Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks: Lineup Predictions and Injury Report

Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks – TD Garden – 7:30 pm (ET)

The Boston Celtics are 2-1 so far this offseason with two wins over the Philadelphia 76ers, and their only loss has been against our Tuesday night opponents, the New York Knicks. Can the Celtics go 3-1, and get one up over the Knicks, or do they go 2-0 against them during their two preseason clashes? Lineup predictions, injury report, and more.

Will the Boston Celtics rotate their starting five as much as they did for our only preseason loss against the Knicks?

Our starting five looked strong in the two victories over the Sixers, but all the starting contention players were rested during our loss against the Knicks. I had previously predicted a stronger lineup to face the Knicks that night, but instead, the starting five consisted of Payton Pritchard, Dalano Banton, Sam Hauser, Oshae Brissett, and Luke Kornet.

The final score for that game was Celtics 107, Knicks 114 and, although this game ended in a loss, there were tons of positives to take from it seeing as the Knicks played their full-strength starting five. Should we expect another heavily rotated starting five from the Celtics, or will we see some star names return to the lineup? Will the Knicks play their full-strength starting five for three preseason games in a row?

I’m expecting some of the bigger names to make a return to the lineup, but I think there is a huge shout for one roleplayer to get a start, and that man is the newly extended, player of the preseason so far, Pritchard. No one has stood out as much as the Oregon-born guard who has excelled far beyond anyone’s expectations. Even though a lot of people doubted his abilities after the contract extension was announced, he has silenced all the doubters by sinking bucket after bucket for the Celtics this preseason.

Yes, Jrue Holiday absolutely deserves a starting place on Tuesday night, but with how well Pritchard is playing, it isn’t set in stone. However, I do think on this occasion that Holiday will get the start ahead of Pritchard, even though his recent performances absolutely warrant a start. It’s undoubtedly a tough choice, and I’m glad Joe Mazzulla has to make the decision, and not me, but I think that mainly due to building chemistry with the rest of the team, Holiday will get the start ahead of Pritchard. Big minutes off the bench are still expected and deserved for our newly resigned marksman.

Banton got the start at shooting guard in our first preseason encounter with the Knicks and after shooting 8-19 from the field, scoring the second-highest on the Celtics that day with 20, I think he deserves another chance to prove what he can do, but will Mazzulla give him the chance to start, or will see Banton’s impact come from the bench? I think it will be the latter option. With the clinic that Derrick White put on against the 76ers on both ends of the court, I think he will get the nod ahead of Banton against the Knicks.

I personally think White should be a regular starter once the season begins, and these preseason games are his chance to prove why that might just be the case.

Speaking of scoring, Svi Mykhailiuk has been incredibly consistent when shooting the ball during his two preseason appearances.

Svi vs. Knicks: 15 points, 5-9 from the field (55.6%), and 3-7 from beyond the arc (42.9%)

Svi vs. 76ers: 15 points, 5-6 from the field (83.3%), and 3-4 from beyond the arc (75.0%)

With his shooting being at an elite level through the last two preseason games, does Mykhailiuk deserve a start against the Knicks? I think so. Will Mazzulla give him a starting role? Again, I don’t think so. If Jaylen Brown is available, then his name will be one of the first added to the lineup, but I expect Hauser to make a return to the lineup to build some momentum and form for the opening day tipoff.

In the Celtics’ most recent win against the 76ers, Hauser was one of our best performers as he put up 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and shot 4-9 from beyond the arc (44.4%). Although Hauser had a shakey start to his preseason outings, his confidence will be high after his performance on Wednesday night. Does it warrant a start against the Knicks? I think so.

Even though I’m predicting Hauser to start, I think Mykhailiuk will get good minutes off the bench, and like a lot of people, I’ve bought my ticket to the Svi hype train and cannot wait to see what more the sharpshooter has in his locker.

With Jayson Tatums’ chances of starting against the Knicks being questionable, and Luke Kornet so far has not been the dominant paint force that we have been needing, the four and five spots are still up for grabs. With Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis playing well so far this preseason, I think Kornet may only be given a bench role for this upcoming clash with the Knicks. Because the two big men are both viable options for the Knicks game, it’s hard to predict who might get the start. Could it even be both?

A double-big lineup, when facing Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, might be necessary to have a successful night in the paint. So, does Mazzulla go with the new man? Or go with the reliable veteran option? Or both? I think on this occasion, he will have to go with both – Horford at the four and Porzingis at the five. I do still expect Kornet to get decent minutes coming off the bench and, hopefully, his form will improve ahead of the regular season.

Boston Celtics Predicted Starting Lineup:

PG: Jrue Holiday

SG: Derrick White

SF: Sam Hauser

PF: Al Horford

C: Kristaps Porzingis

There is always the chance of the Boston Celtics playing a more rotated starting five against the Knicks just like they did in their first preseason encounter, but with only two preseason games remaining, I think it is time to start playing some of the usual suspects to build momentum ahead of the opening day tipoff.

Even though I’m predicting a stronger starting lineup, the rotational players have certainly proved their worth and I expect them to receive extended minutes off the bench to allow them to keep cooking.

The Knicks have played a full-strength starting five for both preseason games, do they rotate their lineup against the Boston Celtics?

So far this preseason the Knicks have played their full-strength starting five in both games, consisting of Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Randle, and Robinson, resulting in one win, and one loss.

Can we expect them to give their role players a chance by starting them, allowing them to prove their worth and fight for more minutes for the upcoming regular season? Or will we see a similar-looking Knicks side?

In their first meeting with the Celtics, Immanuel Quickley put on an incredible offensive performance with 21 points, three assists, three steals, and shot 8-14 from the field (57.1%). His offensive output took a dip during their second preseason game as they faced the Minnesota Timberwolves as he shot only 22.2% from the field and scored nine points, losing the game 121-112.

If the Knicks do decide on resting their star players, or at least giving them a bench role, then Quickley has the be the first name added to their starting lineup, allowing him to build consistent form going into the regular season. Although, I’m not sure the Knicks are going to rotate their lineup too much. I still expect Tom Thibodeau to start Jalen Brunson ahead of Quickley on this occasion. Bruson will be one of the key pieces to any potential Knicks’ success this season and allowing him to continue building his form might be Thibodeau’s plan.

During the Knicks’ first two preseason games, Grimes hasn’t played anywhere close to what we know he is capable of and, because of this, I think he might be given more of an impact role against the Celtics. Moreover, due to his solid performances during both games so far, it would be fair for Evan Fournier to be given his chance to fight for a bigger role this season. There is also a chance that Thibodeau goes with Donte DiVincenzo ahead of Fournier, but I think the latter is the name we will see on the starting lineup on Tuesday night.

With Barrett’s starting place being questioned this offseason, this preseason run has been the perfect chance for him to prove that he should be a starter next season – and prove it, he has. Much like Quickley, his form hasn’t been consistent through these two games, but his showing against the Timberwolves was exceptional from Barrett.

Barrett vs. Celtics: 12 points, two rebounds, two assists, 9-9 made free throws, 1-6 from the field (16.7%), and 1-5 from beyond the arc (20.0%)

Barrett vs. Timberwolves: 23 points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals, 9-12 made free throws, 6-15 from the field (40.0%), and 2-8 from beyond the arc (25.0%)

Although Josh Hart deserves a chance to fight for his place in the starting lineup, it’ll be hard for Thibodeau to bench Barrett right now, potentially halting his momentum from the Minnesota game. Based on that, I think Barrett will be given the chance to build on his form and might end up keeping his starting spot for this season.

Due to a lack of depth at the power forward spot, I think Randle will, yet again, get the start against the Celtics on Tuesday night. The competition at the four isn’t as strong for the Knicks when compared to the other positions since losing Obi Toppin to the Indiana Pacers for two second-round picks. There is a shout for the 24-year-old Jericho Sims to be given a chance to start, but because of his poor form over the last two games, I think his role will resume being an impact option off the bench.

Hartenstein has been consistent when scoring the ball, scoring at 60% from the field against both the Celtics and the Timberwolves, but I don’t expect him to get a starting spot ahead of Robinson for this matchup. I do anticipate Hartenstein getting decent minutes off the bench because building on his momentum is crucial for Thibodeau and the Knicks for their rotational big – but I don’t expect a starting role to be on the cards.

Even though Robinson has only scored 10 and 8 against the Celtics and the Timberwolves respectively, his work on the defensive end of the court has been crucial to Knicks winning their opening preseason game. During that game against the Boston Celtics, Robinson managed three important blocks and two steals, which was pivotal to their victory on that night. I’d be much happier without Robinson on the court, but I think he makes the starting five on this occasion.

New York Knicks Predicted Starting Lineup:

PG: Jalen Brunson

SG: Evan Fournier

SF: RJ Barrett

PF: Julius Randle

C: Mitchell Robinson

Much like the Boston Celtics, there is always the chance that the Knicks will go with a more rotated starting five, but I’m expecting something close to a full-strength lineup for their third preseason game.

Due to it being a preseason game, I do expect some slight changes to be made to the lineup – in the form of Fournier – as well as role players’ minutes being extended, to give them a chance to prove their worth and to fight for extended minutes during the regular season.

Injury report for October 17 Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks preseason game

Boston Celtics: Jay Scrubb – OUT (Torn ACL)

Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown – Questionable (Rest)

Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum – Questionable (Rest)

New York Knicks: Ryan Arcidiacono – Questionable (Rest)