New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics: Players with Most to Prove in Preseason Game

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2012

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 21:  Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics poses for a portrait during the 2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot at the MSG Training Center on August 21, 2012 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Although wins and losses do not matter in the preseason, the games are still important.

Players spend this time attempting to earn roster spots and playing time for later in the season. The way they perform now is certain to affect the in-season rotations.

To make things better, the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks have an intense history between them and the men on the court will play hard regardless of the situation.

For a few players, this game is even more important as they have a lot to prove before the regular season.


Raymond Felton, PG, New York Knicks

Felton does not have an enviable job this season. He needs to make sure he evenly distributes the ball to all of the veteran talent on the team, make the fans forget about Jeremy Lin and do it all better than future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd.

He had the best year of his career with the Knicks two years ago with 17.1 points and nine assists per game. This year, he will not need to score much, but he needs to make sure he has a solid assist-to-turnover ratio.

Against the Celtics, he must prove he can handle point guard duties against one of the better defensive teams in the NBA.


Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics

Although the Celtics do not seem intent on having a true center in the starting lineup, there is an interesting battle brewing between Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger for a spot in the frontcourt.

Sullinger scored 16 points in 26 minutes in the first preseason game, but both his production and playing time dropped in the second game. The team knows what it has in Bass. He is a seven-year veteran who was successful last year in his first time averaging over 30 minutes per game.  

In order to earn more minutes, Sullinger has to show he can be productive on both sides of the floor.


Courtney Lee, SG, Boston Celtics

Lee will not be able to completely replace Ray Allen this year, but the former Houston Rocket can come close.

He has averaged 10 points per game in his career and made more than 40 percent of his three-point attempts in three of his four seasons.

The guard has some competition at his position with Jason Terry on the roster, but Lee should be given a fair chance to prove he can be a go-to scorer for this team.