Recap: Celtics fall to Knicks 103-102

The Boston Celtics dropped their second preseason game Wednesday night against the New York Knicks at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI by a score of 103-102. With Brad Stevens making it clear he would be tinkering with lineups, we saw a whole new rotation tonight at The Dunk. 

The Celts looked much more alive Wednesday night against a quality opponent than they did on Monday night against Toronto. Stevens relied heavily on his bench, and it was hard not to like what we saw. Eleven Celtics played 16 minutes or more in the game, led by Phil Pressey (28).

It was an interesting game. After a pretty even first half the Knicks dominated the 3rd quarter and really blew the game open, only to be followed up by the Celtics bench dominating the 4th quarter and nearly completing the comeback win. After Phil Pressey hit a bucket to put the Celtics up 102-101 with seconds remaining, Tim Hardaway Jr. put the Knicks up for good as Boston was unable to convert on their final possession.

We saw encouraging performances from Vitor Faverani (11 points, 6 rebounds), Phil Pressey (13 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals), MarShon Brooks (8 points, 3 assists, 2 blocks) and Chris Babb (12 points in only 8 minutes). Iman Shumpert led the way for the Knicks with 18 points, followed by Hardaway with 16.

Avery Bradley looked as though he regressed in the point guard roll after looking good on Monday night. Bradley is going to need to improve upon his consistency if he is going to be a reliable replacement while we wait for Rajon Rondo to return. The silver lining, however, was that Pressey looked fantastic. Pressey showed why he is the only true point guard on this roster until Rondo is able to return, and is beginning to show that he can be the backup point guard that we have been looking for. Maybe even, as I have been saying, use Pressey as the starter, keeping the seat warm for Rondo. 

Some more good news for the Celtics was that they won the rebounding battle 36-34 after being out rebounded by 20 in their first game. Faverani and Jared Sullinger led the way with 6 boards a piece. Despite all the good news the Celtics did lose the game. They will aim for their first win Friday night on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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