The Celtics, coming off their epic comeback win Saturday night in Atlanta, will head to NYC tonight to face the now-contending Knicks. New York currently sits at 23-10 and is just a 1/2 game behind the Heat for the top seed in the conference. Some people are saying that the Knicks bought their contention, but I don't believe that. They obviously signed many players, but they weren't good the instant Melo came over from Denver. So, something must've clicked this year. Anyway, here's tonight's five things:
5. FIND ANOTHER BIG SCORER:
The Celtics didn't have a ton of guys in double-digits Saturday night, and I think that they need another one in order to win tonight. In their last two wins, the Celtics haven't had a great offense. They are winning with their defense. Since the Knicks currently have the hottest scorer in the league in Carmelo Anthony on their side, the Celtics will need to win a high scoring battle if they are to win at all. There is no way that they will win tonight with 89 points.
4. KEEP REBOUNDING:
The Celtics aren't a great rebounding team. In Atlanta, the Celtics out-rebounded the home team 44-36. Obviously, just rebounding won't beat the Knicks. But it'd be a start. It won't hurt anything to keep crashing the boards.
3. KEEP TAKING CARE OF THE BALL:
The Celtics are not much better in taking care of the ball. Usually, even when they win, they have like 20 turnovers to their opponent's 15. This is another key category that would really help them outscore the Knicks. They had a good performance in Atlanta. Let's hope that continues.
2. DON'T ONLY HAVE ONE GOOD QUARTER:
I'm not going to complain about winning the Hawks game, but it wasn't a very pretty win. If you take away the third quarter, where they outscored the Hawks 33-9, they were outscored by 16. They might just wanna stay within a five point range tonight if they are to win. This will be a tough game to win, so a lot will have to go right.
1. HAVE SOMEBODY FILL IN FOR RONDO:
In case you somehow haven't heard, Rondo has been suspended one game for making contact with an official Saturday night. This isn't, at all, his fault. But, the NBA will do anything to make a media-hated player look worse. If the Knicks are involved, a team who seems to get the most media coverage every year(even when they didn't make the playoffs), they will make up a lie and have him sat down for that game. The contact was clearly not aggressive. It was probably either accidental or a "sorry man" touch. Obviously, somebody will need to fill in for the star point guard.
Tip-off will be at 7:30 pm ET. Live game updates will be available here at Celtics Green.