The comeback of the year was not meant to be for the Boston Celtics this past Wednesday night at MSG, as the New York Knicks held off a major collapse to win 138-134 during the NBA’s opening tipoff.
Jaylen Brown’s at-the-logo 3-point shot cut the lead to 1 before two made New York free throws forced the Cs to come up with a game-tying 3-pointer with under five seconds and no timeouts.
Jayson Tatum slipping looked like it was the end, but he avoided the turnover to find Dennis Schroder, who then caught Kemba Walker slipping and found Marcus Smart for a wide-open 3-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Evan Fournier and Julius Randle took over from there, but the Cs ought to be proud of their 11-point deficit overcome in the final 3:44 of the fourth quarter.
Now, they look ahead to the Toronto Raptors after forcing two overtimes en route to an opening night loss. The TD Garden plays host to the Raps, who will once again be representing the country of Canada while playing their games in the North during the 2021-22 season after a season spent playing their home games down in Tampa in 2020-21.
Boston’s legs will probably lack their usual freshness after the C’s core players (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams) all played 45+ minutes each. Ime Udoka could lean on his reserves more than usual on Friday night.
That could mean these two members of the Boston Celtics could be making their debut against the Raptors: