Rare Division Loss for Celtics

Travis Girolamo

The Boston Celtics were unable to come up with a victory on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks. With 7.3 seconds left in the game, the Celtics had the ball down 104-101. Boston inbounded to Rajon Rondo and were clearly looking to pass to the team’s best shooter Ray Allen. Allen was closely guarded by the Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari and they could not get the ball to him. Rondo then passed to Rasheed Wallace who was in deep 3-point territory but by the time Wallace caught the pass, the game was over.

Gallinari, a 21-year-old Italian player in his second year in the NBA, scored a game-high 31 points on 10 of 15 shooting for New York. Knicks Power Forward David Lee averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds in the previous three games against the Celtics this season but was held to only 13 points and 11 rebounds in last night’s game at Madison Square Garden. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 17 points.

Since Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett joined the team in 2007-2008 season, the Celtics were 21-1 against division opponents on the road. Until last night, Boston had won twelve straight road games versus teams in their division. Their last loss was January 4th, 2009, coincidently, in New York against the Knicks. Before last night, the Celtics were in a three-way tie with the Cavs and Lakers with the best record against their respected divisions. Boston still has a dominating record of 12-3 against teams in the Atlantic Division.

With this loss to the Knicks, the Celtics fall to 48-29. They have lost four out of their last five games and have really struggled in those games. This is the time of the year when the Celtics are supposed to be playing their best basketball as they head into the playoffs. With five games left in the regular season, the Celtics will look to end on a high note. Boston remains one game behind the third place Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference. Passing Atlanta in the final five games of the season would give the Celtics a slightly easier opponent in the first round of the playoffs and they would avoid playing the number one seeded Cavs in the second round if both teams win their first round games.

The 28-49 New York Knicks are only playing for pride now because there is no way they can make the playoffs this season. The Celtics will look to bounce back on Wednesday night in Toronto when they take on the Raptors. Toronto will likely be missing star player Chris Bosh who was taken to the hospital last night after being elbowed in the face.