The Boston Celtics travel to New York for a Sunday matinee (12:00pm EST) against the New York Knicks. Suddenly, Atlantic Division games have grown in importance given the Knicks struggles and their desperation to push themselves back into the playoff race. No team in the Atlantic Division will be out of the race for quite some time given the poor records, making every game important.
The Celtics sit atop the pile of manure that is the Atlantic Division right now, four games ahead of the Knicks. The Knicks come into the game riding a little hot streak, winning their last two games by a total of 234-166. They blew out both the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic. In those two wins, Carmelo Anthony shot the ball a total of 22 times in 61 minutes. Anthony has been averaging 22 per game this season, so that is a staggering stat considering the amount of points the team scored.
Anthony has been outspoken about the state of the Knicks, saying they were a "laughingstock" and were "playing to lose." Obviously, two blowout wins does not mean Anthony is suddenly sharing the balll. Maybe he was shooting the ball less because it was a blow-out or maybe he realizes he needs to pass the ball for the team to win games. It's probably the first theory, but maybe not. Sunday will be another litmus test.
The Celtics come in having won five of their last seven games. Both the Knicks and the Celtics have December schedules that could potentially generate a lot of wins, meaning both teams will be trying to continue their postive starts to the month also set the tone for their season series, which has been entertaining the past few years.
The Knicks and Celtics play twice in the next six days, facing off again on December 13 in Boston. Meaning two wins by either team will alter the face of the division for the near future. If the Celtics can stretch their lead over the Knicks from four to six games in the next week it could make it even tougher for Mike Woodson to keep his job in New York. He's already on thin ice, another bad week could spell his doom.
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