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Boston Celtics (19-4) at New York Knicks (16-9)
Wednesday, December 15
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #24 – Road Game #13
TV:  ESPN, CSNNE, MSG
Radio:  WEEI
Madison Square Garden  
Referees:  Bill Kennedy,  Courtney Kirkland,  Leroy Richardson 
This is the second meeting between these two divisional foes. The Celtics have been clear that they don't consider the Knicks rivals, in spite of the history between these 2 storied franchises.  In their first meeting, the Celtics came out on top 105-101 in Boston. 

The Knicks have their offense in high gear and are averaging 107.7 points per game, second only to the Suns. But they are also allowing 106.6 points per game.    The Celtics on the other hand have made defense their calling card.  They score 100.7 points per game but allow only 91 points for their opponents. 

The Celtics are on a 10 game win streak while the Knicks have an 8 game win streak of their own.  The Celtics are still very short handed up front coming into this game with Shaq and Jermaine still out along with Perk and Delonte.   The Knicks are almost at full strength with just Azubuike the only one out. 


Probable Starters
Point Guard
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Landry Fields

Shooting Guard
vs 
Ray Allen  vs Raymond Felton 

Small Forward 
vs
 Paul Pierce  vs Wilson Chandler

Power Forward
vs 
Kevin Garnett  vs Danilo Gallinari

Center

vs
Semih Erden vs Amare Stoudamire 


[image]

Boston Bench Mob
Marquis Daniels
Glen Davis
Luke Harangody
Nate Robinson
Von Wafer
Avery Bradley

Injured
Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Delonte West (wrist) out
Shaquille O'Neal (knee,calf) out

[image]
Knicks Bench
Shawne Williams
Bill Walker
Andy Rautins
Ronny Turiaf
Roger Mason Jr
Toney Douglas
Timofey Mosgov
Anthony Randolph
Eddie Curry

Injuries
Kelenna Azubuike (knee) out

Key Matchups
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Landry Fields
The Knicks have moved Landry Fields from shooting guard to point guard and at 6'7" he may give Rondo some problems on both ends of the court.  On the other side of this, Ray Allen should have a slightly easier time with Raymond Felton guarding him.  In the first meeting between these two clubs, Rondo notched a triple double with 10 points, 24 assists, and 10 rebounds while Fields notched his first double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

vs
Semih Erden vs Amare Stoudamire
Semih will have a big test with Stoudamire playing center for the Knicks.  Expect to see KG move over to guard Stoudamire while Erden takes Gallinari. 
Keys to the Game
Defense -  This will be the classic battle between offense vs defense.  The Celtics must keep their defensive intensity throughout the entire game.  They especially must guard the perimeter where the Knicks are second in the league in 3 pointers made.   The Knicks are also 5th in points in the paint so the Celtics also have to take care of the paint as well. 

Take it to the Hoop
- The Celtics have been outscoring their opponents in the paint throughout their win streak.  They must continue to take the ball inside and not just settle for outside shots.  Good things happen when they are aggressive and taking the ball inside. 

Take Care of the Ball The Knicks lead the league in points off os turnover at 19.4.  The Celtics must take care of the  ball and limit their turnovers in order to limit the Knicks from scoring off of them. 

Rebound
- The Celtics have to continue to crash the boards in order to limit the Knicks second chance points and fast break opportunities.  The team that wins the rebounding battle will usually win the war because the effort they put out on the glass also affects the other areas of their game. 

X - Factors
Officiating, Focus 
There are two  X-Factors in this game.  The first is Bill Kennedy who still has a grudge against Doc for outing him as a homosexual.   The Celtics are 2-1 so far this season with Kennedy as a ref.  The one loss was the 2 point loss to the Mavs where the Celtics shot 7 free throws to 20 for the Mavs in spite of the Celtics dominating inside and on the boards.    Second will be focus.  If the Celtics come out focused and don't lose that focus, especially on the defensive end, they will win, in spite of all the injuries.  


FLCeltsFan 12/15/2010 01:17:00 PM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. Sebastian S. says:

    I expect a hot Celtic´s team. A lot of rest they had since saturday will help them to win this game.

    Celtic´s Pride.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I Hope the C's get off to a fast start - on both ends.
    Fresh legs with about a month off! (im exaggerating).
    This would be a good win against an up and coming Knickerbocker squad.
    haha! I like saying that, Knickerbocker :D

    another thing, Paul Pierce better be on his game tonight because Chandler is good offensively (shooting and getting to the rim). I hope Pierce plays like the Pierce I know, not like the Pierce that has been playing last week.

  3. Pierce has been playing with the flu. Hopefully the time off has given him time to recover from it.

  4. tb727 says:

    Landry is nothing special. See Griffin, Adrian (also a fellow Rookie of the Month recipient in his first month). They start two small forwards (no power forwards) and an overweight point guard. Their bench is non-existent. They're wildly overrated.

    I expect the Celtics to win this convincingly and be able to rest their players for tomorrow night's game vs Atlanta. I also expect the Knicks to go on a losing streak and be right around the .500 mark by January 14th.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @tb727
    wow! harsh! I cant disagree with you though.
    The Knicks have been winning as of late, but im not too sure if they can do it consistently, well, if they get Melo then i think they can.
    And i agree with the Knicks bench comment. Their best guy (and only threat) off the bench is Douglas. He is an underrated 3 point shooter and he can get hot on any night.

    I expect a win for the C's tonight, but not a blowout.
    Whatever team wins, it will be by single digits, or no more than at least 11 or 12

  6. tb727 says:

    Well Bill Kennedy is the lead ref and as we all know, him and Doc have had their differences. So this one may be closer than it should be lol...

  7. Anonymous says:

    @tb727
    Good call!
    But The Truth closed it out!
    2nd game winner at MSG this year! Is that a record? most gamewinners at MSG in one season? lol. weird stat/record if there is a such thing.

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