New York Knicks (1-0) at Boston Celtics (1-1)
Friday, October 29
7:30 PM ET
Game #5, Home Game #2
TV: CSNNE, MSG, LP 757/758
Referees: Mike Callahan, Josh Tiven, Leon Wood
This is the 1st of 4 meetings between these two teams. Both teams had Thursday off. The Knicks are playing in the first game of a back to back set with their home opener on Saturday. The Celtics won’t play again until Tuesday. Last year, the Celtics won the series 3-1 vs the Knicks. The Celtics also won both of their meetings in the preseason.
The Celtics are looking for their 8th straight home victory over the Knicks. New York last won in Boston way back on November 24, 2006. But those Knicks team didn’t have a player like Amare Stoudamire to build around. The KG/Amare matchup will be key in this game. KG has been looking strong so far this season and will need to up his defensive intensity against one of the top PF’s in the league in this game.
The Celtics will be at home and looking to bounce back from their loss to the Cavaliers while the Knicks will be looking to build momentum after a win in their first game over the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics shouldn’t make the same mistake twice in a row and should not take the Knicks for granted in spite of being able to dominate them in the past.
PG Rajon Rondo 11 PPG 13 APG 2.5 SPG
SG Ray Allen 16 PPG 2.5 APG .385 3P%
SF Paul Pierce 16 PPG 5.5 RPG 2.5 APG
PF Kevin Garnett 9.5 PPG 12.5 RPG 0.5 BPG
C Shaquille O’Neal 8 PPG 4.5 RPG 0.5 BPG
Boston Bench Mob
Delonte West (Suspended)
Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) questionable
PG Raymond Felton 15 PPG 6 APG 1 SPG
SG Landry Fields 11 PPG 0 APG .500 3P%
SF Danilo Gallinari 12 PPG 6 RPG 1 BPG
PF Amar’e Stoudamire 19 PPG 10 RPG 2 BPG
C Timofey Mosgov 0 PPG 3 RPG 0 BPG
Roger Mason Jr
Anthony Randolph (ankle) out
Kelenna Azubuike (knee) out
Eddie Curry (hamstring) questionable
Kevin Garnett vs Amar’e Stoudamire
This is a good matchup between two of the top power forwards in the league. KG must limit Amar’e's scoring, but more importantly, he also has to limit him on the glass.
Rajon Rondo vs Raymond Felton
As Rondo goes so go the Celtics. He needs to be aggressive and keep the offense moving. D’Antoni likes his team to get up and down the court quickly. If Rondo can prevent Felton from bringing the ball up quickly it will go a long way toward slowing down the Knicks.
Key off the Bench
Glen Davis 13.5 PPG 5 RPG 0.5 BPG
Wilson Chandler 22 PP 8 RPG 2 APG
Keys to the Game
Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics had 39 turnovers in their first two games. They have to do a better job of taking care of the ball if they want to beat the good teams in the league.
Bench Play - The bench came through in the season opener but struggled against the Cavs. Jermaine O’Neal, Von Wafer and Nate Robinson especially have to show up and play well.
Play 48 Minutes – We have seen 4th quarter let downs in both games this season. That was a problem all last season and hopefully they can get a grip on what is causing them and avoid having these let downs plague them all this season.