New York Knicks

The New York Knicks lost their final preseason game last night to the Boston Celtics, but the real causality was guard Arron Afflalo.

By Chip Murphy

The New York Knicks just beat the Boston Celtics on Friday, Oct. 16, 101-95. Regardless of whether it was the preseason or not, Boston did not want to lose to their division rival again.

The Celtics came out playing regular season basketball last night at home. Celtics forward Jae Crowder locked Carmelo Anthony up the whole game as he shot just 4-of-18 and finished with 8-points. Still, It wasn’t all bad for New York.

Derrick Williams play well again, scoring 14 points. Jose Calderon was extremely aggressive scoring 17 points and coming right out of the gate ready to shoot threes.
Kristaps Porzingis bounced back from a terrible first quarter where he committed 3 fouls in the first five minutes to have a great game on the boards. It was a good sign to see the rookie do something else well. His shot didn’t look great, but he didn’t have the highlight of the night.

Their defense was a problem. As one might imagine they had trouble guarding Marcus Smart. He was doing whatever he wanted out there. Smart and Evan Turner were getting into the paint at will, in the first half particularly. Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger were given way to many open looks, which cost the Knicks.

The Celtics won 99-85 and minus the Knicks’ third quarter run, were in control throughout.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, that wasn’t even the worst news of the night. Projected starting shooting guard and new acquisition Arron Afflalo left the game in the third quarter after re-injuring his hamstring. Afflalo missed almost of all training camp then the first three preseason games before playing sparingly in games four and five.

Derek Fisher said he was going to stretch his starters minutes last night to get them in shape for the regular season opener, including Afflalo. This is not a good sign. ESPN New York’s Ian Begley tweeted some even more ominous details.

Afflalo was a marquee free agent signing for the Knicks. He was expected to come in and be the second scorer alongside Anthony. They have history together as teammates in Denver.

Now Afflalo’s status for the season opener is up in the air, with lingering questions about his long-term health. Head coach Derek Fisher didn’t have much to say about the injury yet, via Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“We’ll see over the next couple of days what his body tells us and we’ll go from there. We can’t overanalyze something we don’t understand yet. We’ll figure out what the program is and what the treatment plan is and then we can kind of decide whether we should be concerned.”

For now we can only wait. Next Wednesday’s opener at Milwaukee should bring a different level of play out of the Knicks. Hopefully we get good news about Arron Afflalo long before then.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.