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Knicks 94, Celtics 87

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(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Good morning, everybody. In one of the of more exciting preseason games in recent memory, the Knicks held off a late charge by the Boston Celtics to win last night at the Garden. As big plays were made and tempers flared, the game took on the feel of a regular season contest. The Knicks fell behind early but took over in the second quarter and weathered several Boston runs to get the tough win. Some notes:

  • Brian Scalabrine started at center for the Celtics because Kendrick Perkins was inactive for one reason or another. I was gonna make this point later, but I guess I'll bring it up now. The Big Three is scary good. If you actually stop and think about the amount of talent the C's can put on the court at once, it's pretty amazing. One injury can put them under, though. They're already shallow and under-staffed at every position, so losing anyone is a tragedy. The Celtics may have the worst second unit in the league.
  • Opinion: The Knicks never need to shoot 3's in the top half of the shot clock. That includes Quentin Richardson.
  • Why is Isiah always staring intently at some fixed point in the distance while he's being interviewed? It's like somebody's holding a delicious cupcake off-camera.
  • Nate Robinson was absolutely magnificent. He single-handedly took the game over in the second quarter with an array of moves. There were running floaters, fast break layups, one-hand skip passes, bank shots, drawn charges, and 9 rebounds. Nate also played ball-hounding defense on Eddie House and sagged off on Rajon Rondo. He still had that obnoxious little mean streak and tendency to over-celebrate, but he looked smart out there.
  • So smart, in fact, that he gave birth to the Clydeism, "tenacious and sagacious".
  • One of Nate's entry passes was so potent that it resulted in a Malik Rose dunk. You read that correctly.
  • Clyde referred to "Kevin House" at least once.
  • The Randolph-Lee tandem is a monster on the offensive glass. Very left-handed, too.
  • There was a brief video of an interview with Zach Randolph. He said almost nothing interesting, except for one personal motto that may become the official P&T catchphrase of the 2007-2008 campaign: "Get them W's!"
  • Speaking of Z-Bo, the Lefty Southpaw was pretty impressive himself. He devoured pretty much any defender the C's threw at him. I even made myself a checklist of "people Zach has eaten" which eventually included Leon Powe, Brian Scalabrine, and James Posey. Only when Curry took a seat with foul trouble and Garnett was shifted over did Randolph have any trouble getting his shot. He also had five steals...!?
  • I forgot how scary Kevin Garnett is. Curry beat him at one point, and KG came the other way and threw down an absolutely homicidal dunk off a spin move, and then backpedaled down the court with a demented scowl on his face. The man is terrifying.
  • The Knicks' bench is quite good. It's definitely better than the Celtics'.
  • MSG aired a bit of the wheelchair basketball competition at halftime. It's a very different game.
  • I mentioned the overall testiness in the game. The root of most of it was everyone's favorite teenage girl, Paul Pierce. When Paul wasn't pouting and scowling, he was beefing with Q-Rich or, on one occasion, grabbing Jamal Crawford's face after a hard foul.
  • Brandon Jacobs was interviewed sitting sideline, but the highlight of the piece was his son, Braden. The kid is maybe one year old, but already has bling larger than his face that reads "BJ2".
  • Underrated highlight of the evening: Garnett went up for a short jumper and got his shot sent 12 rows deep by Wilson Chandler. If Lee hadn't gotten called for a bitch touch foul, then that shit would be on SportsCenter right now. To be fair, Garnett had 5 violent rejections of his own.
  • Speaking of Chandler, the kid's got a good stroke but he's a bit shot-happy. Solid, but nothing extraordinary as of yet.
  • No Nichols, Collins, or Dolph.
  • Allan Houston was a DNP also. NBA.com needs a bit of updating.
  • David Lee did what David Lee does. 13 points, 14 bounds, and a couple of putbacks and rim-assaults. Just another day at the office.
  • We may be witnessing the beginning of a new rivalry. There's a couple guys on both sides with short tempers, and a couple very adept at getting under your skin. There's also a clear rivalry between Doc Rivers and Isiah Thomas. If the intensity of this game is any indicator, the regular season contests between these two teams are gonna be great.
  • I still hate the Celtics a lot.
That's all for now, kids. The Knicks' next preseason game is tomorrow against the Sixers. Get them W's! Peace.