The Knicks and Celtics both went into their season opening matchup with a lot of high hopes and expectations for the season. New York was coming off of it’s deepest playoff run in a decade and had not only secured Josh Hart to an extension, but had also acquired free agent guard, Donte DiVincenzo. Boston, like New York, was coming off it’s own deep playoff run that was ended by the Miami Heat, and were looking to bounce back with a pair of exciting acquisitions in Jrue Holiday and former Knick, Kristaps Porzingis. But since then, the two teams have had completely different routes.
Boston currently sits at 7-2 and is widely regarded as a top three team in the league right now. Their offense, lead by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, has been amazing once again, ranking fourth in the league in offensive rating (118.5). And their defense, lead by the aforementioned Holiday, has been just as elite, ranking third in the league in defensive rating (104.9). Put those things together, and you have yourself the team with the highest net rating in the league at 13.6, and just one of two teams with a net rating above 9.5. Simply put, this Celtics team has been dominant.
The Knicks however, are a very different story. Sitting at just 5-4, their season thus far has been very up and down. They followed up their loss in the season opener with a solid win in Atlanta but then followed that up with a disappointing loss against the Pelicans in which they only managed to score 87 points. They did bounce back with a solid win against a hobbled Cavaliers team on the road, but then dropped back-to-back games against Cleveland and Milwaukee after that to send the team and it’s fans in to a bit of a funk. Thankfully though, the schedule eased up a bit, and the team has bounced back since then with a mini three-game winning streak against some underwhelming teams.
Tonight’s matchup against one of, if not the, best teams in the league will be a tough but good test for a Knicks team trying to gauge itself against the teams it will need to keep up with if they want to make another playoff push this season.
G- Jrue Holliday
G- Derrick White
F- Jaylen Brown
F- Jayson Tatum
C- Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks:
G- Jalen Brunson
G- Quentin Grimes
F- RJ Barrett
F- Julius Randle
C- Mitchell Robinson
Randle has awakened from his early season slumber and has been playing and shooting the ball much better over his last few games, and Barrett has historically had some really nice games against the Boston Celtics. That said, this Celtics team is just on a wholly different level right now. They, with Holiday and rim protection in the paint, have the defense to slow down Brunson, Randle, and Barrett, and have the offense, with Tatum, and Brown, to outshoot and outscore any team on any given night.
If the Knicks can hit their open shots and free throws and Robinson continues his domination on the boards, they are more than capable of coming away with a big time victory. That likelihood looks even better if the Knicks’ bench, which has been very strong lately, can take advantage of the Celtics’ lack of depth. But, I just don’t see Boston losing right now, and the last time I predicted the Knicks to lose on here, they won . . . soooo, Boston wins this 110-107.
Who: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 pm EST, Monday, Nov. 13
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Watch: MSG Network, NBA TV