Pre Game News and Notes
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks and Celtics will face off for the first time this season with circumstances much different than in recent history. This season, the roles have been reversed, as the Knicks are the alpha dog sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 23-10 record as the Celtics are struggling to stay at .500 with a 16-17 record. The Celtics have put on two strong defensive performances in their last two games, making this a game the Knicks have to ignore the record and see the players in front of them.
-Knicks Catch a Break
The Knicks will catch a break tonight as Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended without pay for the game tonight. Rondo made contact with a referee in the Celtics last game against the Atlanta Hawks and would not partake in an investigation, resulting in him being suspended for tonight’s game.
This is a revelation the Knicks are secretly very happy that came about, as Rondo would have been a handful for the Knicks. Without Raymond Felton and even more so Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd would have had to run around after Rondo and that had the makings of an ugly ending for the Knicks.
-Avoid a Big Deficit
The Knicks need to avoid getting down big early as they have recently, turning it into a troubling trend. The Knicks put themselves in a tough position when they start so slowly and against a veteran team like the Celtics they will not be able to build a comeback like they do against the lesser teams.
Against the Celtics tonight the Knicks should have no problem getting up for the game from the start. The crowd will be excited as the Celtics visit for the first time this season and the Knicks will want to make a statement that they are the new kings of the Atlantic and the Celtics are the team of the past.
-Let Melo be Melo
Carmelo Anthony is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now and the Knicks should go along for the ride as long as he keeps doing that. Against the Celtics, Anthony will be matched up with Paul Pierce, a match-up he should hold the edge everywhere on the court. Anthony will force the Celtics to send help, something they do not like to do, or he will single handily destroy them.
If the Celtics do indeed send the help, the rest of the Knicks will need to follow suit and finish the opportunities Anthony gives them. The Celtics perimeter defense improves with the addition of Avery Bradley, but without Rondo tonight the passing lanes should be more open for the Knicks. If the Knicks just find the open man they will have success against a Celtics team that will be without their floor leader tonight.
-Crash the Boards
This will be the third game in a row that Marcus Camby will start alongside Tyson Chandler and the results have been good for the most part. They bring a higher intensity to the defensive end and have improved the Knicks rebounding dramatically.
This is a game that the Knicks should continue their improved rebounding, as the Celtics are actually a worse rebounding team than the Knicks. The Celtics rank last in the NBA in rebounding with 38.6 per game. This is something the Knicks need to take advantage of, as for the first time in a while they are better than the Celtics in every facet of the game.