Knicks defense is set up. If the 3s aren't falling, they need to drive to the basket and not continue to throw up bricks from the perimeter. .

X-Factors
It's Preseason - It's tough to gauge anything in the preseason. Brad Stevens may just play Jalen Jones, Damion Lee, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Ben Bentil the whole game or he may sit out the starters again. The Celtics want to win every game, but player development and evaluation are the more important goals in the preseason.