New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Game 43: January 18, 2017
Knicks 117, Celtics 106
After the heartbreaking loss on Monday against the Hawks, The Knicks had another tough Eastern Conference test in Boston tonight against the Celtics. The Knicks played just as hard as they did in the last game, if not harder, and came away with an excellent road win, 117-106.
Kyle O’Quinn was inserted into the starting lineup, but it was Willy Hernangomez who was the story in this one, as he came off the bench and scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Derrick Rose led the way for the Knicks and matched his season high with 30 points. Mindaugus Kuzminskas had his second straight solid game since being put into the starting lineup, and finished this one with 17 points. Isaiah Thomas was a monster as usual, and paced the Celtics with 39 points.
If you had told me before the game that Isaiah would score 39 points and the Knicks would still win by double digits, I would’ve told you that you know nothing about basketball. However, these New York Knicks really showed up tonight and took it to the Celtics from the start. They took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. A scrappy Celtics team was continuously outhustled by the Knicks, as they were outrebounded 57-33. The Knick reserve big men crew of Marshall Plumlee and Hernangomez were on a rebounding mission, as well as Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee, who had 10 and 8 rebounds, respectively.
The Knicks were just better in every sense than the Celtics tonight, plain and simple. Even on an off night from Carmelo Anthony, they still got enough contributions from other players to put this one away. Guys like Kuzminskas, Hernangomez, Rose, whoever, everyone came to play in Boston tonight. Not only that, it seemed like the players on the bench were actually enjoying themselves tonight. I mean, I get that it’s easy to enjoy yourself when you win, but I feel like I haven’t seen guys smiling on the bench in weeks. Could this be the wakeup call these guys needed?
It can only get better once Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah, and Lance Thomas, all players who get key minutes on this team, get healthy, most notably KP. I’ve missed seeing our good buddy Kristaps out there on the court, and seeing him dressed in uniform tonight was a good sign.
Hopefully, he’ll be back and healthy by the start of next week’s games.
I’m way too optimistic right now, but this could be the spark the Knicks needed to maybe get this season back on track. The way the team defended and rebounded tonight showed that they are capable of hanging with the better teams in this league. Boston is legit, and the Knicks hung with them all night and out them away in the fourth quarter. This team is only going to get healthier as the days roll along, and that can only be a good thing for the Knicks.
The Knicks come right back tomorrow night against John Wall, Bradley Beal, and the Washington Wizards at the Garden tomorrow night at 8 pm. I’ll also be joining the Knicks and Wizards from section 226, as I’ll be attending my first Knick game since 2013. Kenyon Martin and Iman Shumpert were in the starting lineup for the Knicks that night, so it really has been a while. Hopefully the Knicks carry the momentum from this game into tomorrow night and start a little win streak. 19-24.