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Game 36/66: Knicks (18-18) @ Celtics (18-17)

 

New York at Boston
1:00 PM
TD Garden
ABC/CSNNE

Offensive Efficiency
Boston: 98.1 points/100 possessions (23rd)
New York: 97.9 points/100 possessions (24th)

Defensive Efficiency
Boston: 96.0 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
New York: 97.2 points allowed/100 possessions (8th)

Probable New York Starters: Jeremy Shu-How Lin (PG), Landry Fields (SG), Carmelo Kiyan Anthony (SF), Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire (PF), Tyson Cleotis Chandler (C)

View From the Opposing Bench: Knickerblogger

Injury Report
Boston: Jermaine O’Neal is questionable for a change.
New York: None.

The Celtics have the distinction of being the last team to play the Knicks in pre-Lin era. It was February 3rd, the day before Lin humiliated Deron Williams and became a sentient pun. The Celtics squeaked out a two-point victory that day, just as the Knicks had against them in the first game of the season. Seems crazy, but Carmelo Anthony was actually the focal point of the offense back then, rather than Steve Novak. J.R. Smith was busy trying to keep his sister from killing someone in China. Baron Davis’s back was getting better, but he was considering tweaking it again so he wouldn’t have to play on this terrible team.

So in a way, the Celtics deserve credit for Linsanity. They kept that game close enough that Iman Shumpert had to play 42 minutes, the only reason Lin got the time he did the next day. The Celtics also deserve credit, maybe more so, for ignoring an eventual star who played at a college FOUR MILES AWAY.

PREGAME ANALYSIS

Casual basketball fans are all, “Myaaah, the Knicks are so undisciplined! All they care about is putting up points! What happened to fundamentals and defense myaahh myaaaah!”

The Knicks are great at defense, of course. It’s their offense that sucks. Jeremy Lin has, to some extent, turned things around, and they’ve reeled off some terrific scoring performances since he appeared, but they’re still chilling in the league’s bottom third. And since Carmelo Anthony’s return, they’ve posted three of four games of below-average offense, with their only above-average game coming most recently against Cleveland.

So discouraging the offense should be important here. Cutting off their passing lanes for their limited ball movement, smothering Melo when he stops the ball. I imagine Rondo has seen some tape of Lin’s tendencies, and while Pierce vs. Melo is kind of a scary prospect, Pierce tends to gear up on defense for big games and he’ll probably give Melo a few discreet kidney punches in the opening minutes.

Meanwhile, this should be another game in which Rondo is featured prominently. Lin isn’t great at moving laterally or stopping drives, so if KG can clear out Tyson Chandler there should be plenty of opportunities at the rim for Rondo.

PREDICTION

Boston 94, New York 87

 

  • lakershater13

    Maybe its just me but I like seeing JO as OUT rather than questionable.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Time to prove to the world how seriously Linsanity is a joke

  • I_Love_Green

    Headbando is playing again. I just feel better watching him with the headband.

  • IBleedGreen

    Why is Baron Davis beating Rondo of the dribble every time?

  • skeeds

    There has to be a way to keep headband Rondo and Knickskiller Pierce around for the rest of the season, they beat their alter egos' ass…

  • hdavenport

    Celtics just look short. Knicks standing around the rim and getting whatever they want.

  • hdavenport

    Pierce is also getting DESTROYED on cuts to the basket.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Pierce looks like he is more concerned with keeping energy for scoring. He needs to get with Melo and stay with him

  • Batman

    Refs need to give pierce/rondo some whistles

  • I_Love_Green

    All in favor of keeping the gang together for this season say "I".

    I.

    • ripsonics

      When rondo comes to play THIS is what he's capable of. This is the rondo that ppl. Love.

      If he can just be consistent and play hard regularly… Then there's no way we should trade him.

      Still not sure what we SHOULD do.

      Ray just hit a three! Word

      • hdavenport

        5-16 is not the Rondo that I love, but otherwise agreed.

        • ripsonics

          Yeah that's true. The trip dub is pretty nice tho… The missed lay ups… Not so much.

          • CelticsBIG3

            IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII you cannot trade a guy with these capabilities. who do you get back? Pau Gasol? No thanks

          • skeeds

            I know man, it's still Rondo, you never know what he'll do next game. Then again, he went for 18-20-17 for his 2nd triple double of the week.

            Trade? Suuuuuure! give us a Magic Johnson (the last player to go better than 17-17-17 until today) and we give you Rondo, no problem.

          • ripsonics

            Never been in favor of rondo for gasol. And it's funny to me when rondo has games like this we all say how great and amazing he is, but when he plays disinterested and lazy we call for a trade.

            Not Sayin you specifically, but other people for sure. He played incredibly today, no doubt. And in no way am I asking for a triple double every game, I just want some consistency!

            He has not played like a top five PG all year, but he has certainly answered the bell in the last four games.

            Go C's

          • tbunny

            I would still take Gasol for Rondo. Rondo missed around 10 layups and couldn't stay in front of Lin. I'm ok with them sticking with Rondo but if that trade were possible I would do it.

            They should have given the ball to Lin at the end of regulation because he was getting inside with impunity.

  • I_Love_Green

    Game of the year.

  • CelticsBIG3

    What is wrong with CSNNE? what is this screen saver

  • skeeds

    Hot damn that was a ball game!

  • LACelticFan

    Great to see JGreen on the sidelines cheering on the squad. Great win, defense still can get better and Doc really rode the vets, but MP saw a ton of time.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Says a lot about a guy to be on the sidelines with the team not making a penny to be there.

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