Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, the Celtics beat the Knicks 119-107.
In the win, R.J. Hunter led the Celtics with 17 points (6-of-8 shooting), plus two steals in just 12 minutes. Avery Bradley had 17 points (6-of-8), and two steals in 17 minutes. And new addition Al Horford shot 5-of-5, including 2-of-2 three-pointers, for 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 16 minutes.
In the loss, The Knicks were led by 6-foot-8, 216-pound forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 19 minutes of play. Backup center Willy Hernangomez was also solid with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.
It’s preseason, and teams around the league, including Boston and New York, are essentially just warming up, and playing their starters very limited minutes.
Still, observations can be made:
We saw little from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas today. No big deal.
Adding Horford sounded like a good move by Boston this offseason, and it sure looks that way on the court. Through the four preseason games he’s played, the former Atlanta Hawk is averaging 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just 18 minutes per game. And he’s shooting 61.3% FG.
It’ll be interesting to watch Boston’s power forward rotation. The minutes breakdown there will be a compelling coaching decision.
For the Knicks, not having Derrick Rose (currently on trial in California) hurts. Rose has played just one preseason game for his new squad, and looked good. But chemistry development that should have taken place in preseason is now postponed.
But while Rose remains out, Joakim Noah was healthy enough to make his preseason debut. He had five points, five rebounds, an assist and two steals in 19 minutes. He looked rusty, which is to be expected. It’s hard to have a firm opinion on where he’s at just yet.
Kristaps Porzingis is fascinating to watch. As was the case most of last season. Within the first half-quarter of tonight’s game he hit a pair of threes and ran a fast break, which he finished with a bucket. That wound up being most of his production last night — minutes were limited. But he can do amazing things for a young player who stands 7-foot-3.
The Celtics are now 4-1 in preseason. The Knicks are 2-2.