Boston Celtics (-8.5) vs. New York Knicks – Madison Square Garden – 7:30 pm (ET)
An excelling showing from the Boston Celtics in our first preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers was enough to secure the victory in our opening preseason matchup. The game was stacked with notable moments like consistent scoring and highlight dunks from Kristaps Porzingis, Payton Pritchard showed why he got that four-year, 30-million extension, and Jaylen Brown even started the game with his shorts on backward.
Can the Celtics go 2-0 to start the preseason? I’m sure the Knicks will do everything they can to try and prevent that. So, here is how I think both sides might line up to start their preseason clash, and why.
How did the Boston Celtics do in their first preseason game — and will the starting lineup change?
Porzingis played his first 25 minutes as a Boston Celtic and looked very comfortable playing in Beantown Green. After hitting the first 3 points of the game, the crowd and fans on social media were beyond hyped. This hype surrounding Porzingis was cemented with his incredible alley-oop dunk.
Another start for the big man against the Knicks? I think so.
My predicted lineup for the 76ers game was that the Celtics would go with a double-big lineup with Porzingis and Al Horford both starting, but for this game, I’m thinking that we might see the All-Defensive backcourt duo of Derrick White and Jrue Holiday make their first start together. We saw this duo play some minutes together against the Sixers and, due to the opponent this time around, I predict we might see White and Holiday play together from tipoff.
Although Jrue didn’t start the game for the Celtics, he did manage to get 25 minutes and scored only 6 points. Even with this uncharacteristic debut performance, I think he will get more of a chance to settle into the team during this next game. It can take time for players to settle into a new team and environment, and we all know what he is capable of. Give him time and a start against the Knicks.
Pritchard definitely proved his worth in the 23 minutes he was given against the Sixers as he scored 26 Points on 6/11 shooting from outside the arc and 9/14 shooting overall. Since recently receiving an extension of $30 over four years, some voiced that they thought this might be the wrong move for the Boston Celtics, but surely the doubt has been crushed after that performance.
Even though he played exceptionally well, I think his services will resume with coming off the bench again against the Knicks.
In a closely contested game, the Celtics managed to maintain their composure and secure a hard-fought victory. After a strong performance in the final quarter, where they outscored the Sixers 33-26, the final score stood at Celtics 114, 76ers 106.
Boston Celtics Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Derrick White
SG: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis
How might the Knicks starting lineup look?
With this being the first preseason game for the Knicks, it’s tough to predict to how they might line up. Since his exceptional performances with the USA team during the FIBA World Cup, as well as his stellar showing last season, it’s safe to assume that Jalen Brunson will start against the Celtics on Tuesday night.
As well as Brunson, I think Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson will have their names locked in on that opening lineup for their opening preseason game as they started 77 and 58 games respectively last season.
The shooting guard spot is then up for grabs with names like Josh Hart, Quentin Grimes, Donte DiVincenzo, and Evan Fournier being viable options. Will we see Brunson start with his FIBA World Cup teammate, Hart? I’m not sure. There is a huge shout for the 23-year-old Grimes to get some more starter minutes seeing as he started in 66 of his 71 appearances last season. I think they might go with Grimes for this one.
RJ Barrett has spoken about how he feels when it comes to potentially being a bench option for the Knicks next season. Will we see him take on this role against the Celtics? Again, I’m not sure. I think, seeing as it is only a preseason game, that Barrett will get his chance to fight for a starting role next season. Last season Barrett averaged an impressive 19.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.8 APG and I think he might make a start on Tuesday night.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
PG: Jalen Brunson
SG: Quentin Grimes
SF: RJ Barrett
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson
Boston Celtics: Jay Scrubb (torn ACL)
New York Knicks: None
Celtics 119 – 103 Knicks