Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks –TD Garden – 7:30 pm (ET)
The Boston Celtics claim their first opening-day win in New York since 1956, but can they make it 2-0 to start the season as they face their burgeoning rivals, the Miami Heat – who narrowly won their opening game against the Detroit Pistons? Lineups, predictions, injury reports, and more.
After a back-and-forth win over the New York Knicks, how might the Celtics line up for their first home game of the season?
The Celtics started with, what I expected, and still consider to be, their best starting five against the Knicks, and narrowly walked away with the win after a late comeback. Some players showed their class en masse, while others need to step up their game against the Heat on Friday night. There is absolutely still the need to build chemistry due to the new acquisitions, and form needs to be built for this team to be firing on all cylinders.
Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis stepped up when necessary and were the main pillars of this Celtics victory. With both stars stepping up while others were struggling, showed the composure that the Celtics needed. These are the types of games that might have slipped away in the past few seasons, further supporting the claims that Porzingis is the crucial element that the team has been searching for.
Consistent offense and defense were on full display for the Celtics stars as both ended the game with impressive stat lines. Whether it be rebounding, blocking the ball, or scoring the ball with precision, Tatum and Porzingis did it all.
Tatum vs Knicks: 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block,13-22 from the field (59.1%), and 3-8 from beyond the arc (37.5%).
Porzingis vs Knicks: 30 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, 8-15 from the field (53.3%), 5-9 from beyond the arc (55.6%), and 9-10 from the free-throw line (90%)
Scoring 30 points, the most ever by a Celtics player making his debut, Porzingis demonstrated remarkable consistency and aggression in his offensive, and defense, silencing the chants of the Knicks fans in the process.
There’s no doubt in my mind that both men should be in the starting lineup if the Celtics are to secure a revenge win following their Eastern Conference Finals loss to Miami. In games like this, stars need to show up, and Tatum and Porzingis cannot be excluded from the starting five for this crucial clash.
Jaylen Brown is looking like he will be the other main talking point following his subpar performance against the Knicks. Did the weight of expectation that surrounds him following his $304 million dollar contract extension get in the way during this opening game? Possibly, but I know these kinds of scoring nights won’t be a regular occurrence as his averages throughout his career, especially last season, paint the picture of how good Brown really is.
Brown vs. Knicks: 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal, 4-11 from the field (36.4%), and 0-4 from beyond the arc.
Brown 2022-23 season: 26.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 49.1% from the field, and 33.5% from beyond the arc.
We all know how good Brown really is, and one bad performance shouldn’t cloud the fact that he is an All-Star, who regularly plays at that level for the Celtics. Every player has his off nights, and this is most likely just one of those occasions. The narratives may build through the media, and on social media, but we have to stick behind Brown and not tear him down.
I’m expecting Joe Mazzulla to see through this less-than-stellar performance and start him against the Heat on Friday night regardless. This isn’t just a revenge game for the Celtics anymore, it’s Browns’ redemption game. Do you think he deserves a start? And will he show improvements against Miami?
Both Jrue Holiday and Derrick White had solid defensive nights, stating a massive case as to why neither one should be dropped to the bench for their clash with the Heat. Holiday ended the game with three blocks, and a positive +/- of three, while White finished with two steals, one block, and a positive +/- of seven.
If one of them were to be dropped to the bench, it would be only for Al Horford to make a start, and there might just be a good reason why that could be needed against Miami.
Offensive rebounding was an issue for the Celtics in their opening game of the season, ending the game with 46 total rebounds, but only seven offensive rebounds, compared to the Knicks’ 17. Horford ended the game with the third most rebounds for the Celtics with seven and also had the most offensive rebounds with three. Will this make Mazzulla drop one of the guard duo and start Horford – who set a great example when being given a bench role against the Knicks? It’s definitely a possibility, but I think the starting lineup will be the same as it has been in the last three games regardless of the offensive rebounding issue.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineups
PG: Derrick White
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis
There were a lot of positives, and some negatives, to take away from the victory over the Knicks. With this looking like our usual lineup, form and chemistry need to be built upon, but the foundations are definitely already in place. Jaylen needs a chance at a redemption game, Tatum and Porzingis need to keep cooking, and the All-Defensive duo needs another strong defensive showing against the Heat. Do you think this is our strongest lineup? Is it good enough to beat the Heat?
The Miami Heat narrowly gained the victory over the Detroit Pistons, but will they alter their lineup ahead of their clash at TD Garden?
After their win over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat will want to get one-up over their burgeoning rivals at TD Garden. With both sides securing a win in their respective opening games, should we expect the same starting fives?
Even with some impressive stat lines from Miami, one of the stand-out performances of the night was from the veteran point guard, Kyle Lowry – but not in the way he would have wanted. Throughout his career, Lowry has been a consistent passer, and scorer of the ball, and this performance was extremely uncharacteristic of him.
Lowry vs. Pistons: 0 points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block – with only one missed shot taken.
After such a below-standard outing, does Lowry get the start against the Celtics? Due to a lack of alternative options, I think Erik Spoelstra’s hands might be tied on this one. If the Miami Heat are going to be successful this year, Lowry is going to have to step up his game. However, it is early days, and Lowry is definitely better than what this opening game might tell you.
From poor performances to impressive ones, the four other starters for the Heat had strong performances that resulted in a win, irrespective of Lowry’s subpar effort. The most notable thing to take from the box score is the rebounding numbers, particularly the offensive rebounding which was an area the Boston Celtics struggled with.
Tyler Hero vs. Pistons: 16 points, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Jimmy Butler vs. Pistons: 19 points, 13 rebounds (8 ORB), four assists, two steals.
Kevin Love vs. Pistons: 13 points, 10 rebounds (2 ORB), two assists.
Bam Adebayo vs. Pistons: 22 points, 8 rebounds (2 ORB), three assists, two blocks.
Butler alone got more offensive rebounds (eight) than the whole Celtics team combined (seven), should this be enough for Mazzulla to make a change and go with the double-big lineup of Porzingis and Horford, or should he trust his starters to improve their offensive rebounding against the Heat?
I think the Heat, like the Celtics, will go with the same starting lineups for their clash at TD Garden in hopes of building momentum, chemistry, and form for the marathon that is the season. Both narrowly walked away with the win on Wednesday night, but only one side can go 2-0 after Friday night and If both sides go with the same lineups, it’s anyone’s game.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineups
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Kevin Love
C: Bam Adebayo
With the rivalry that has been building between these two organizations, they will be playing for a little more than just momentum and form as bragging rights are up for grabs in this one. I anticipate both teams will turn up with a high level of intensity, and we can look forward to many notable moments throughout this game. Can the Boston Celtics get a revenge win? Or will the Heat get one-up on their rivals yet again?
Boston Celtics: None
Miami Heat: Haywood Highsmith – OUT – Left knee sprain
Miami Heat: Josh Richardson – OUT – Foot discomfort
Miami Heat: Caleb Martin – Questionable – Knee discomfort
Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson – Questionable -Left foot sprain
Miami Heat: Jaime Jaquez Jr. – Questionable – Groin strain
Boston Celtics 110, Miami Heat 107