New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics: Kristaps Porzingis out, Ron Baker starting
Dec 25, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) takes a shot over Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) Boston Celtics during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are without Kristaps Porzingis for the fourth straight game, and Jeff Hornacek is sticking with Ron Baker as a starter.

  • New York Knicks (18-24)
  • Boston Celtics (26-15)
  • TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. ET

The New York Knicks will be short-handed when they face their division rival Boston Celtics for the third time in four meetings this season. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Kristaps Porzingis (sore Achilles) is out for his fourth straight game. Boston won the first two matchups so a triumphant return from Porzingis would’ve been nice for the revenge effort.

Berman also reports that head coach Jeff Hornacek liked what he saw from his new starting lineup in the team’s Monday loss to the Hawks. Hornacek will be sticking with Ron Baker in the starting lineup. Courtney Lee will continue to come off the bench.

After his “Dumb and Dumber” Instagram post, Lee has assured the media that everything is fine.

Lee told Berman that despite the fact that he and Hornacek haven’t talked since the Instagram foul-up they’re good. The veteran is fine coming off the bench again.

“My role is the same. He just wanted shake things up a bit. We’re in desperation mode. We need to get a win. I’ll try to help second unit as much as possible. If that gets us a win, I’m all for it.”

That’s good news.

Key Matchup

In the latest All-Star game voting results, Isaiah Thomas is fourth. He’s a lock to be on the roster, but a case can be made that he deserves to be a starter. Thomas is averaging 28.4 points and 6.1 assists on a .459/.383/.907 slash line.

Derrick Rose was torched on Monday night by Dennis Schroder. The Atlanta Hawks point guard scored 28 points on 13-16 shooting. The former MVP will have his hands full Wednesday with another speedy cover.

Key Stat

New York’s struggles guarding the three-point line are well-documented. They’re 14th in opponents three-point percentage this season, but during their last ten opponents have shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. For context, if the Knicks surrendered that percentage during their first 42 games they’d be ranked 29th in the NBA.

Boston is third in the league in three-point makes and fourth in takes. They’re also seventh in three-point percentage. The Celtics have seven players who averaged over 35 percent from downtown. That’s including Jae Crowder who’s in the top-ten in percentage, making a remarkable 42.6 percent of his attempts.

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.