BostonCeltics (9-4) at NY Knicks (3-9)
Sunday, November 22
1:00 PM ET
Game #14, Road Game #6
TV: MSG, CSN HD, NBA LP 753, 754
Madison Square Garden
Referees: Bennett Salvatore, Joe Forte, Phil Robinson
The Knicks are playing in the second of back to back games, having beaten the NJ Nets on Saturday in New Jersey. They have also won 2 games in a row now. Normally, a visit to Madison Square Garden would mean an automatic win, but he Celtics have been struggling, having lost 4 of their last 5 games, and it's hard to tell which team will show up.
For one thing, it's an afternoon game and last season, the Celtics played terribly in almost all of their afternoon games. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what has been plaguing this team recently. Hopefully Doc had them watch every ugly minute of their last 3 losses and they will be ready to get back to playing Celtics basketball and begin another win streak. I know one thing, if the Celtics lose to the Knicks there will be panic in the Celtics Nation. This should be a double digit blowout.
Probable Starting Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Duhon
Ray Allen vs Larry Hughes
Paul Pierce vs Danilo Gallinari
Kevin Garnett vs Wilson Chandler
Kendrick Perkins vs David Lee
Rajon Rondo vs Chris Duhon
Rajon Rondo is the engine that makes this team run. When Rondo is aggressive and drives to the basket and sets the pace of the game, the Celtics play so much better than when he is tentative. He needs to set the tone for the starters out of the gate so that they don't come out sluggish as they have in many of their games so far.
David Lee is one of the bright spots on the Knicks and often is the reason that the Knicks are even in games at all. Perk will need to keep Lee from taking over and energizing the Knicks.
Keys to the Game
Defense The Celtics have been lax on playing defense in their recent losses. They have allowed way too many easy baskets and open shots. Defense is the key to every win and to this season for the Celtics.
Forget 3's - The Celtics have fallen in love with 3 pointers, but the infatuation isn't mutual. Against the Magic they shot 2-19 from beyond the arc. They need to forget about shooting 3's and take the ball inside where they can either score or draw the foul.
Work the Offense The Celtics have been settling for quick shots instead of working their offense and moving the ball to find the open man.
Rondo's Aggression As goes Rondo, so goes the team. Rondo must be aggressive and set the pace of the game and take the ball inside. He can't be tentative because that makes the whole team tentative.
Focus Many of the Celtics' recent problems have been caused by lack of focus on both ends of the court. They must get their focus back. They especially must come out focused so as not to dig themselves into a hole in the first quarter.
FLCeltsFan 11/22/2009 08:06:00 AM Tweet Edit