Celtics-Knicks Game 4 Preview:

The Celtics and Knicks are back at it again seeing each other for the second time in three days. For both teams, this is the second game of a back-to-back in which both teams are coming off of road losses. For the Celtics, they come off a 85-97 defeat to the Sixers, a team that many predict will be last in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will be coming off a 91-100 loss to the Toronto Raptors, a team that has the potential to make noise and squeak into the playoffs.

The first Celtics-Knicks game was a good one. Despite the fact that the Celtics ultimately lost 102-103, it was encouraging to see the young players claw their way back from a 23 or 24 point deficit to go up by 1 with less than 10 seconds to go in the game. Some Celtic standouts in that game include Avery Bradley who shot 5/9 and scored 12 points, Phil Pressey who led the team in scoring with 13 points on 4/5 shooting along with 7 assists no turnovers, and the biggest surprise of the night Chris Babb who had 12 points all in the fourth quarter, knocking down four 3-pointers.

On the Knicks side there was Metta World Peace who had a quiet 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Iman Shumpert, who seems to have it in for the Celtics as he went off for 18 points without missing a shot from the field, 3-point land, or free throw line, but the biggest surprise was probably rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. who went off for 10 points in the fourth quarter, and hit the clutch jumper that sealed the game with just 8.2 seconds to go. He ended the game with 16 points shooting 6 of 10 from the field, and 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

I thought I figured out Brad Stevens' lineup pattern, but despite Phil Pressey's impressive performance in that Knicks game not only did he not start in the game after that, but he played only 18 minutes. Even then, he showed that he could have an impact on the game by scoring 6 points, going to the free throw line 4 times, grabbing 4 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists while only turning it over once.

As always, feel free to make your predictions as to what the starting lineup will be for tonight's game. Mine is:


Also, I'd like to predict which match up will be the most fun to watch. In this particular game, I'd like to see the two rookies square off. The matchup I'd want to see is Pressey vs. Hardaway Jr. Both these clutch rookie guards are truly impressive and fun to watch as they can beat defenders off the dribble and score with pretty finishes around the basket.

The first match up with the Knicks was fun to watch, hopefully they can bring back the excitement for a second time.