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The Celtics are off to a good start to the preseason, going 2-0 while playing their games in Europe. They defeated the defending-Atlantic Division Champion Toronto Raptors 89-85 in Rome earlier in the month, and defeated a familiar foe in the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-81 in London last week. Now the C’s head back home for the first time this season, opening play in the TD BankNorth Garden against the division rival New York Knicks.
This will be one of six meetings between the two teams this season. The game tomorrow night will be in Boston and the second preseason game will be in New York on 10/22. The remaining four games during the regular season will be split between the two cities. The first regular season matchup between the teams is Thursday, 11/29.
What They Said
“I expect it to feel like a regular season game. These guys are anxious to see the home floor. They haven’t seen the Garden yet [this season]. We’ve been gone in Rome and London and we haven’t been home yet.”
“Well, I’m sure [the Celtics' new additions] will be good. Those three guys, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, they are three pretty special players. They’ll figure out ways to play well together.”
Kevin Garnett vs. Zach Randolph
Boston: Tony Allen (knee) is doubtful for tomorrow’s game. Scot Pollard (ankle) has been ruled out with inflammation in his ankle. There is no timetable for his return.
New York: Eddy Curry (right labral tear) is probable, Jerome James (left knee tendinitis) is questionable, and Renaldo Balkman (right ankle stress reaction) is out.
Again, I feel the Celtics are a stronger unit than the Knicks. While NY may have more muscle up front (the C’s are weak especially with the Pollard injury), I feel that they have no answer to the play of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Expect either or both of those players to have big games. Garnett will be busy on the glass, but may not put up as many points as we’re used to seeing.
Final Prediction: Celtics by 8.