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Celtics 96, Knicks 82

And there's the flipside of Knicks basketball. A few days removed from a spirited win against New Jersey, the Knicks loafed through most of a lopsided loss in Boston. New York simply couldn't sink an open shot, but was content to keep chucking anyway, which resulted in some ghastly shooting numbers. Let's run through some Band-Aid notes- as quick and painless as possible.

- 8 points in the first quarter. 2-20 three-point shooting in the first half. 5-31 on the game. .377 FG%. I guess it's better to get these games out of the system sooner rather than later, when it all counts.

- I think we can attribute much of the Knicks' early struggles to expert pick-and-roll defense by the Celtics. The Boston bigs never lost the roller (usually David Lee), and made it impossible for Chris Duhon to hit his Plan A with a pass. Unfortunately for us, Plan B was usually a kick-out for a bricked three.

- Another issue? David Lee can't hang with Kendrick Perkins, and shouldn't have to. He actually did a decent job keeping his feet and getting a hand up, but the outstretched hand of a 6'8'' person simply doesn't affect the shot of an 8'4'' person with x-ray vision. Credit Darko Milicic and his superior stature with doing a slightly better job down low.

- Danilo Gallinari's shot has been badly off in these first two games, and it seems like he just isn't setting himself. The full-court running is probably tiring him out a bit, because his form seems more labored than usual.1-7 last night. I'd really love to see Gallo put the ball on the floor when his shot's off like that.

- The Celtics really bring out the worst in me. I surprise myself with my capacity to hate.

- Wilson Chandler's knee bent sideways last night, which isn't recommended. I was immediately seized with nightmares of torn ACLs and MCLs and PCLs and PT Cruisers, but it sounds like Wil's fine.

- I maintain my belief that Toney Douglas would look great on offense if he just stepped in a little bit. Toney drove to the basket well and had decent touch from within the arc. It was just 1-4 from three that hurt his otherwise decent line. Other things: Toney continues to be a pest on defense. You just can't throw lazy passes in his presence. 3 steals last night were a sign of good things to come. Meanwhile, Toney's still summoning his point guard swag. He committed 4 turnovers, largely due to poorly-timed passes.

- Mike Sweetney (!!!) made an appearance late in the game. The former Knick first-rounder (and one of my all-time favorites) looks hefty as ever, but moved pretty well in his limited minutes. It was a bizarre spectacle. Watching Jordan Hill guard Mike Sweetney must be a similar experience to dropping acid with Isiah Thomas.

- David Lee's jumper started to fall late, but I'd still rather see him put the ball on the floor like he did in training camp. I'm absolutely positive that Lee can put Kendrick Perkins on the floor with a crossover. Gotta make the mismatch work on both ends.

- Lee also took a Paul Pierce elbow to the eye in the third quarter. After a few minutes of brotastic bleeding on the bench, Dave got some stitches and eventually returned.

- Jordan Hill quietly had the best statistical game of his li'l pre-career: 4-5 for 9 points and 4 rebounds (three offensive) in 12 minutes against the garbage squad.

Anyway, this is one we'd all like to forget. And you know what? It's preseason. We can.

Next exhibition's Tuesday against the Sixers.