It didn’t take long for NBA refs to dish out the first double technicals of the 2023-24 season. If you were in Madison Square Garden, you got a good show watching Isaiah Hartenstein and Jaylen Brown go at each other in the third quarter of the New York Knicks’ opening night.
Hartenstein replaced Mitchell Robinson early in the second half after the starting center picked up his fourth foul. He remained in the game for most of the third quarter and stood out because of a heated interaction with Brown.
With Brown driving to the rim, Hartenstein stepped over and fouled the Celtics guard. It was a hard foul that wasn’t deemed a flagrant, but Brown took it personally. After the whistle was blown, Brown grabbed hold of Hartenstein’s jersey, which led to the center exchanging words with Brown before Jalen Brunson quickly stepped in.
Isaiah Hartenstein, Jaylen Brown receive double techs in Knicks-Celtics
Isaiah Hartenstein picked up two fouls on the play, one for fouling Jaylen Brown and another for “engaging” in activity after the play. It was a weak double technical, but maybe the officials wanted to send a message in a chippy game.
The league knew what they were doing by scheduling New York-Boston on opening night. Tempers are guaranteed to flare with two hated division rivals going at it. Hartenstein’s entering his second year with the Knicks, so he’s no stranger to the rivalry. His energy and toughness helped him stand out in his first season.
The Knicks and Celtics are always going to put on a show. Remember New York’s double overtime win to start the 2021-22 season? Last season, two of their regular season matchups were overtime finishes. Wednesday’s game has further proven that Knicks-Celtics is must-see television!