The Knicks (38-27) are going for their ninth straight win against the Celtics (45-19) at TD Garden in Boston.
New York is coming off quite the electric win against the Miami Heat in Miami on Friday night, where Julius Randle hit a difficult three-point shot with 0.7 seconds left in regulation to push the Knicks over the Heat.
With a few key Celtics listed as questionable and out for tomorrow’s matchup, let’s look at some keys to the game for the Knicks in enemy territory:
Mitchell Robinson set for success
It appears that Mitchell Robinson will be getting a lighter matchup tomorrow in the paint, with Celtics center Robert Williams III listed as out with a left hamstring strain. With this news, Robinson should be able to thrive as Boston’s bigs are not necessarily their strongest trait.
In the last contest between these two teams, Robinson had an impressive 13 rebounds and 10 points, and he has only been sustaining his success since returning from injury. Look to the self-proclaimed best center in New York to have another big game.
Defending Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown was out for Boston’s last game against New York, and he is an elite scorer on the floor alongside Jayson Tatum. With him now back, the Knicks will have to adjust their defensive schemes to not only focus on Tatum but Brown as well.
Brown excels anywhere on the floor, so we might see a lot of both Quentin Grimes and Josh Hart trading duties defending him. Their combined ability to defend anywhere on the floor should help to keep him from completely exploding on offense.
Movin’ on up
New York is now just one game back from the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, while Boston has been struggling as of late to maintain their top standing in the East, after the Knicks knocked them out of the one-seed last week. The Milwaukee Bucks were also streaking, but they lost last Saturday night to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks now hold the longest win streak in the league. So, the Celtics really need to keep winning if they want to stay atop the East alongside the Bucks.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are comfortably floating between the fourth and fifth seeds, and have one of the easiest schedules left in the conference. They have a good chance of moving to the fourth seed once again and gaining home-court advantage over their playoff opponent in the first round.
As mentioned above, Williams III is out for tomorrow while Malcolm Brogdon is questionable for the Celtics. For the Knicks, Jalen Brunson is questionable with a sore left foot.
The game will tip off at 7:30 pm on ESPN.