Our New York Knicks (19-36, 13th in the east) face off against the Boston Celtics (35-19, 3rd in the east)
At the poor mans TD Garden, what a ****in ugly piece of ****
Tonight the Knicks travel to Boston for the first of a 2 game road trip. After last nights pathetic performance in front of the Knicks 1970 Championship Legends, they will be trying to claw back some credibility against their Atlantic Division rivals.
Last night the Knicks played the second game with their new lineup, and were handed one of their worst losses of the season by the Milwaukee Bucks, in front of Knicks Legends like Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Bill Bradley. The Knicks scored a season low 67 points for the game after showing flashes of brilliance in their Saturday night game against the Thunder. Coach Mike D'antoni said of last night's loss "we weren't real familiar with what we were doing and with each other. The first night we ran on adrenaline and kind of got through it.". It certainly showed last night as the Knicks offense was stagnant, with Rodriguez taking a team high 5 shots in the first quarter, Knicks regulars Chandler and Gallinari looked shy out there, passing up looks and deffering to the experience of Lee and McGrady.
New Knick T-Mac was the brightest star for the Knicks on the night, scoring a team-high 15 points but shooting an inefficient 5-14 from the field. He left the game early with sore knees after knocking them a couple of times in the game. The Knicks will hope to have his presence available tonight against the Celtics as they look to break their 7 game losing streak.
David Lee provided another double-double performance with 12 points and 13 rebounds, but fans were disappointed by his usual lack of interior defense which allowed the 7-foot star of the night, Andrew Bogut, to drop 24 points along with 20 rebounds. Bogut punished the Knicks early with a near double-double in the first quarter alone, on 14 points and 9 rebounds. The Knicks seem to be lost in the paint after the departure of Jared Jefferies who provided a defensive hustle that the Knicks have not replaced, they will need a gameplan tonight to stop the Celtics bigs Garnett and Perkins.
D'antoni made one good decision on the night, benching Chris Duhon in favour of the energizing Sergio Rodriguez. While not posting impressive offensive stats due to the lack of cohesion between the Knicks scorers, he did record a career high 8 steals to keep things close. The Knicks tied the game at 51 midway through the third on the back of one of these steals, but eventually the game slipped away. Rodriguez will be looking to prove himself against one of the East's premier PGs tonight as he matches up with Rajon Rondo.
Chandler and Gallinari were both disappointing yet again, the Knicks will look for them to regain form if they are to have any chance against the soaring Celtics, who won 3 out of 5 on their West Coast road trip including impressive victories against the Lakers and the Blazers.
The Celtics have not been without fault this year however, currently sitting 3rd in the East just shy of Orlando at 1.5 games back, age seems to be catching up with them. "The Big Three" of Garnett, Pierce and Allen have a combined 38 years of NBA experience between them, but also the legs that go with it. The Knicks will look to utilize the speed of their offense and the young legs of Rodriguez, Gallo, Chandler and Lee to tire out the Celtics and bring home the W.
Pierce along with McGrady is also doubtful for tonight's game, probably resting a sore thumb.
The backstory to this game will also intrigue fans, after New York and Boston traded their respective scoring-spark guards Nate Robinson and Eddie House on deadline day. House had a less than stellar performance against Milwaukee but who can blame him when you look at the overall performance of the team. He seemed visibly disappointed with the trade but put on a great debut performance against the Thunder, overshadowed only by Mcgrady's star factor in front of the packed MSG crowd. Nate Robinson is yet to make his Celtics debut, but should see playing time tonight after winning his 3rd Slam Dunk crown last weekend in Dallas. Nate will be looking to get his own back on Coach D'antoni. After a 14 game stretch of DNP's back in December, he certainly has something to prove. Knicks fans will be hoping his overexcitement will be his downfall as it was on several occasions in New York.
Although many criticized the Knicks on this trade, you have to wonder if Boston are clutching at straws here. After last years failed Marbury experiment they are taking a big chance on another controversial Knicks guard. Will it pay off for them? It's doubtful but time will tell.
STARTING FIVE MATCHUPS
Sergio Rodriguez (C+) VS Rajon Rondo (A-)
Hopefully Sergio can drop a few dimes tonight if the Knicks start to click offensively, and with Boston's interior being a step slower than Bogut he might have an easier time around the rim.
Rajon Rondo will look to continue his near double-double performance for the Celtics tonight, scoring 14 and dishing a cool 9.7 on the season he has cemented his place as an elite PG in the East. Not always pretty, but always effective.
Tracy McGrady (?) (A) VS Ray Allen (A)
All Knicks fans will have their fingers crossed that T-Mac is feeling in shape after leaving the game last night with sore knees, if on form, he could carry the Knicks tonight.
Ray has dropped the ball a bit this season, his scoring average dropping to just 16 PPG. However he is still a deadeye shooter especially from 2 land and the line.
Wilson Chandler (B-) VS Paul Pierce (?) (A)
"Ill Will" needs to get back to his explosive 15-5-5 performances that saw the Knicks riding high back in December, lately he's looked weak out there, hopefully our young Knicks are getting fired up for this David vs Goliath matchup.
Pierce has held the C's on his back a few times this season, with Allen and Garnett both seeing stretches of injury. He's certainly not got the same explosiveness of years past but his experience and nose for the ball gives him an edge. The self titled "best player in the league" probably won't even see HOF status but rest assured that won't stop his delusion.
Danilo Gallinari (B-) VS Kevin Garnett (A)
When will Gallinari start scoring again? This is the question on the mind of all Knicks fans, after watching a player dubbed "the best shooter I've ever seen" by Coach Brownnose D'antoni slumping through February.
KG could have an easy time tonight, hopefully The Big **** will stand up solid in his way. Recently voted number 1 trash talker in the league the Knicks will look to dress down this angry faggot.
David Lee (A) VS Kendrick Perkins (B-)
Lee needs to get back on track after getting dominated in the post last outing, he should have no trouble finishing around the slow Perkins but needs to find some kind of strength on the defensive end.
Perkins is pretty slow and average but with our weak D he could cause problems. On defense he will just hope he doesn't get posterized by Will the Thrill like he did last season.
Nate "The Great Dancer" Robinson
Nate Robinson will be looking for something to dance about tonight as he faces the Knicks for the first time in his career. Let's face it, he will probably get the chance as it doesn't matter if his team is up 10 or down 10, he'll bust some moves. Eddie will want to show the Celtics they made a mistake trading him away, look for him to have a big game against his former team.
Knicks 100 - Boston 98
I just can't predict a Knicks loss against the Celtics, even though it's the more likely outcome. We only dropped to them by 2 in the first and only matchup we've had with them this year, and although the new look Knicks have not had any real practice time to gel together, pride and revenge will be at the forefront of every players mind when they hit the floor tonight.
BOSTON SUCKS CARTOON OF THE DAY
I can't bear to post "highlights" of last night so here's some classic New York dicking on Celtics movies!