Celtics-Knicks preview: Rebounding in New York

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Celtics-Knicks preview: Rebounding in New York

NEW YORK The Boston Celtics are rebounding -- literally and figuratively -- quite well these days.

Lost in the strong play defensively by the C's in their back-to-back wins, has been Boston winning the battle of the boards by four per game.

It is a trend they hope to continue tonight against a New York Knicks club that, like the Celtics, has also ranked among the NBA's worst rebounding teams.

The Knicks come into tonight's game ranked 25th with 48.6 rebounds per game.

But the rebounding numbers for both teams can be a bit deceiving when you consider both rank among the NBA's top shooting teams which means there are fewer rebounds available.

Despite the poor rebounding numbers, both rank among the league's top 10 in defensive rebound percentage.

"The bottom line is we have to improve in everything we do," C's forward Brandon Bass said recently. "Rebounding is included in that."

Here are a few keys to tonight's game as the Celtics (16-17) look to extend their winning streak to three in a row which would tie their season high for consecutive wins this season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Boston's three-point defense has to be on top of its game against a Knicks team that lives by the long ball. New York is averaging league highs in three-pointers made (11.3) and taken (29.2) this season.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Paul Pierce vs. Carmelo Anthony. Two explosive scorers, Pierce's timely scoring and leadership of late has been critical to the Celtics starting to look like the defensive-minded C's of old. And Anthony has been instrumental in New York's ascension this season which has him very much in the thick of league MVP conversations.

PLAYER TO WATCH: J.R. Smith has been among the top backups this season, and should be on everyone's short list for the league's Sixth Man of the Year award. He's averaging a career-high 16.7 points per game and has had 20 or more points in five of New York's last six games.

STAT TO TRACK: Boston's pressure defense needs to do what few teams have done against New York this season -- force them into turning the ball over. The Knicks are averaging a league-low 11 turnovers per game. Meanwhile the C's are forcing 15.8 turnovers per game which ranks fifth in the league. In Boston's last two games, C's opponents averaged 20 turnovers per game.

Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

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Gerald Green's injury may give others a shot a Celtics camp

WALTHAM, Mass. – Gerald Green’s hip flexor injury isn’t anything he or the Celtics are overly concerned about.

They know Green as well as any player on this roster, so him missing a couple days will have no effect on his status in their eyes.

But in shutting him down for a couple days, his absence affords a number of players an opportunity to stand up in what is an absolutely pivotal, potentially career-altering season.

James Young is in his third training camp with the Celtics and no one has a real feel for where he fits into the pantheon of NBA players.

He hasn’t played enough to call him a bust, but hasn’t done enough to feel as though he has a bright future in this league either.

And then there’s R.J. Hunter, who came into the NBA with the reputation of being a spot-on shooter.

As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard struggled knocking down shots when he got playing which for most of the season, was limited.

So, what does that have to do with Green’s injury?

His absence means those two players will get more reps on the floor, providing each with potentially more chances to impress the coaching staff.

It means Young will get a few more shots at showing the added strength, weight and improved skills will enhance his chances to not just make the 15-man roster but also compete for potential minutes.

As for Hunter, he has to make shots.

It’s that simple.

While he showed potential as a rookie to do a number of things on the floor, the easiest way for him to solidify a spot on the roster is to do what he does best which is make baskets.

At the end of the day, one of these guys will not be in a Celtics uniform this season. Between now and then, every opportunity they get to impress the coaches has to be taken advantage of which is exactly what they each will get courtesy of Green’s short-term injury.

 

 

Brady Facebook post offers chance to hang with TB12, Damon and Affleck

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Brady Facebook post offers chance to hang with TB12, Damon and Affleck

Pizza and beer with Tom, Ben, Matt and you?

In Tom Brady’s latest Facebook post, three of Boston’s biggest celebrities are teaming up in a contest that gives a lucky fan a chance to hang out, drink and chow down with the Patriots quarterback and his buddies, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Here’s the video, in which, among other things, the movie stars argue who Brady likes more.

For the record, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (listed in no particular order) do NOT pay me to be their friend.... 😶 All jokes aside, we'd really love for you to hang with us in Boston (flights and hotel are on us)! Donate to a great cause and get a chance to share some beer and pizza with us: http://bit.ly/You-Us-Boston-Hangout

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fans have to make a donation that benefits Brady’s TB12 Foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiative and Water.org. The more money you donate the better your chances are of winning.