Knicks (25-26, 11-16 road) at Celtics (25-26, 15-10 home)
- Time: 4:30PM PST – 6:30PM CST – 7:30PM EST
- Place: TD Garden, Boston, MA
- TV: MSG Network | NBC Sports Boston | NBA League Pass
Both of these teams are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference and are two games behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth.
The Celtics absorbed a 106-94 defeat at the hands of the 76ers last night as they post a 4-6 record on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Knicks end a three-game road trip tonight as they look to get back in the win column after losing four out of their last five games. New York took a 105-75 win in Boston on Jan. 17 behind 20 points from Julius Randle.
- New York Knicks – Mitchell Robinson (ankle) OUT
- Boston Celtics – Evan Fournier and Tristan Thompson (health and safety protocols) OUT
Knicks (29-21-1 ATS):
- The UNDER has been the play in 8 of the last 11 Knicks games
- New York is 1-5 SU in the last 6 games vs. the Celtics
- NY is 6-1 SU in it’s last 7 road
Celtics (24-27 ATS):
- The UNDER has been the play in the last 6 Celtics games
- Boston is 8-3 SU in it’s last 11 home games against the Knicks
- The C’s are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 gams vs. the Atlantic Division
Last Time Out
Julius Randle had 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists as he recorded his fourth triple-double of the season, but it was not enough as the Knicks fell in Brooklyn, 114-112, on Monday night. RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 22 and Reggie Bullock had 21 as New York blew a 14-point halftime lead.
Boston couldn’t stop Joel Embiid as the 76ers big man scored 35 points in his second game back after an injury. Jayson Tatum had 20 points and Jaylen Brown had 17 as the Celtics are getting closer to having a full roster. The Celtics finished with 22 turnovers and center Robert Williams was besieged with foul trouble all evening against Embiid.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Knicks||+3 (-107)||+130||O 209 (-110)|
|Celtics||-3 (-113)||-150||U 209 (-110)|
Advantage, New York
Coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive approach is going to keep New York in games and as long as the Knicks stay healthy, they have a shot to steal a series in the NBA Playoffs. New York’s defense leads the NBA in defensive field goal percentage (44.1%), three-point field goal percentage (33.5%), and opponents’ points per game (104.1 ppg). New York had trouble with Kyrie Irving on Monday as he was a spark plug in the Brooklyn offense in scoring 40 points as the Nets assisted 27 of 42 baskets and NYK forced only 10 turnovers.
Key Knicks Stat
Finding consistent offense is again an issue although New York has been on fire from three of late. The Knicks have shot 43.4 percent from long distance over their last four games as Reggie Bullock is 15-of-34 from three over his last three games. New York has the third-highest three -point percentage differential this season relative to last season as the Knicks have improved from 33.7 percent of a year ago to 37.5 percent this season.
New York has to convert more in the lane beside of Julius Randle (22.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 6.0 apg), who has arrived as a superstar in the NBA this season. This starts with playmaking as the Knicks average only 21 assists per game which is 29th in the NBA. Randle leads in assists as point guard Elfird Payton needs more than an average of 3.5 per contest.
Getting players healthy and finding a collective rhythm is going to be the best panacea for the ills of the Celtics. This team has proven in can defend as it limits its opponents’ field goal attempts as well as hold teams down inside. With the Knicks struggling to play make, Boston can defensively look at Randle and try to keep him from being an issue. Matching up on the Knicks’ 3-ballers will be a key to the game as Boston allows its opponents to shoot 37.2 percent (18th/NBA) from the arc.
Key Celtics Stat:
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown average a combined 49.2 (25.1, 24.1) points as both will test the Knicks’ three points defense which allows a league low 33.5 percent per game. That said, teams find three-point attempts as they shoot 35.6 three balls per night, 20th in the NBA.
Marcus Smart continues to be an underrated figure in the approach and production that he brings the Celtics. He’s the team’s best on-ball defender which will matter in this game as it will encompass low possessions. He has averaged 12.7 points and 5.4 assists over his last five games.
Winner: Celtics (-3) 104, Knicks 97