The Celtics were winners of 5 straight and the Knicks were losers of 5 straight. Logically, you would assume that the Celtics would win this game with ease. That was not even remotely close to what happened. The game started off with a wide open Grant Williams layup which he missed, but got bailed out with a foul call. He then proceeds to miss both free throws and that was probably the summary of the game for the Celtics. The Knicks went on to win this game 105-75 in what was arguably the worst performance by a Celtics team in the Brad Stevens era.
Don’t believe me? Check this out.
Kemba Walker made his season debut for the Celtics today and played decent honestly. He finished the game with 9 points on 3-13 shooting (1-8 from 3), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 5 turnovers. Considering he has not played since game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and he had his first practice with the team the other day, that was a solid performance. Jaylen Brown was unarguably the bright spot on offense. He had 25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Everybody else? Yeah, their stats were not pretty. The Celtics shot 29% from the field, 15% from 3 (7-46), missed 11 free throws, and committed 18 turnovers.
Also, they never lead in this game.
On the Knicks side, they shot 47% from the field, 38% from 3, and shot 17-21 from the free throw line. It seemed like the Celtics just did not have an answer for Julius Randle. He finished with 20 points on 7-14 shooting, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. His resurgence this year has honestly been fun to watch after struggling last year. RJ Barrett played good as well. He ended up with a double double (19 points and 11 rebounds). Immanuel Quickley, their first round pick from the 2020 draft, looks like he is going to be a very good player in this league. He had 17 points and 8 assists and he is making a very strong case to start moving forward.
This is a game that the Celtics just need to move on from. The Knicks outhustled and outplayed the Celtics for the full 48 and the Celtics just could not buy a bucket. Do not read too much into this loss. Yes, it is an extremely ugly loss, but in the end it only counts as 1 in the loss column. I fully expect the Celtics to play great basketball when they face the 76ers on Wednesday. Great to have Kemba back though!