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Pre-Game Reconnaissance: Knicks at Celtics–10/24/17

Prepare yourself for Knicks-Celtics!

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

New York hasn’t won anything in a very long time.

Their next opponent—the Boston Celtics—don’t appear to be quite the powerhouse they were before the season started. That much is certain. The Knicks, however,still probably won’t be getting that coveted W tonight.

After clinching the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, the Celtics significantly improved their roster in the offseason, adding all-stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving as well as drafting Jayson Tatum with the 3rd overall pick in the draft. Not fair!

Yes, Gordon Hayward went down with a horrific injury in Boston’s season opener. They’re still going to be a very, very good team this season.

To make matters worse for New York, Frank Ntilikina will miss another game.

Doesn’t look like he’ll be out very long, though.

Ramon Sessions vs. Kyrie!

The Foe:

To help make sense of the 2017-18 Boston Celtics, here’s Jeff Clark of SBNation Celtics’ affiliate CelticsBlog with the lowdown.

Welp. I've been trying to come up with an analogy for the Celtics season. On one hand, it is a little like a guy swaggering up to the bar to ask a girl out, only to stumble and spill his drink all over himself. But that's more humiliating than unfortunate. It is a little like starting off a running race and twisting your ankle out of the blocks. But that's a little too cliche and perhaps too close to what actually happened. Suffice it to say, the high hopes that Boston fans had for the year were pulled out from beneath us and we're still picking ourselves up and dusting off our clothes.

Suddenly we're a quasi-rebuilding team again, relying heavily upon a roster filled with guys on their rookie contracts. But you can't just tell veterans like Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and others to simply "wait for next year" or worse, to accept tanking. In the desolate East we're still a solid playoff team even if our upside is limited. There's still a lot of good that can come out of this year, in particular the development of core youngsters like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and Marcus Smart. Still, it is a bit odd to have your eyes focused on finally challenging LeBron James (with his former sidekick to boot), then be back in the position of nipping at his heels again.

Thanks, Jeff! Y’all can follow him @celticsblog.

The Knicks:

Saturday’s L to the Pistons was as encouraging as it was horrifying. The Knicks led by as many as 21 points in that game behind another incredible performance by Kristaps Porzingis, a good performance by Enes Kanter and nice showing from the bench. They were unable to hold on to the lead and the momentum they had built up and ultimately choked away a game they were in control of against a team they should at the very least be able to handle.

In terms of lineups, the only interesting thing is the front court rotation. Will Willy Hernangomez finally play? And if Kyle O’Quinn is once again the primary backup to Kanter, will he have another solid game? Of course, watching KP play will continue to be a tantalizing, very guilty pleasure. I love to see him dominate but I also wish it could be meaningful basketball.

New York’s lack of defence is going to be specifically glaring against a team that does not lack in offensive firepower. KP on Al Horford is going to be a fun matchup, especially with Horford coming off a strong game against the Sixers. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee against Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum is going to make us very jealous.


I have successfully avoided the fucking enormous elephant in the room; the Giants are super disappointing. Kidding, obviously it’s the Eric Bledsoe news. I am very interested in it, but I feel like this is another knee-jerk reaction that the Knicks have been known to make and eventually come to regret. Frank Ntilikina is 19 and WIlly Hernangomez, though his recent absences from the lineup remains unexplained, is young and very promising. Eric Bledsoe is a very good point guard but is 27 going on 28. He isn’t a developmental project and doesn’t really fit New York’s timeline. But still, enticing.

What do y’all think?


The game tips at 7:30 on MSG! This is not going to be pretty! And now you’re ready for Knicks-Celtics!