Boston: 106.7 points/100 possessions (17th)
New York: 110.6 points/100 possessions (7th)
Boston: 100.0 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
New York: 109.8 points allowed/100 possessions (23rd)
Probable New York starters: Chauncy Billups (PG), Landry Fields (SG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Amar’e Stoudemire (PF), Insert Big Man Here (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Knickerblogger
Thumbnail: The Celtics get the gift of a lifetime tonight. All of the media attention is focused on the idea that because the Knicks aren’t dominating fools like Ethan “Bubblegum” Tate, they made a mistake in trading away their entire team for Carmelo Anthony. While we can debate the merits of trading away guys like Wilson Chandler and Danilo Galinari for Anthony all day, the important thing to remember from a Celtics’ point of view is that playing the Knicks right now is shot in the arm to any team having trouble getting their offense going. Last night, the Knicks lost decisively to the Milwaukee Bucks. Yes, those same Buckerinos that got trounced by the Cs just a few games back.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are looking to stay on track after an emotional win in New Orleans. All signs point to the Cs keeping the good vibes going at least for another night.
WHAT THE KNICKS DO WELL
Score the Basketball. The Knicks are 3rd in the league in total points and 2nd in the league in points per game. A lot of this has to do with how many threes they shoot and how many of those threes go in. The Knicks are sixth in the league in three point field goal percentage despite taking the second most out of any team. When you take a lot of threes and make a lot of threes you tend to score a lot of points.
Limited Turnovers. The Knicks have the fourteenth fewest turnovers in the league, which despite looking average, is way above league average. The Knicks have committed a total of 974 turnovers while league average is about 20 more. Lack of ball movement is probably the real reason for this. It’s harder for NBA players to turn the ball over while trying to score than while trying to run a complicated offensive set that consists of a lot of moving parts.
WHAT THE KNICKS DO POORLY
Defend. What any good Mike D’Antoni team doesn’t do. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire have always been described as having a giant hole in their game and now they are on a team where that hole exists everywhere but in the Knickerbocker vacuum. In other words, yeah the Knicks can’t defend but no one in New York seems to care.
Stagnation. I guess this should be going in the section describing what the Knicks do well because technically this would be one of them. The ball doesn’t really move around much (especially in Anthony’s hands) and they are not very active on defense. Stagnant.
PLAYERS WHO DO MAKE ME WORRY
Amar’e Stoudemire. I don’t want him to worry me, but after watching Nenad Krstic get completely punked by guys like DeAndre Jordan and David West, I am fearful what a stronger/more talented hybrid version of those guys will do to him– especially if Kevin Garnett is caught on the perimeter clapping in Landry Fields’ face or something.
Tony Douglas. Douglas could be nicknamed “TD” for all the points he’s capable of putting up. The Florida State product can hit from outside and has a lightning quick first step.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY
Shelden Williams. Poor Shelden. Our old friend seemed to have found a home and temporary starting position in Denver before being used as a contractual throw-in. Last night against the Bucks, Williams got the start in an experiment that was hardly given enough time to develop as he was yanked after six minutes.
Carmelo Anthony….is a great offensive player. But, he is also a known commodity. For a team like the Celtics, he’s also the perfect guard. The Celtics team defense will most-likely key into Anthony and let Stoudemire get his points. If one isn’t a concern than neither is when it’s all said and done.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE TONIGHT
A win and limited minutes for the starters. That is probably too much to ask, however if there was ever a team that a coach could shuttle rotations back and forth against, the New York Knicks is it. It’s not likely to happen as I believe the Celtics think they can get another win tonight using the same playoff-y rotation Doc Rivers used against the Hornets. I would say there’s probably a chance of a Carlos Arroyo sighting and maybe Troy Murphy if there’s foul trouble but that’s probably it.
Let’s be confident. Celtics 100, Knicks* 95
*This did say “Bucks” because I’m an idiot. Plus I fear the deer. All deer all the time.