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Celtics close out the preseason against the Knicks

The Celtics finish their preseason schedule with a home game against the New York Knicks

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks (2-2) at Boston Celtics (5-1)
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Preseason Game #7
TD Garden

Referees: Scott Foster, Leroy Richardson, Jonathan Sterling

The Celtics and the Knicks meet for the second time in the preseason. The Celtics won the October 15 meeting 119-107. This is the Celtics final preseason game while the Knicks have a rare preseason back to back set and will face the Nets on Thursday to close out their preseason.

With the preseason winding down, both teams may play closer to their regular rotation as they prepare for the regular season which is just a week away. Brad Stevens has indicated that he may play his starters closer to regular minutes in this game. The Knicks, with one more game, and playing in back to back games, may rest their starters or may limit their minutes.

Derrick Rose has yet to play for the Knicks as he has been in LA for his trial dealing with the rape allegations. He was just found not guilty on all charges so he should be rejoining the team soon. Brandon Jennings has been playing very well as the starting PG in his absence. Joakim Noah returned to the Knicks in their first game against the Celtics after missing their first 3 games with an injury. He finished with 5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 19 minutes.

Kelly Olynyk has yet to meet with his doctors but tests have shown that he isn't ready for contact as yet and he remains out for the Celtics but he is getting closer to a return. Derrick Rose will once again miss this game as will Chasson Randle who has an orbital fracture.

The Celtics will be looking to end their preseason on a positive note with a win while at the same time continuing to improve both individually and as a team. The Knicks will be looking to avenge their earlier loss to the Celtics and they also will be looking to build some chemistry as a team. There are only 6 returning players from last year's Knicks roster. They have 11 new players.

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

Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) out

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

Chasson Randle (eye) out
Derrick Rose (personal) out

Head Coach
Jeff Hornacek

Key Matchups
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. Melo finished Saturday's game with 15 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes while Jae finished with 11 points, 3 assists and a steal in 15 minutes. Jae's defense will once again be key in this game.

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. Porzingis finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes on Saturday.

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 averaging 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. The Celtics need to find a way to slow the Knicks down.

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. The Celtics have to be the team that wants it more, even if it is their last preseason game.

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.

Move the Ball - When the Celtics move the ball and find the open man, they play very well. When they start to play hero ball and stop moving the ball, they usually lose and look terrible while doing it. Their ball movement has looked good so far and they need to continue that in this game.

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.

Chemistry and Depth
The Celtics core has been together for a year now while the Knicks are all still getting used to each other. Hopefully their chemistry will give them a boost. The Celtics' depth is one of their strengths and that should once again be a factor in this game.

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