After losing four games in a row, the Boston Celtics will host the New York Knicks Tuesday night at the TD Garden without star big man Kevin Garnett. According to The Boston Globe, Garnett could be out for two weeks with an inflamed left ankle.
With rookie Jared Sullinger out for the season with a back injury, the Celtics are already a small team in comparison to the Knicks. Now, with forward Jeff Green likely taking over Garnett’s spot, the Celtics will appear even smaller.
Green will have to handle Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony all by himself, and though Green has had some impressive games recently, he remains rather inconsistent in point scoring and rebounding. During the Celtics’ tough loss to Miami on March 18, he totaled 43 points and seven rebounds, but since he has barely made double digits in points and has made little of an impact rebounding-wise.
On the contrary, Carmelo Anthony is looking as good as ever after sitting out with a right knee injury. On March 22, the forward led his team to a 99-94 win over Toronto with 37 points in 43 minutes. The next night, he totaled 28 points to grab another win from the Raptors.
Against Boston, Melo definitely makes an impact. He averages 24 points, six rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes against the Celtics this season. Jeff Green’s statistics for the last 10 games are good, but not enough to measure up to Carmelo Anthony; he averaged 15.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 33.2 minutes per game. Anthony, on the other hand, is averaging 27.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 37.3 minutes this season.
In past games against New York this season, 6’11’’ Garnett has been the main opponent of Carmelo Anthony. Against the Knicks, Garnett averages 13.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in 35 minutes. Moreover, Garnett has the ability to rattle Anthony verbally, as he demonstrated during Boston’s 102-96 win over New York on January 7.
Nevertheless, the Celtics will have to fare without Garnett for the time being. Coach Doc Rivers said of KG’s injury, “If they give me an option of you can play him every third game or give him two weeks rest, I can tell you right now I am going to say two weeks rest.”
The last time the Celtics met the Knicks, they lost at home 89-86 on January 24 with Garnett on the court. Now, they face New York KG-less, and their ability to overcome their deficiency in size will surely be tested on Tuesday.
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