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5 Quick Takeaways From Celtics-Knicks Game

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The opening day of the 2016 NBA Christmas games featured the Boston Celtics facing the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. The Celtics would pull away late winning 119-114 behind Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

With this win, the Celtics are now 18-13, giving them the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. As for the Knicks, they have now lost four out of their last six games.

Here are five takeaways from this Christmas day matchup between these two teams:

  1. Al Horford can add a lot of value… on the defensive end.
  • Not only did Horford finish the game with 15 points and seven rebounds, but he also made big plays down the stretch. For example, he made a key steal with 3.5 seconds left on the Knicks inbound play. He also made a pivotal block on Knicks PF Kristaps Porzingis with 6.3 seconds left on the clock. Horford would finish the game with three steals.

 

  1. Isaiah Thomas deserved our respect… for real!!
  • As you were watching the game, you probably saw a short guying wearing a Celtics jersey, but that guy showed out when his teammates needed him the most. Not only has he been the Celtics leader this season, but he also chipped in with 27 points. Thomas also was responsible for chasing around Courtney Lee on the defensive end.
  1. Derrick Rose showed signs of his old self.
  • Derrick Rose ended the first quarter with six points, but the fact that he is getting to the basket more often, speaks volume to how committed he is to going back to “vintage” Rose. Rose’s relentless was clearly visible, and he is now proving he can play at a high level, despite his past injuries. Rose finished with 25 points, five rebounds and three assists.
  1. The Knicks need more from Carmelo Anthony
  • Despite Melo being the top scorer of the contest (29 points), his shot selection in the fourth was questionable. Melo has to understand that although he is the leader of the Knicks franchise, he has another star in Kristaps Porzingis to feed off of. Melo also has to contribute more on the defensive end when it mattered the most. In the fourth, there were plays were Melo got lazy on defense.
  1. The Celtics have a lot of depth that gave them the extra edge
  • The Celtics may have found something in Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Kelly Olynyk. Their bench had 41 points against the Knicks, led by Marcus Smart with 15. Smart also made a key 3-pointer late in the fourth to give the Celtics a 115-112 lead. Smart was also +17 while on the floor. Although Brown had zero points, he contributed at a high level on the defensive end. Olynyk had 16 points and two rebounds.

 

The next time these teams play again is Wednesday January 18th at the TD Garden in Boston.

 

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