Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

Knicks 102, Celtics 93: This didn't feel quite right

Rob Bradford
December 22, 2017 - 12:20 am

You could say this was a product of having no Jaylen Brown, who was sidelined with an Achilles ailment. And playing without Marcus Morris (knee) certainly didn't help matters. But even with the built-in excuses, the Celtics' 102-93 loss to the Knicks only added to what is becoming a slightly uneasy feeling. (For a complete recap, click here.)

This was a Celtics team that lost its second game in as many nights, with their opponent's best player -- Kristaps Porzingis -- scoring one point on 0-for-11 shooting from the field. Not good.

All of a sudden, the C's have as many losses as the Cavaliers (9), and one more than Toronto. They are just 5-5 in their last 10, with the prospects of having to deal with the reemergence of Cleveland's Isaiah Thomas within the next couple of weeks.

The loss to the Knicks, who are actually the best home team in the NBA (15-5), offered that Kyrie Irving-and-not-much else vibe the Celtics thought they left behind after last season. 

While Irving was doing his thing, scoring 32 points, Brad Stevens' club really didn't have many other answers. Jayson Tatum did rebound for a two-point first half by finishing with 17, but was too little, too late. Without Brown, watching the combination of Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier go for a combined 4-for-17 from the floor put the nail in the visitors' coffin.

They got out-shot (45-38 percent from the floor), out-rebounded (49-35) and simply out-played.

There hasn't been a whole lot of that this season, until the last few weeks, anyway.

JBL Audio Stat of the Game: The Knicks got 56 points from their bench, compared to 46 from their starters.


 JBL is the Official Sound of Jayson Tatum, The Boston Celtics, and the NBA.





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