at New York Knicks (42-26) at Boston Celtics (36-33)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #70 – Home Game #35
TV: TNT, TSN2
Radio: WEEI, ESPN NY, ESPNR
TD GardenProbable Starters
PG: #0 Avery Bradley .................................................... SG: #11 Courtney Lee
C: #30 Brandon Bass
SF: #34 Paul Pierce .............................................. PF #8 Jeff GreenCeltics Reserves
Terrence Williams Injuries
Courtney Lee (ankle) day to day
Kevin Garnett (foot/ankle) out
Rajon Rondo (knee) out
Jared Sullinger (back) out D-League
Fab Melo Probable Starters
PG: Pablo Prigioni ............................................ SG: Raymond Felton
C: Kenyon Martin
SF: Carmelo Anthony ............................................. PF:Iman ShumpertKnicks Reserves
Tyson Chandler (knee/neck) questionable
Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) out
Kurt Thomas (foot) out
Rasheed Wallace (foot) out Game Notes
The Celtics and Knicks class for the 3rd time this season at a time when both clubs are battling injuries and also battling for playoff position. These two teams would also meet in the first round if the standings stay the way they are.
The Knicks are in the 2nd spot, tied record-wise with the Pacers, who are in 3rd. Brooklyn is 2 games behind both teams in 4th. The Celtics are sitting in the 7th spot, 2 games in front of Milwaukee for the dreaded 8th spot and 2 games behind Chicago in 6th. There certainly could be a shake up in those standings as we go down the stretch toward the playoffs.
The Celtics won the first meeting in New York 102-96 as KG got into Carmelo Anthony's head as they clashed during the game and Melo taking it to the locker room and even outside the buses. New York returned the favor in Boston, beating the Celtics 89-86 in spite of a triple double from Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics have lost 4 in a row while the Knicks have won their last 4 games. The Knicks are 5-5 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 4-6. The Knicks are a decent road team with an 18-16 record away from MSG. The Celtics have played well at home with a 24-10 record. The Celtics need to win this game in spite of the injuries. Key Matchups
Paul Pierce vs Carmelo Anthony
This is always a good matchup. Both are very strong and they play each other tough. They also seem to bring out the best in each other. Paul Pierce once said that Melo was his toughest matchup so others may need to step up if the Celtics are to win this.
Jeff Green vs Iman Shumpert
I had to double check several times to be sure that they had Shumpert starting at the 4. But he started at PF in the last game and, according to the game notes, is supposed to start there again. That gives Jeff Green a 4 inch advantage and hopefully he can take advantage of it.
Brandon Bass vs Kenyon Martin
Bass should be quicker than Martin and hopefully will have the advantage in this matchup. Bass will need to play physically though to match up with KMart who is a tough and physical player. Chandler is listed as questionable and hopefully he will sit this one out because he would be tough for the Celtics to match up with. Keys to the Game
- The Celtics have to make defense their priority in this game especially because the Knicks can be a very dangerous offensive team. Whatever needs to be fixed for the Celtics to get back on track must begin on the defensive end. The Celtics must especially guard the perimeter as the Knicks are shooting 37% from beyond the arc and they aren't shy about shooting them.
- The Celtics are no longer last in the league in rebounding but close to it, at 29th with 39.7 per game. The Knicks are 23rd with 40.9 rebounds per game. The Celtics have got to crash the boards as a team and win the battle on the glass if they want to win this game. When they put out the effort on the boards, they usually play better all around. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics must be the more aggressive team, especially against the Knicks who are very aggressive themselves. They have to be aggressive in going to the hoop and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They must be aggressive on the boards and in going after loose balls and winning the 50/50 plays. The more aggressive team gets the calls from the officials and that will be important in this game. We know that the Knicks will be aggressive and so the Celtics have to match that intensity. Reserves -
Injuries have hit both of these teams. The Celtics lost Rondo, Sully, then Barbosa and now Courtney Lee and KG. Doc said that Lee probably will play but KG is definitely out. Jason Terry is the only player on the Celtics bench this game that was on the bench the last time these two teams played in January. The Celtics must find chemistry among the players on the court, many of them new to the team. The play of the reserves against the Grizzlies gives hope for this game. Hopefully they can play well again. X-Factors
Injuries and Officiating
Both teams have been hit with injuries. Both players have to scramble to come up with a different game plan and to fill in for missing players. The team that does this best should come out on top.
In many of the Knicks games I've watched this season, they got a lot of help from the officials. Hopefully they call a fair game in this one. It's hard to win playing 5 on 8. The Celtics must adjust to the officiating if the calls start to go against them.