Boston Celtics (5-1) at New York Knicks (3-2)
Tuesday, October 18, 2009
7:30 PM ET
TV: MSG, CSN HD, LP 752, 753
Madison Square Garden
This should be the final tuneup before the regular season starts. The Celtics play Cleveland tomorrow, but Doc has said that he plans to sit the starters out of that one. Expect to see the starters playing around 30 minutes and the bench rotation pretty close to what Doc will be using in the regular season.
Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Nate Robinson
Ray Allen vs Chris Duhon
Paul Pierce vs Wilson Chandler
Kevin Garnett vs Jared Jeffries
Kendrick Perkins vs David Lee
Big Baby Davis
Tony Allen (ankle) out
Bill Walker (knee) out
Eddy Curry (calf) questionable
Over the last couple of games, the Knicks have moved Nate Robinson from the bench into the starting lineup. He is quick and tough and Rondo will have his hands full with him. A GM survey named Rondo one of the top defensive guards in the league. To which Doc said not really. It seems as though Doc and Danny have both decided that the way to motivate Rondo is to put him down. Hopefully he will take the bait and step up his defense to yet another level.
The spotlight is still on KG and so far, it is shining brightly. His offense appears to be back on track as he scored 21 points in 28 minutes in his last outing. He has no sign of a limp or of lingering effects of the injury. He should be able to have another very good game against Jeffries
Doc Rivers played for the Knicks from 1992-95
Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach with New York from 1996-2002
Eddie House played for Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix during the 2005-06 season
Rasheed Wallace and Darko Milicic were teammates in Detroit from 2003-06
Al Harrington and Marquis Daniels were teammates in Indiana during the 2006-07 season.
Things to Watch
Back up point guard spot - Leading up to the last game, Doc had said that he was going to start Daniels at the point but went with Rondo instead. Hudson has been playing very well and Marquis has done a good job playing the point also. Doc needs to make the decision to keep Hudson on the team and should be taking an extra look at him in these last couple games.
Defense - The Celtics have said that they want to be the best defensive team ever. Look for the Celtics to continue to ramp up their defense from game to game.
KG - In each game, KG has gotten closer and closer to 100%. His shot is back, his mobility is there on defense, his alley oop is back, and his intensity is back. Look for KG to look even better every game out.
Chemistry - In the last game against the Raptors, we saw some great passes where teammates telegraphed passes from one to another. We are seeing alley oops not just with KG but with Rasheed as well. The chemistry is building on this team and the new players and returning players are learning each others' games and where they like the ball. It is going to be fun watching this team as the chemistry gets even better.