The Boston Celtics took on the New York Knicks at the TD Garden Friday night, and came away with a win in exciting fashion.
After playing each other just a few nights prior, the Boston Celtics took on the New York Knicks again yesterday, but this time in a different garden setting… the TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Knicks 104-102 in a Friday night showdown.
Even though Boston won in their last match-up with the Knicks in a blow-out fashion of 118-95, there was, and still is, a lot of room for improvement, mainly with shooting and making consistent baskets.
In game one of the four game season series against the Knickerbockers, the Boston Celtics shot 15-41 on three-point shot attempts and missed ten free-throws. Last night, the Celtics shot 11-34 on their three-point shot attempts, while only missing two free throws in the contest.
The C’s also missed 14 free-throws in their season opening 14 point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Making free-throws is important and impactful to the outcome of a game. It should be noted that the Boston Celtics have gone 32-37 from the charity stripe as a team in their two games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors — two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Kemba Walker led the way for Boston again last night by putting up his third straight thirty-point game. Walker finished the night with 33 points, six rebounds, and five assists. In Walkers last three games he has scored an impressive 97 points on 55 shots.
Jayson Tatum caught fire for the second game in a row; especially in the second half and fourth quarter. Tatum hit the go-ahead outside shot over RJ Barrett to give Boston a one-point lead with 1.3 seconds left on the game-clock. Tatum finished his night providing 24 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
It was Tatum’s first game-winning shot in his NBA career.
Tatum has also been the guy to shoot the ball late in the game to help his team close out. He has now hit two late fourth quarter shots to propel the C’s to victory.
Marcus Smart had a bit of a slow night in terms of production. The combo-guard finished with eight points, three rebounds and three assists in30 minutes of play while also tallying four fouls.
It’s been obvious that the Celtics haven’t been getting the solid production needed from their big-men. Enes Kanter missed his fourth game of the season with an apparent knee injury. Robert Williams was out last night with a minor hip injury. Vincent Poirier had his number called last night, but only for seven minutes. In that time, Poirier scored two points and added a rebound.
What I found odd was that the Celtics recalled Tacko Fall from Maine because of the need for a healthy center on the roster. It is noted that Tacko didn’t play on Friday night. Given the rules of the two-way contract, Boston can only use him for 45 days. It seems to me that if you bring him back down to Beantown, then you should at least play him in the game.
The Celtics played without Jaylen Brown for the second consecutive game due to an illness.
It was also a small homecoming for former Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris, who spent the last two seasons in “Title Town.” Morris had one of the best seasons of his career last year.
The Boston Celtics will have a few days to work out the “kinks” while preparing to visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.