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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics vs Knicks

Chuck - Red's Army January 7, 2013 Gametime, Previews 26 Comments

Tip: 7:30PM     Court: Madison Square Garden     Watch it: CSNNE    Hear it: WEEI

Referees: Tony Brothers, Dick Bavetta and Violet Palmer 

Tickets to this and other great Celtics game

The Matchup

Record: 16-17 Record: 23-10
On road: 6-11 At home: 13-3
Streak: Won 2 Streak: Won 2

Leaders Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.8 ppg) Buckets: Carmelo Anthony (29.3 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.0 rpg) Boards: Tyson Chandler (10.3 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.3 apg) Dimes: Raymond Felton (6.3 apg)

For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks:
Offensive Rating: 102.1 (25th NBA) Offensive Rating: 112.0 (2nd NBA)
Defensive Rating: 103.8 (11th NBA) Defensive Rating: 106.1 (18th NBA)
Pace: 91.5 (17th NBA) Pace: 91.2 (21st NBA)

Last time

The Celtics and Knicks split the season series last year, with each team winning on its home court.

This time

Get it to:  Rajon Rondo

With Raymond Felton out with a finger injury, the Knicks are riding Jason Kidd hard. So hard that he’s already sitting out practices. Kidd can still put up some decent offensive numbers, but chasing Rajon Rondo around the court will be a challenge. Pablo Prigioni, a 35-year-old Argentinian, is also logging minutes. If Rajon Rondo can penetrate (and there’s no reason he shouldn’t), force Tyson Chandler to rotate, he should be able to find open guys. The Knicks are not a defensive juggernaut. They rank 23 in opponents points per play.

Gotta stop: Carmelo Anthony

Melo is playing the best basketball of his career. He’s averaging 29 ppg, shooting 48% FG, 43% 3FG and pulling down 6 rebounds. Just playing out of his mind. I’m guessing Doc Rivers will go with Paul Pierce mano-e-mano on Anthony. If Pierce can hold his own without getting into foul trouble and keep the Celtics from sending a double-team, the Celtics might be able to contain the Knicks offense.

The Wild Card:  Boston’s perimeter defense vs the Knicks 3-point shooting

The Knicks are 1st in 3 point attempts (29) and makes (11),  and 4th in 3-point FG% (39%). JR Smith, Steve Novak and Jason Kidd are all shooting better than 40% from 3. With the return of Avery Bradley, the Celtics have improved their Opp. 3 FG% by three-percent (37.5 – 34.4).

How we see it goin’ down

Call me naive, but I refuse to sweat the Knicks. After a ridiculous start, they’ve cooled off and gone 5-5 over their last ten. After all, they’re still the Knicks [insert laughter here].

Laughter aside, I don’t like the Celtics in this game. New York has been awesome at home and they know a victory over Boston is a must to cement their status as an elite team.

The Celtics have improved dramatically in their past two games, but … this game marks the Celtics 4th in 6 nights.

This one will be close, but I fear the Knicks will pull away late.

Knicks 101

Celtics 89

Oh yeah, forget about seeing Rasheed Wallace. He’s out with a bum foot.

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  • GreenBird

    We need this one! We need a streak! 2 ain’t enough!
    Go Cs!

  • KGino

    Love the prediction (we all know a predicted loss = automatic win).

    But seriously, if the C’s can win this game.. look at the schedule.. we may be able to rattle off 8-10 in a row (here’s hoping).

  • dk

    As a long time Cs fan living in NY–I realllly want to win this one. So funny how all the bandwagoners are back at MSG this year and all those “celebrity” sightings again!

    The papers in NY are calling this a big game as a ceremonial “passing of the torch.” Please

    That being said, I am worried about this being their 4th game in 6 nights. Lets see.

    • andy

      Ya but still

      • Celticsfanatic

        Yeah I mean, but still… lol.

  • Swissflix

    We’re gonna get this one. Celtics pride!

  • http://www.facebook.com/grantbot Grant Jackson

    Contain Melo? You sure? Shouldn’t it be “let Melo get his, contain everyone else?”

  • CelticsKid34

    didnt the knicks fall to the trailblazers at home?… cmon WE GOT THIS!!!

  • diddybop

    LOLed at this:

    “…they know a victory over Boston is a must to cement their status as an elite team.”

    They already beat Miami twice and San Antonio twice, so how does a win against an under .500 celtics team cement their status as an elite team?

    • Bball jenky

      Celtics are still the Celtics. Opposing Players are less concerned with our record than the fans. We’ve owned atlantic division last few years. So yes this would be an important win for the knicks

      • diddybop

        The Celtics are the Celtics. The Heat are the Heat and the Spurs are the Spurs. Celtics may have owned the division for years past, but NYK has beat ELITE teams multiple times this year. Beating Boston won’t cement anything. They are already an Elite team in a WEAK conference.

        Not saying its not an important game for both teams, but beating Boston wouldn’t rank close to some other wins for the Knicks.

        PS – Im a big C’s fan, but it’s going to take more than two straight wins to consider Boston an elite opponent. We can live off the past all we want, but things have been different this year.

        • Stephanie

          I wouldn’t call them an “elite” team yet, but I definitely wouldn’t down play how well they are doing. Anything can happen during the course of a season so I’ll leave my judgements for either team until March-April.

          • diddybop

            For what the East is at the moment, NYK should be considered elite. But I totally agree with you, March-April is what matters, not your record in the winter time.

            I think this game would be a much bigger win for Boston, than it would for NYK.

        • Stephanie

          Golden State has a close record (22-11) to their (23-10) in a tougher conference, but that doesn’t make Golden State elite. These teams are playing good ball and I actually love that there’s more competition besides the usual 5 or 6 teams.

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    I’m looking for Rondo to have a huge game. If the C’s can run the Knicks shooters off the 3-point line, I like our chances. GO C’s!

  • Nate

    Getting to .500 before the homestand would be nice..just force Smith to throw bricks and box out Chandler. Very winnable game is we show up to play. I’m calling Terry getting his shot back tonight

  • Stephanie

    You can’t stop Melo, the best you can do is make it difficult on him.

    I think they need to worry about JR Smith. He wants to be an All Star this year and he’s playing like it. Rondo and AB will determine the outcome of this game according to their perimeter defense.

  • Calui

    The Knicks are a joke entirely, but they’ve improved thus far this season. Hopefully this will be good game, Who wins that remains to be seen. The Celtics have been incosistent all season I’ll probably give this one to the Knicks. I could wrong though.

    Do u see who’s officiating tonight’s game? Omg!

  • Guy

    I Want Omri Casspi

  • Chulinho

    If the Celtics can get by the Knicks tonight and the Rockets on Friday I think they may be on the right track.

  • Hartz

    Couldn’t agree more about still not being able to “sweat” the Knicks. I know that they’ve had an incredible season thus far and by just about all measures are an elite team right now; but in my mind they’re still the same old Knicks. As legitimate as they seem, I wonder how long any team can stay this hot from 3 (yes, the Mavs won a title on hot 3-point shooting; but they’re the exception, not the rule).

    That being said, I can’t remember ever caring as much about a regular season C’s-Knicks game as I do about tonight’s. With this Celtics team finally starting to look respectable (albeit only for 2 straight games), and with no other true test on the immediate horizon, I see this as a must-win for the Celtics.

    Fingers crossed.

  • John

    Rondo suspended one game for bumping ref. So much for that ……….

  • Chris

    My personal prediction:

    Knicks: 110
    Celtics: 98

    I can’t see a Celtics victory against this Knicks team. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong!

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    I’d like to see what Bradley can do as our starting point guard…maybe Rondo for Cousins wouldn’t be so bad? Bradley, Terry, Pierce, KG and Cousins, just saying

  • SamR

    Wow, what a game. Chuck, keep up the negative predictions, they seem to be helping.

  • CFan

    Keep predicting losses man