Knicks Hit The Road For Matchup Against New-Look Celtics
1. The Knicks showed a glimpse of their potential in Saturday’s home opener against the Pistons. In the first half of action, New York dropped 64 points, shot 50 percent from the floor, and led by 13 points. Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter were prolific in that first half by combining for 36 points and eight rebounds. However, Detroit battled back on a 13-4 run in the third quarter and rallied in the fourth period to escape with a slight 111-107 road victory.
2. Porzingis followed up his opening night 31-point performance with an equally impressive 33-point night against the Pistons on Saturday. The 7-3 rising star knocked down 55 percent of his shots from the floor, 42 percent behind the arc, and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Porzingis became the third Knick to score 30-plus points in his first 2 games of the season.
3. Head coach Jeff Hornacek said Frank Ntilikina showed some lateral movement improvement but the rookie will not be available for tonight’s contest against the Celtics. Ntilikina injured his ankle in a practice session last Friday.
4. Boston was arguably the most aggressive team of the summer by acquiring All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Additionally, Danny Ainge traded his No. 1 overall pick for the No. 3 overall pick and a future selection. Ainge and the Celtics used the No. 3 pick on Duke standout Jayson Tatum. The offseason brought heavy anticipation for Boston fans, just one year removed from a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals and the best overall regular season record in the Eastern Conference. Only four players remain from that 2016-17 squad and now Boston is dealing with early adversity. Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury on opening night that will most likely keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. Marcus Smart has been dealing issues with his ankles and he did not practice on Monday after missing the contest against Philadelphia. Marcus Morris (knee) will also not play this week for the Celtics.
5. Boston captured its first win of the season by topping the Sixers 102-92 on Friday evening. Head coach Brad Stevens featured a more traditional “big” lineup with Aron Baynes at the center spot next to Al Horford and Tatum in the frontcourt. Irving and Jaylen Brown formed the backcourt in the win. In 36 minutes, Irving scored a team-high 21 points and Horford added 17 to help improve the Celtics to a 1-2 record.