Pre-Game Report: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

Boston Celtics (36-25) at New York Knicks (31-29)
8:00 PM EST, April 17, 2012
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
TV: TNT

Celtics Projected Starting Line-Up:

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

The Boston Celtics will be traveling to Madison Square Garden tonight for a division match with the Knicks. Boston has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA since the All-Star break and it will be looking to create some separation from the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.

The Knicks on the other end, are fighting for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference and need this win to stay ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Frontcourt:

The Boston Celtics have a veteran frontcourt and these players know what it takes to win NBA championships. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are the two starts in the frontcourt and although they are getting a little old, they are playing the best basketball of the season right now. The Celtics are known for their defensive attack, but they can surely score in bunches. This was evident when the Celtics exploded in their game versus the Miami Heat behind their leader Pierce. This season Pierce is averaging 19.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game whereas Garnett puts up nearly 16 points and eight rebounds per game. As for Brandon Bass, he is a big body in the paint who can crash the glass and cause havoc for the Knicks’ frontcourt.

Backcourt:

The Celtics have two dynamic guards in their backcourt anchored by Rajon Rondo. Rondo have recorded 10+ assists  for 22 straight games, a feat not many point guards can match. Rondo can change the outcome of the game without scoring more than ten points and that says a lot about his effectiveness. As for Avery Bradley, is has emerged as a solid player for the Celtics and compliments Rondo very well. Bradley can use his speed and agility to attack the basket and can step back and knock down a perimeter jumper.

Keys to Victory:

1. Tyson Chandler needs to be aggressive- It is quite simple, if Tyson Chandler plays great the Knicks usually win. Chandler could be the most important player on the Knicks’ roster and he needs to come out aggressive against Boston. The Knicks lost to the Heat on Sunday and Chandler was essentially a non-factor; however, New York better hope for a solid performance tonight.

2. The bench must show up- The Boston Celtics do not have a lot of depth on their bench, so the Knicks must exploit that. New York has a plethora of capable reserves and they must outplay the Celtics’ second unit in this game.

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