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Game Preview: Knicks @ Celtics, 1/17/2021

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C’s doling out L’s?

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks Set Number: X3429

We all got our jollies with the Knicks winning the lottery on Tankathon using the Dallas pick. Now reality is starting to set in. New York has lost five in a row and the questions are aimed at the point guard slot. Rookie Immanuel Quickley matches the urgency that Julius Randle plays with, but the rook’s highs and lows haven’t quite evened into a consistently productive player. You can tell he smells it, he just has to keep hunting it down.

Today will present a truly tough challenge. I can’t imagine Marcus Smart likes rookies making maneuvers on him and the Celtics are missing a grip of players, so extended time is a veritable guarantee.

Brawl During Basketball Game

Projected Starters

Elfrid Payton v Jeff Teague

Reggie Bullock v Marcus Smart

RJ Barrett v Jaylen Brown

Julius Randle v Grant Williams

Mitchell Robinson v Tristan Thompson

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

Keys & Predictions

The Knicks luckily dodge the Jayson Tatum scattershot. They’ll still have to contend with a lot of pressure. Tristan Thompson happily slam dances in the paint and Mitchell Robinson has shown himself to struggle with brutes. Grant Williams is a fire hydrant that might actually be able to step in front of Julius Randle. Marcus Smart is a troublesome fella, we know that. Then Jaylen Brown is another capable defender, who’s length will be bothersome on the constricted floor.

Something’s gotta give. The Knicks shoot the fewest threes in the NBA, nearly nine fewer attempts than the league average. How long before the Knicks realize it’s time to get some shooters in the starting unit?

Knicks by -33

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Warm Up Music

As the weekend draws to a close, ask yourself, “Is there something I can say or do, to convince Tom Thibodeau to dump Elfrid for Immanuel Quickley”? If they’re gonna lose anyway, why not do it in style?