New York Knick At Boston Celtics Preview And Where To Watch Online

  on January 24 2013 9:29 AM
New York Knick At Boston Celtics Preview And Where To Watch Online

 

Forget the Harbowl, the TD Garden will host what many have already referred to as the 'Honeynut Cheerio Bowl' as the Celtics meet the Knicks (8pm, TNT) for the first time since Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett’s infamous set-to in the Madison Square Garden car park. Regardless of whether Garnett actually uttered his now-infamous heckle during the Celtics 102-96 win at MSG on 7 January, the Boston crowd is certain to spend the game doing its level-best to remind Anthony of the insult. Remember, these are the fans who chanted “wife beater” as Jason Kidd in 2002 playoffs. At least we’ll find out how difficult it is to smuggle cereal boxes into a basketball arena. On the court, the Celtics find themselves at a pivotal point in their season. Their mid-season record stands at 20-21 and they have lost their last four games, including two embarrassing reverses against Detroit and Cleveland. Coach Doc Rivers has publicly challenged his players to rediscover their consistency and, while Celtics fans scream for the team to be blown up before the trade deadline, Danny Ainge has repeatedly shown faith in his players’ ability to figure their problems out. As the Celtics showed in their last meeting with the Knicks, they often reserve their best performances for the NBA’s best teams. Paul Pierce, in particular, seems to take great delight in torching New York. The Knicks have struggled for form and fluency since Raymond Felton fractured his pinkie against the Lakers on Christmas Day. In the 11 games Felton has missed, the Knicks’ record stands at a mediocre 5-6, a stretch including bad home defeats to Chicago and Portland. Without Felton, the Knicks assist rate has dropped. The open threes enjoyed by Steve Novak and JR Smith have dried up. As the quality of shots has decreased, an over-reliance on Smith and Anthony to create for themselves has emerged and Mike Woodson’s fluid offence has begun to resemble the stodgy iso-ball that characterised his Atlanta Hawks teams. With Amare Stoudemire’s minutes still limited and Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby sidelined, expect rookie Chris Copeland to get his fourth successive start. Amid the talk of a simmering feud between the teams, Copeland will be all smiles. Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga was played a major role in bringing the dreadlocked scorer to the attention of the Knicks. What to expect A war of attritionWith both teams some way short of their best form, this game is more likely to be a knockdown, drag out grind rather than a game for the ages. Regardless, thanks to the Melo/KG spat, the atmosphere in the TD Garden will be hostile. Inside versus outsideThe Celtics outscored the Knicks in the paint by 12 points (40-28) in their last meeting. In that game, the Knicks jacked up 32 three-point shot attempts compared to the Celtics 18. Expect more of the same. Rookie watchCelts’ rookie Jared Sullinger is averaging more than 10 rebounds per game in his last three outings and could have a major influence on the game considering the Knicks’ ongoing woes on the boards. Jump shots, lots of jump shotsWithout Raymond Felton to facilitate good shots from beyond the arc and in the paint, particularly for Steve Novak and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks have become an exclusively jump shooting team. Can Melo and JR Smith make enough to give them a chance to win in Boston? PredictionAn attritional 91-87 win for the Celtics, with Paul Pierce deciding things late Where To Watch Online: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics Follow Lee on Twitter @leeharveythinks