Here are a few things to keep an eye on during the Knicks-Celtics game.
DEFENSE RESTS? The Celtics shot a blistering 56 percent from the field and 54 percent (14-for-25) from beyond the arc in their 41-point win at Madison Square Garden last Sunday.
Some Knicks suggested after the game that the Celtics were just making shots and there wasn't much they could do about it. We'll find out tonight if it was a lucky night for Boston or if the Knicks' defense is as bad as it looked.
New York had a tough time defending the perimeter in particular, allowing several open looks from beyond the arc. Jordan Crawford, in particular, took advantage, hitting six of his 12 attempts.
MORE AMAR'E? Amar'e Stoudemire's been on a surprising roll recently. He's scored a total of 46 points over the last three games -- his best three-game total of the season, per STATS LLC.
Stoudemire had 17 points -- including a key jumper late in the fourth quarter -- in the Knicks' win over Chicago on Wednesday. He played his first set of back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It will be interesting to see if Stoudemire is available for both Friday and Saturday's games. The Knicks have been taking a cautious approach with Stoudemire to protect his oft-injured knees.
WHAT'S UP WITH JR? Smith has struggled mightily so far this season. Can he break out tonight against Boston?
Entering play Friday, Smith is scoring just 11 points on 34 percent shooting. Last season, he averaged 18 points on 42 percent shooting.
Mike Woodson said Smith may be playing in pain for the rest of the season as a result of the knee surgery he underwent over the summer.
This is something to monitor on Friday and as the season progresses.
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