2015-16 Game Thread: Celtics @ Knicks

The Knicks’ recent meeting with Boston on December 27th resulted in a fourth straight loss for the Knicks and fourth straight W for the C’s. The Celtics played with the confidence of a team on a winning streak, moving the ball and creating easy looks en route to at least six points from eight different players, while the Knicks languidly trudged through the triangle like they were learning the offense on their first day of training camp. Arron Afflalo went 2-10 and KP was 4-13. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 but took 26 shots to get there, and logged just two assists.

My, how the tables have turned since then. The Knicks enter tonight’s bout with Boston as winners of four of their last five games and as a team playing together, emphasizing ball movement and strong interior defense. In the team’s last six games, Melo has 30 assists and seven turnovers, posting 47% shooting on only 15 FGA per game.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are toting some serious baggage on their trip to MSG, losers of three in a row and five out of six, including home losses to the lowly Nets and Lakers which immediately followed their victory at our expense. On Sunday, as the Knicks Big Buck Hunted their way to a 12-point victory, the Celtics were busy losing a 21-point second half lead to a Mike Conley-less Memphis team that, at full strength, often struggles to score that many points in a whole quarter. Jared Sullinger explained the meltdown best, saying, “We just let them punk us, and they did.” Jared, you know what might help? If you passed on that third Subway meatball foot-long for lunch and hit the gym to improve that measly .468 TS%.

Isaiah Thomas scored 35 points against the Grizz, and with averages of 21 points and seven assists, he is the engine that powers Boston’s offense. Boston runs a ton of high pick and rolls with Thomas, and even passes to the wing to initiate the halfcourt offense are often followed by off-ball screens to bring Thomas back up to the weak side wing to receive a pass in better attacking position. Thomas scored 21 points against the Knicks in their previous contest, but with scrappy play from Jose Calderon and attentive help D from the frontcourt, the Knicks have been much better defending point guards during this recent run. In their last five games, they’ve allowed Michael Carter-Williams 4 points on 8 shots; Tony Parker 16 points on 16 shots; Goran Dragic 10 points on 9 shots; and Jeff Teague (in two games) 25 points on 21 shots. They’ll need to maintain that effort tonight to contain this generation’s Damon Stoudamire.

Boston is third in the league at creating turnovers but 26th with a 43% team FG%, so Coach Fish needs to stress that his team play smart, limit turnovers, and force the Celtics to run a halfcourt offense. At that point, Jose, Arron and Langston Galloway should give a cushion to Boston’s guards, go under screens, and force 3-point attempts from Thomas (32%), Marcus Smart (21%!) and Evan Turner (15%!!).

While beating a division opponent is always sweet, a Knicks win tonight pulls them even with Boston in the standings, as both teams would be exactly .500. It’s tough to see both the Knicks and Celtics making the playoffs, so hopefully the Knicks are channeling the competitive spirit of Boston dignitary Frank Costello, who once said, “One of us had to die. With me, it tends to be the other guy.”

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291 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Thread: Celtics @ Knicks”

  1. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited over a Knick game. Come on, Knicks, you can do this! Screw the Celtics!

  2. I am so excited to get off of that stinking cruise ship in the warm waters of the Caribbean so that I can finally watch a Knicks game again!

  3. Oh, and for Kahnzy:

    “From what I’ve seen, he’s a special young man,’’ Popovich said before Porzingis scored 28 points, making 11 of 21 shots, with 11 rebounds. “They were very astute in figuring out what he might be down the road. His agility, sense of the game, his skills are quite significant. I think he’s going to be a great player.’’
    Afterward, Popovich added: “He’s a hell of a young talent. He’s got intelligence, skills and competes.’’

    Like I’ve said before, Porzingod changes the game all of the time. We are truly blessed.

  4. @5

    Ok…? We both love Porzingis. The only difference between us is I’m a bit more objective about him when he’s not playing well. Which, lately, he has been and I couldn’t be happier about it.

  5. Do you really mean that? So he hasn’t generally been helping us this season? Only since I got on the boat?

  6. I mean exactly what I’ve said every time we’ve gotten into this. He has his flaws and weaknesses, plus he’s a rookie. He’s going to do poorly at times, that’s perfectly normal and to be expected and that’s ok. He’s clearly the 2nd best rookie in the league, and short of landing KAT I’m very happy we picked him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his rookie moments/games. Why you get all uppity anytime that’s suggested is beyond me.

  7. KP likes that bank shot, but he’s been missing it mostly. I really hope he turns into Duncan with those.

  8. Porzingod has sure come a long way since the new year. Last year he just sucked and didn’t belong on the court!

  9. I really believe Porzingis is going to develop Steph Curry type range. He’s 7 freaking 3.

  10. Why did no one tell me teams were allowed to have exciting, young players all these years?

  11. So now with this shorter rotation when Lopez and KP get tired does Lance Thomas play the five?

  12. hard to complain tonight, but i think try to space calderon’s minutes so he spends more time out there without thomas is a better idea against this team with no speedy backup pg

  13. There’s really nothing Boston can do with KP. Nothing. He just gets buckets over their much shorter players. Is there a guy in their rotation who is 7’+?

  14. It’s definitely serial killer. And they better stop messing with his sneakers or they’ll find out the hard way.

  15. We’re running this all-bench unit out there though, so let’s hope this doesn’t go tits up

  16. Why is Fisher playing KP so much? Doesn’t he know how badly he sucks?

    i was once stuck in a doctor’s waiting room where they only played one shitty song by the backstreet boys over and over again

  17. ‘Staps had 16 points on 8 FGA, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist and no turnovers, no fouls in that first quarter.

  18. Actually Bachynski out of Westchester would be perfect as our 2nd unit center. Better than 3 of the guys we have now I think.

  19. Somebody needs to tell Derrick Fisher he needs to keep the rotation tight and that Lou Amundson shouldn’t play.

  20. My MSG is on the fritz and it is killing me. Having a full-on throwback to the middle of the eighties….

    Can’t believe I can’t watch this right now…

  21. Well, we’ve got a game tomorrow so maybe Fisher is running a longer rotation to preserve some legs? Not that I necessarily agree with it as we’re playing the lolnets.

  22. Ok, that’s five minutes of the all-bench squad, good job everybody, let’s get some starters in there now thx bai

  23. O’Quinn held the ball on the outside for an eternity instead of keeping it moving. He can’t hold onto it for 20 seconds while looking for a highlight reel pass.

  24. We’ve found a perfect role for Sasha Vujacic:

    1st man off the bench to give Porzingis a high five, or FMOTBTGPAHF.

  25. Melo isn’t missing tonight. You can tell right when he shoots that it’s going in.

  26. It’s really fun to watch how Melo lulls you to sleep with his crossover just to rise up and hit the mid range jumper. I think he’s found new life in this team.

  27. I’m kind of offended none of you responded to me dropping schwerpunkt. Do you think you’re all better than me?

  28. How about Dwill and the life he brings to the first unit when he’s swapped for Lopez. I think Lopez should play more with the second unit instead of oquinn/seraphin/lou

  29. Never like it when guys go down for no obvious reason

    Not sure if they showed this on the MSG feed, but on the Celtics feed it showed Melo tripping on the refs feet while running back.

  30. Not sure if they showed this on the MSG feed, but on the Celtics feed it showed Melo tripping on the refs feet while running back.

    Why in the name of all that is Holy are you suffering through the Celtic feed?

  31. Anyone watching these darlings sing lollipop at halftime. Roku league pass app always shows the halftime show. But won’t show commercials.

  32. Why in the name of all that is Holy are you suffering through the Celtic feed?

    It was the best quality stream I could find … it seems like the announcers say something about every single call that goes against the Celts.

  33. League pass on cable doesn’t give option sometimes. Broadband or apps on Roku or apple give both options

  34. Wow, I believ D.Will played the entire second. Lopez will be rested. Bring back “Spin” RoLo.

  35. @110. It’s like we’re there. I wish it didn’t go silent during commercials. They should just keep the feed going

  36. Did KP surreptitiously trip Melo so that he can move ahead of him in the scoring column? That selfish bastard!

  37. Being a Knicks fan is seeing your best player get injured by the ref at a time when the team is playing their best basketball by far in 3 years.

  38. Did KP surreptitiously trip Melo so that he can move ahead of him in the scoring column? That selfish bastard!

    You are arguing with nobody. Please stop.

  39. Marcus Smart guarding Krisptaps. Seems to be overpowering him. Afflalo looks horrendous tonight.

  40. Well, at least the first half was fun.

    Well, this game was fun while it lasted.

    Ah-ha!

  41. Stevens really is a brilliant young coach, he got the ref to trip Melo and caused Porzingis to get in foul trouble

  42. We are still going to win this game even without our two big guns.

    It’s the triangle, stupid!

  43. What did they say about Melo’s ankle?

    Strained, not sprained. He won’t return, but X-Rays came back negative, so nothing long term.

    Then again, it’s MSG. For all we know he’s going to need a prosthetic leg.

  44. i love that play where grant and dw stand next to each other in the corner for 20 seconds and then dw fires a three

  45. Grant-Galloway-Thomas-Williams-Seraphin is a rather lame lineup

    I actually like 4 of those guys. Add Bachynski and they’re good.

  46. in addition to being younger than k.a.t. kp is one of the best interior defenders in the league already, so even when his shot isnt working, his d and reb still contribute to wins oh and hges shooting almost 90 percent at the ft line, unheard of for a 7 footer, i doubt ecen half the gms in the league would take k.a.t. over kp being as only a.d. and shauille o neal have had at least seventeen ppg twelve reb and 2 blk per 36 age 20 or younger

  47. That fifth foul was some BULLSHIT. He’s standing there with his arms straight up in the air.

    Terrible fucking call.

  48. you can’t play KP at the 5 when he’s in foul trouble against a smart coach, you need lopez out there with him

  49. Porzingis is an absolute terror on defense when he can stay mostly out of foul trouble, probably been the biggest surprise with him for me

  50. If they can pull this out without Melo and with Porzingis having five fouls that’d be win of the season material. If not, well, still fuck the Celtics. I hate them.

  51. If the Knicks lose this game I hope the ref that tripped Melo gets mugged leaving MSG.

    I’m on it

  52. What is Melo’s injury? I just started watching. Was on my way home after they went to halftime. Saw him fall.

  53. Big, big stretch here to build this lead back up. Man, how does Boston ever score normally?

  54. Phew…up nine now. Damn, that was too tense.

    Up nine? Wow this stream must be way behind!

  55. Knicks go up 4 and proceed to allow wide open 3pters on back to back possessions to Crowder. Awful defense.

  56. I leaped out of my seat with excitement after that pass from Grant to DWill for the slam.

  57. Well, if you need a quick bucket, taking it right at Jose Calderon is not a bad way to go about it

  58. Knicks better keep on finding ways to score cause they sure as hell arent going to get stops on the defensive end to seal this win.

  59. Not sure why Jose is in on defense instead of Galloway but everything else fisher has done has been excellent today

  60. Fitting that the Knicks finally get a defensive stop and its cause of Lopez. Great fucking win!!!!

  61. Superstar out hurt. Prodigious neophyte fouled out. Brian Cronin putting the kibosh on you…a lot of teams would have wilted. But not us. And that is why, my fellow knickerbloggers, that I can say to you that the state of the Knicks is strong.

  62. Meanwhile, SA is about to win in Detroit. We might be sniffing the 7th seed by the end of the week.

  63. Best win of the season?

    My favorite part: Boston “young assets” getting outplayed by the Knicks’ even younger assets.

  64. Great win, but I’d also like to check the alternate universe game that Brian Cronin was watching!
    :-)

  65. We can still win this but Grant should be sitting.

    An uncharitable person would quote this again and again into the void just so you know what it’s like.

  66. What a win!!!!!!! The balls of our rookies really shone through. Also steady play in the second half by aflalo and Lopez showing leadership. All of Phils moves this summer won this game. Of course Dwill as well

  67. The defense was not good in this game but man is this offense on fire right now. 120 points against the #2 defense in the league, without Melo for half the game and with Porzingis in constant foul trouble.

  68. Important win in so many ways! My source told me the injured Melo showed leadership at halftime by gathering the team together and quoting departing great ref Crawford :

    And the last thing he said to me, “Melo,” he said, “sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Tripper

  69. knicks shot 27-30 from the line. How awesome is it that every position can go to the line and shoot a high percentage.

  70. Y’all have been bitching all season about Fisher’s substitutions, but it seems like lately he’s been pushing all the right buttons

  71. Rose went out with an injury. Good game between the Bucks and Bulls. It would be nice if Milwaukee can get the win. 95-93, Bulls

  72. That’s a big one that’ll be remembered. A satisfying meal of Celtic will and self respect. “You can’t even beat us when you want it desperately and we lose our two best players.”

    For the record: Isiah Thomas the Smaller is a human gnat.

  73. Nice, nice win.
    They couldn’t defend Thomas but they hung tough and hit some big shots, especially Grant – his development is crucial to the Knicks’ furthering development of playmaking; he had moxie down the stretch.

  74. Assuming Melo’s injury is minor, it was a true blessing in disguise, as it gave Grant the opportunity to step up and gain a shit ton of confidence going forward.

  75. @260
    Didn’t you see the correction a mere two minutes later?

    Like I said, thank God Grant isn’t sitting!

    He sure showed great progress tonight.

  76. One game out of the 8th spot! Woohoo!

    Orlando’s next two games are against Toronto and Atlanta, while our next one is against the lolnets.

  77. Orlando’s next two games are against Toronto and Atlanta, while our next one is against the lolnets.

    The team I sort of worry about is Washington, who you have to figure will eventually get better, no?

  78. Dwill reminds me so much of Sprewell in terms of transition game, finishing ability, hair. And how is he gonna “feed his family” after losing all that bling? Not at all sure about this but he appears to be getting more playing time of late, perhaps to set up a trade at deadline?

  79. The team I sort of worry about is Washington, who you have to figure will eventually get better, no?

    Let’s hope not because…….KD!!!

  80. Also let’s not forget Rolo, who’s been really solid and had a huge block on Nate Robins….I mean Isaiah Thomas tonight

  81. Just got home from the Garden and I haven’t read the comments yet.

    I only get to go to one or two games a season and I picked a great one. What a fun game with lots of twists and turns. It was special in a number of ways. First, the team overcame a lot of adversity with Melo going down and KP getting into foul trouble and then losing the lead late. Second, this win coupled with the Celtic loss ties the teams at the 9-seed. Third, we saw Grant, Afflalo, Thomas and D-Will step up big time.

    But there was something even more special. It was the chemistry that you can see with Melo and KP on the floor playing the two-man game. It’s so clear that they have meshed far better than anyone would have guessed. If they doubled Melo, KP drained a three. If they played Melo straight up, he abused the defender. They were an unstoppable duo.

    Not everything was perfect. Where did Galloway disappear to? Will Calderon ever shoot the ball again? Can we nail Seraphin and Amundson to the bench please? There’s certainly opportunity to improve this roster but it’s good enough to make the playoffs.

    Oh, BTW, the Knicks are 4.5 games behind Toronto and the 3-seed. Yeah, the 8-seed is in sight, but I’m getting greedy.

  82. Jay King Verified account
    ?@ByJayKing

    In the second half, the Celtics did not have a single turnover, shot 54.5 percent from the field, and still couldn’t hold off Arron Afflalo.

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