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Game Preview: Celtics vs. Knicks (10/17)

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
Paul Pierce:

“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.”

Isiah Thomas:

“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.”

Key Matchup
Kevin Garnett vs. Zach Randolph

  • These guys were the big men brought in to add muscle to each front court. While Garnett brings a lot more to the table defensively, both men specialize in rebounding. With the help of big friend Eddy Curry, Randolph may get the edge in the rebounding battle down low against Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. Curry and Randolph are liabilities in terms of blocked shots and turnovers, but both have huge frames and can bang down low to grab the tough rebound. While their slight edge probably won’t be the difference in the game, this matchup certainly bears watching.

Important Injuries
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.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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One comment for “Game Preview: Celtics vs. Knicks (10/17)”

  1. Bah! We have Allan Houston now…

    Posted by Dave | October 17, 2007, 2:46 pm

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