The Boston Celtics are coming off a huge 124-97 win and will now face the New York Knicks at home on Sunday afternoon. The NBA’s stricter COVID-19 protocols prevented the Celtics from fielding a more complete roster but they had enough bodies to subdue the Orlando Magic on Friday. Several Celtics players missed the game including All-Star forward Jayson Tatum.
As the Knicks arrive on Boston's home floor, the Celtics will have all the momentum from winning five consecutive games.
The Knicks’ fortunes have been quite different from the Celtics’. A 106-103 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday left the Knicks reeling and they are now on a 5-game losing streak.
New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics Injury Updates
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks will be without Frank Ntilikina who is out with a knee injury. He is not expected to be back until next week at the earliest.
Alec Burks has been out for a few weeks but is now listed as day-to-day. Burks has a sprained ankle which has limited him to only three games this season. With Burks out, Immanuel Quickley and Austin Rivers have been providing some much-needed scoring punch to the New York Knicks’ backcourt.
Kemba Walker, who has not played a single game this season, will not see time on the court for the Boston Celtics just yet. The veteran guard won’t be available to play but he has been cleared for practice.
“He’s been able to continue to do his rehab in one-on-one settings,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said after Thursday’s practice. “And his strengthening has gone fantastic. He’s put in a ton of work.”
Jayson Tatum, Carsen Edwards, Robert Williams III are expected to be out for the next few games due to the league’s health and safety protocols. As the time of writing, however, the Boston Celtics have yet to confirm that all three players are unavailable for tonight’s ballgame.
New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics Predicted Lineups
The New York Knicks will have most of their players available for the game and the starting lineup will be intact. R.J. Barrett continues to see time as a starter despite his struggles shooting from almost everywhere on the court.
He appears to have turned the corner the past two games though, averaging 20 points during that span, so there is hope that he will break out of his sophomore slump.
As the Boston Celtics try to cope with the league’s safety measures, Jaylen Brown will have to carry the team on his back until Jayson Tatum and the rest return next week. Grant Williams will take Tatum’s place in the forward position while Jeff Teague continues to keep the seat warm for the eventual return of Kemba Walker.
New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics Predicted Starting 5s
New York Knicks:
G Elfrid Payton G R.J. Barrett F Reggie Bullock F Julius Randle C Mitchell Robinson
G Jeff Teague G Marcus Smart F Jaylen Brown F Grant Williams C Tristan Thompson