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Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« on: February 02, 2012, 07:37:35 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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New York Knicks (8-14) at Boston Celtics (11-10)
Friday, February 3
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #22, Home Game #14
TV:  ESPN, CSN-NE, MSG, NBAC
TD Garden



Probable Starting Matchups

Point Guard
vs
Rajon Rondo  15.0 PPG,  5.10 RPG,  9.4 APG   1.7 SPG
Iman Shumpert  10.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG,  3.3 APG   2.2 SPG
I'm going on wishful thinking here.  We've been hearing for a couple of weeks that Rondo is day to day and on Wednesday Doc said that Rondo was very close and could come back for this game.  So, I'm putting him in as point guard for this matchup.  Rondo gives up 4 inches to Shumpert but Rondo has an experience advantage.  The Celtics need to take care of the ball with Shumpert on the floor as he is averaging 2.2 steals a game.  

vs
Ray Allen  14.9 PPG,  2.9 RPG,  2.9APG,  .564 3P%
Landry Fields  9.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG,  3.0 APG,  .273 3P%
Again, Fields has a height advantage over Ray (2").  Fields is a good defender but will be hard pressed to stay with Ray through all of the screens so hopefully Ray will be able to get his shot off as the Celtics need his scoring.  

vs
Paul Pierce  17.8 PPG,  5.4 RPG, 5.5 APG,  .433 FG%
Carmelo Anthony  23.7 PPG,  6.6 RPG,  4.9 APG,  .404 FG%
This is one of the marquee matchups in the league.  Both players are tough and both can take the ball to the hoop or hit from outside and both can find an open teammate if they don't have the shot.  Melo has a habit of swinging elbows and so Celtics need to be careful not to catch one in the head.  This will be a fun matchup to keep an eye on.  Paul Pierce has been playing some very good basketball and hopefully he will continue in this game.  

vs
Kevin Garnett   13.1 PPG,  7.20 RPG,  2.8 APG,  1.1 BPG, 1.000 3P%
Amar'e Stoudemire  17.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 APG,  0.7 BPG,  .357 3P%
This is a great matchup.  Expect some trash talk and physical wrestling for position between these two.  

vs
Jermaine O'Neal  5.9 PPG,  5.3 RPG,  0.5 APG,  1.4 BPG
Tyson Chandler 11.0 PPG,  10.1 RPG, 1.1APG,  1.3 BPG
The Knicks have an advantage at this position.  Jermaine has said he is concentrating on defense and the Celtics could use some defense against Chandler in this one.      




Celtics Reserves
Brandon Bass
Avery Bradley
Mickael Pietrus
Chris Wilcox
E'Twaun Moore
JaJuan Johnson
Sasha Pavlovic
Marquis Daniels
Greg Stiemsma

Injuries
Keyon Dooling (hip) day to day
Rajon Rondo (wrist)  day to day

Key off the Bench

Brandon Bass 12.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG  0.9 APG   .486 FG%


Mickael Pietrus 8.3 PPG,  2.6 RPG,  0.4 APG,  .387 3P%


Knicks Reserves
Bill Walker
Jared Jeffries
Steve Novak
Jeremy Lin
Mike Bibby
Toney Douglas
Renaldo Balkman
Jerome Jordan

Injuries
Josh Harrellson (wrist) out
Baron Davis  (back) out

Key off the Bench

Toney Douglas 8.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG,  2.6 APG,  .324 FG%


Bill Walker 6.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.4 APG, .437 FG%

Game Notes
This is the second meeting between these two division rivals (or maybe not, depending on who you listen to). They met for the first time for a wild game on Christmas Day.  In that game, the Knicks overcame an 8 point deficit in the 4th quarter to beat the Celtics 106-104. However, the Celtics didn't have Paul Pierce in that game.  Sasha Pavlovic had the honor of guarding Carmelo Anthony, who scored 37 points, 17 of which came in the 4th quarter.

With Pierce back in the lineup and playing well, hopefully Melo won't have quite as easy a time of it.  Also making it a little more difficult for the Knicks is the fact that they played Chicago on national TV the night before while the Celtics had the night before off and an easy game vs the Raptors the night before that.  

While Paul Pierce insists that the Knicks and Celtics aren't a rivalry,  things certainly do get heated between these two teams when they play.   The Christmas Day game had 6 technical fouls called and that's pretty much the norm when these two teams go at it.  Expect another heated and hard fought battle in this game as well.  

Keys to the Game
Bench Play  -  The starting lineups for these two teams are fairly close as far as production.  The difference is going to be when the reserves come into the game.  Since the Knicks played on the night before, they may need to rely on their bench a little more than the Celtics. The Celtics didn't have Pietrus during the first game and he has made a big difference for the team.  The Celtics' reserves may be the difference in this game.  

Defense -  The saying that defense wins championships is very true.    The Celtics ability to get stops will be a big key in winning this game.  It would be nice to see them come out from the start playing lock down defense and not allow the Knicks to get going.  The Celtics seem to be finding their defensive identity once again and they need to keep that as a priority in this game.    

Move the Ball - When the Celtics move the ball and make the extra pass and find the open man, they are a very tough team.  They need to play unselfish team ball from start to finish in this game.  

Be Aggressive - The Celtics must be the more aggressive team.  They have to win the 50-50 balls.  They must be more aggressive in diving for loose balls, going for rebounds, and driving to the basket.  The more aggressive team usually gets the benefit of the calls and also usually wins the game.  We know the Knicks are going to be aggressive and the Celtics must be more so.  

Rebound - The Celtics must make an effort to crash the boards and win the rebounding battle.   They can limit the Knicks second chance points as well as their fast breaks by beating them to the rebounds.  The Celtics need to gang rebound and have every player go to the boards when a shot goes up.  The team that wins the rebounding battle is usually the team that wants the win more and therefore is usually the team that wins the game.  

X-Factors
Health and Energy
Rondo's availability could be a big factor in how this game comes out.   But, whether Rondo plays or not, the team's energy will be a factor.  The Celtics need to come out strong and play with energy the whole game.  The Knicks are playing in the second of back to back games so fatigue could be a factor for them by the end of the game.  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 08:51:21 AM by FLCeltsFan »

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 07:47:23 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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TP, FL!

Revenge is a dish best served Green.

We'll have Paul in a groove and Pietrus, NY. No gimmies this time.

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 07:55:44 PM »

Offline hwangjini_1

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Another great game thread, another TP for you.

Go celtics!
I believe Gandhi is the only person who knew about real democracy not democracy as the right to go and buy what you want, but democracy as the responsibility to be accountable to everyone around you. Democracy begins with freedom from hunger, freedom from unemployment, freedom from fear, and freedom from hatred.
- Vandana Shiva

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 09:41:04 PM »

Offline letsgoblue86

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TP!  Go C's!!

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 10:38:47 PM »

Offline letsgoblue86

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Knicks (8-14) now!

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 10:49:21 PM »

Offline guava_wrench

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I look forward to Melo embarrassing himself at the end of the game the same way he did tonight with his forced moved getting swatted back into his face.

It will be nice to play them with a healthy Pierce who can neutralize Melo, leading Melo to chuck bad shots. For all of Melo's talent, I am always amazed at how mediocre he seems to be at finishing. So many fancy moves with no payoff.

But raw scoring numbers and playing in the top market get you starting spots in the all star game. There will be a player with a .408 FG% starting in the all star game, and it isn't low because they were all 3s (though for some unfathomable reason he shoots almost as many 3 per game as Durant and Love, guys who can actually hit from deep).

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 10:49:48 PM »

Offline guava_wrench

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Is my anti-Melo bias obvious?

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 10:51:30 PM »

Offline letsgoblue86

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Is my anti-Melo bias obvious?
I couldn't even tell  ;)

Re: Knicks (8-13) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 11:05:52 PM »

Offline guava_wrench

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At least Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Chris Webber agree with me.

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 12:37:34 AM »

Offline ACF

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TP. Go Celtics!

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 01:30:36 PM »

Offline Q_FBE

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This is Game 4 of 10 of the Critical part of the season where we must get our winning % up in the top 6 of the EC and avoid playing a 1 or 2 seed in the 1st round or worse, being relegated to being out of the playoffs. We are losing the season series to New York Knicks and they are chasing us and several other teams for a playoff spot. We need to further control our destiny and send a message to the New Yorkers that us Bostonians will not be pushed around. This is the opening event on the undercard to the BIG GAME in another sport which just so happens to have another NY-BOS showdown.

This is a very important statement game for the Celtics where they must apply themselves on the boards and win the turnover battle. Lets see the Celtics go to attack mode.   
The beatings will continue until morale improves

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 01:41:45 PM »

Offline PosImpos

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Celtics should have edge in this game since Amare and Melo both played 40 minutes last night and played their hearts out.

But we'll see.
Never forget the Champs of '08, or the gutsy warriors of '10.

"I know you all wanna win, but you gotta do it TOGETHER!"
- Doc Rivers

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 04:06:43 PM »

Offline CelticSooner

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C's should have the edge because the Knicks suck.

Any word on Rondo yet?

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 07:03:27 PM »

Offline letsgoblue86

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C's should have the edge because the Knicks suck.

Any word on Rondo yet?
Don't know how to quote twitter, but Sherrod just tweeted that Rondo will play and start.

Re: Knicks (8-14) at Celtics (11-10) 2/3
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 07:07:08 PM »

Online slamtheking

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The key tonight I think is how well Bass and Pietrus can spell KG and PP when Amare and Melo are still in the game.