On Tuesday, New York will try and extend its win streak to five games against the Boston Celtics, who have lost four in a row.
The Celtics will be without Kevin Garnett for the next two weeks, and the Knicks could be without center Tyson Chandler. On defense, the Celtics have been more than 7.0 points per 100 possessions worse without Garnett; the Knicks have been slightly better without Chandler (+1.3 points per 100 possessions on defense when he’s off the court).
Although the Knicks, at least statistically, are better without Chandler, their interior defense has struggled without him. In the past six games -- all without Chandler -- the Knicks have allowed opponents to shoot 70.0 percent inside five feet. Before Chandler’s injury, the Knicks allowed opponents to shoot 60.3 percent on those attempts, which is slightly above league average.
Highest Points in Paint Differential
Celtics by Opponent This Season
Chandler’s absence could be even more beneficial to the Celtics because they are one of only five teams this season that has outscored the Knicks inside the paint. In two games against the Knicks, the Celtics have averaged 45.0 points in the paint -- and Chandler played at least 40 minutes in both games. The 45.0 points in the paint is Boston’s third-highest average against one opponent.
The Celtics obviously will miss Garnett on both ends of the floor. Specifically on offense, Garnett has been the Celtics go-to guy in pick-and-roll sets. Garnett has scored 217 points from pick-and-roll screeners, the eighth-most points in the NBA this season. A distant second on the Celtics is Brandon Bass with 82 points.