New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics 12/18/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (12/18/21)

Boston will host the New York Knicks at TD Garden for the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics had to play the Golden State Warriors the night before, which is always a tall task in itself. While the Knicks are not half the team they were last year, the C’s will probably still be tired from the night before. Luckily for Boston, it has returned All-Star guard Jaylen Brown into the lineup. Brown has missed a significant portion of the season due to a lingering hamstring injury. However, the Celtics did run into some bad luck recently, with Al Horford and Grant Williams forced to enter the health and safety protocols. This puts a massive dent in the frontcourt depth of the C’s, which could give them trouble against Julius Randle and the New York Knicks. Boston’s big man, Robert Williams, will have a ton of responsibility in the meantime, and hopefully, he can produce for them on both ends.

Meanwhile, New York still has plenty of problems of its own. The Knicks will probably be without R.J. Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, Immanuel Quickley, and possibly, Derrick Rose. Additionally, Alec Burks began to get starts instead of Kemba Walker a few weeks ago, but has struggled at times. While he began to post some solid numbers, he has since become wildly inconsistent. Burks has shot a combined 6-for-32 from the field in his past three games, a whopping 18.75%. The Knicks have to get better guard play, or they will be destined for mediocrity this season.

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

I am probably putting too much faith in the Boston Celtics, but I see them covering the spread in this matchup. New York has had terrible guard play all year long and now has to dive deeper into its depth chart due to several players being in the health and safety protocol. Meanwhile, Boston has Jayson Tatum playing fantastic basketball and Jaylen Brown back from a hamstring injury. If the line is around -4 or so, I will be all over the Celtics. Even though this is a rivalry game, I don’t see it close.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/18/21
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Channel: NBA League Pass

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New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Miles McBride
SG: Alec Burks
SF: Evan Fournier
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks Analysis

The New York Knicks are yet another team ravaged by COVID and the health and safety protocols. They will have a substantial number of players out for this game unless they can clear the protocols tomorrow. The story of this season has been similar to last season: poor guard play. New York cannot seem to get strong play from its guards even when bringing in two experienced, talented players this off-season in Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. Now, Walker is not even in the rotation, and Fournier’s impact is minimal at best. This will be a rough patch for New York, and I don’t anticipate that it will be close unless there is a massive game from Julius Randle.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Robert Williams

Boston Celtics Analysis

The story all season long with Boston is its poor shooting. The Celtics struggle to score consistently, ranking 24th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and 23rd in 3P% (three-point percentage). Luckily for them, New York has been merely average defensively this season, ranking 21st in defensive efficiency. The importance of returning Jaylen Brown to the starting lineup cannot be understated. As long as the ball moves and does not get stuck too often with Brown and Tatum, this game should be pretty straightforward for Boston. If the C’s can sprinkle in some three-pointers as well, then it could end up being a double-digit win.

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Daily Fantasy Picks

On all accounts, Julius Randle is not having as effective of a year as he did in 2020-21; however, he is still a fantastic basketball player. Randle averages shy of 20 points, ten boards, and five assists per game on the season points, ten re. He has shown signs of brilliance throughout the season, but timing up his huge games is a challenge. A few days ago, Randle dropped 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals against the Golden State Warriors, who have the best defense in the NBA. These are the kind of games that many expected Randle to have regularly, but this season has just been a loss for the Knicks in general. Another thing to consider is that this is a rivalry game, and Randle will surely get up for it. I can see Randle putting together a strong game in this one, especially since the Celtics will likely be without Grant Williams and Al Horford to the COVID protocol.

Robert Williams will get plenty of tick on Saturday against the New York Knicks. With Grant Williams and Al Horford likely out for the game due to the COVID protocol, Williams should see the floor for about 30 minutes, which is quite a bit more than what he has been playing recently. Still, he has averaged nine points, five rebounds, and two blocks in his past seven games while merely playing 21 minutes. If he gets close to 30 minutes, I could see Williams putting up 15 points and eight or nine rebounds, which could make him worthy of being on your bench in DFS. Keep an eye on the injury report and make sure that Boston does not lose anyone else to the health and safety protocols, though.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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