NBA Roundtable

Game Time: Celtics vs Knicks

In Game Log / Recap on October 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I think this is preseason game number two for both sides. The Celtics lost to the Rockets the other day, whilst the Knicks beat the Nets with Gallinari showing off his impressive passing skills and with Wilson Chandler having one of those make-you-drool-over-his-potential games.

First Half

  • The Celtics have looked amazing in the first few minutes of the first quarter. They’ve pushed ahead 17-8, mainly due to their activity defensively. Offensively they’re pushing the ball right back at NY, I love it.
  • The Knicks were a lot of fun to watch while David Lee was on the floor. Unfortunately he picked up three quick fouls and had to sit down. While he was on the floor, he was picking up rebounds like a fiend and setting bone crunching screens (one beautiful screen on Rondo which took Rajon right out of the play). Offensively, he provides great balance for the Knicks. When he goes off the floor they have problems with spacing and with an interior/pick and roll threat.
  • Kendrick Perkins with two nice scores inside against the Knicks defense. David Lee can’t guard Perk in the low post. Perkins can do whatever he wants to the Knicks on either end of the floor. Bad matchup for the Knicks.
  • The Knicks can’t compete with the Celtics interior dominance. They’re losing the battle in the paint.
  • Rasheed Wallace is in good shape. Over the last couple of years he’s started of the season in good shape but it’s degenerated as the season went on. So this is something to watch over the middle of the season.
  • Ray Allen missed three free throws in the first quarter. He only missed 12 FTs over the entire of last season.
  • Paul Pierce looks very happy out there. He’s really enjoying his basketball. It’s nice to see.
  • This game got real ugly real quick. The Knicks finished the first quarter shooting around 20% whilst the Celtics hit 32% of their shots. It’s a watchable game … just neither team can hit a shot right now.
  • Rasheed Wallace’s activity is very impressive. He pulled down 6 rebounds in 9 minutes. He had two post ups. He got a couple of other shots (missed threes but good looks) and looked good defensively. He played very well. Hopefully this is a sign of more to come. Encouraging play from Wallace.
  • Glen Davis has been very aggressive on the offensive glass. We could see some good improvement from BBD here this season. No Powe is allowing him to play much closer to the bucket, and consequently get in better position to compete for offensive rebounds.
  • Physically, Glen Davis looks more built and better conditioned than in years past. He still kept a lot of his size though, just replaced it with muscle.
  • Gallinari has been passive. He’s not looking to shoot and he’s not looking to create off the dribble. Little to no offensive contribution from him.
  • Perk has dropped two more shots over Lee out of the low post. He has 11 points now.
  • Pierce’s play in the post against taller players is remarkable. Both on switches where he has to defend the post, and on box outs where he’s covering the big man. His understanding of positioning and how to leverage his weight is outstanding.
  • Rajon Rondo is doing a superb job of pushing the ball in an organized manner. He’s putting a lot of pressure on the Knicks transition defense.
  • Nobody is playing well for the Knicks.
  • Harrington made a nice crossover dribble there to beat Perkins off the bounce from the right wing, down into the paint, help defense comes across from KG, Al dumps it off to Jeffries and JJ draws a foul. Nice play from Harrington … who is the Knicks leading scorer tonight with 11 points.
  • Aggressive post defense from Jeffries as he tries to deny KG the ball in the post … ahh, fouls him in the end … and hurts himself by stepping on KG’s foot. Good start, lousy finish.
  • Lovely floater by Nate Robinson over Kendrick Perkins from 13 feet out off the pick and roll … KG answers right back with a 21 foot jumper from the top of the key, nice drive and kick from Rondo.
  • KG looks very good physically. He’s moving well, he’s alert, moving quickly in all directions. He’s tuned into the game.

Halftime — other notes

  • Gallinari is scoreless (missing four shots) and has picked up two fouls in 12 minutes of playing time. He hasn’t been a factor at in this game.
  • No sign of Jared Jeffries improved jump shot. He hasn’t been looking for jumpers and when he’s shot the ball, he’s missed.
  • David Lee and Al Harrington are the only Knicks who can look themselves in the mirror and say they didn’t play poorly in that half of basketball.
  • Darko did a nice job on the boards with 6 in 8 minutes but he was a negative factor offensively, and not much of a factor defensively. The game started to spin away from the Knicks after he checked in — more the loss of Lee than Darko’s fault. The Knicks just lost a lot their structure with Darko on the floor.
  • Ray Allen has been abusing the Knicks. He leads all scorers with 13 points. He had 2-3 lovely cuts off the ball after post entry passes, one of which resulted in a layup. Another 2-3 leakouts which saw him miss a dunk and get a layup. A lovely jump shot after coming off a pick and roll. A three pointer with Gallinari’s hand in his face. Ray also had a nice steal in the first quarter, picked up three rebounds, and made a series of good passes.
    • 4-7 shooting from the field and 4-7 shooting from the line for an efficient 13 points.
  • Perkins has arguably been the Celtics best player in the first half (11 and 5). Very good play from KG also (6 and 5). And Sheed was very good too (6 rebounds in 9 minutes). The Celtics are destroying the Knicks in the paint.
  • Both teams were rusty offensively in the first half and struggled to make shots. The Celtics looked good offensively when Rondo was running the point but not otherwise. The Knicks looked offensively when Lee was on the floor early, but they struggled to get their rhythm back after Lee came back after sitting for a long time.

Second Half

  • There’s that improved jump shot from Jeffries — Jeffries hits a nice three pointer out of the right baseline over Kevin Garnett.
  • Kendrick Perkins has made a couple of very nice passes tonight. An underrated passer.
  • Jeffries blows by KG … KG was hedging between two players to deny an easy three pointer … into the paint, fouled well as Jeffries tried to throw down a big dunk.
  • Garnett’s jumper is locked in. Lovely step back J after one dribble going to his left (he does that a lot) from 15 feet.
  • Chris Duhon has been non-existent tonight. He’s let the game pass him by.
  • Jeffries misses a wide open three point attempt. Good job by Nate to draw the defense and find Jeffries for that shot.  Next possession, Jeffries catches a poor pass (Nate I think) in the corner, gathers himself and shot arms another three pointer.
  • Beautiful threaded bounce pass from Paul Pierce to Perkins off the pick and roll. Layup.

Celtics up 12 halfway through the third quarter for those who are interested in the score. The Knicks look convinced that they are going to lose this game, their intensity has dropped hugely since the first quarter.

  • Lestor Hudson checks in. He looked like an out-of-control point guard in the Orlando summer league. Good scorer and good nose for the ball though, just perhaps not a true point guard at this point in time. This will be a good test for him.
  • Eddie House has been running the point for the Celtics. Not Hudson. Not Daniels.
  • Lovely bounce from Hudson off a dribble hand off from House on the perimeter to find Daniels cutting baseline. Layup, nope, missed. Nice pass though.
  • Rasheed’s length + defensive ability is noticeable … something the Celtics haven’t had since PJ Brown.

Okay, I expect the Celtics to play five man bench units for the rest of the game so I’m going to call it a game here at the end of the third quarter. I’m not really interested in those lineups, nor how well the Knicks rotation guys (D’Antoni likes playing his rotation players high minutes in preseason) do against them.

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