Celtics

Garnett: Celtics are 'a force to be reckoned with'

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Garnett: Celtics are 'a force to be reckoned with'

In an interview with Vice Sports, retired NBA star Kevin Garnett said that the Celtics and Cavaliers are set to become must-see TV. 

Garnett, who won the lone NBA title of his career with the Celtics in 2008, said he is impressed by how Boston has responded to the loss of Gordon Hayward in the season opener. The C’s sit first in the Eastern Conference with a 24-6 record, while Cleveland sits second at 20-8. 
 
“When you see how they’ve rallied around Hayward’s injury and been able to put games together, hell yeah they’re gonna be a force to be reckoned with in the end, and I think it’s gonna be Cleveland and Boston in the Conference Finals to be able to dictate who represents the East,” Garnett said of the Celtics. “And I think it’s gonna be one to where it’s unprecedented. And I don’t think we can all guess. I think it’s just gonna be one where we gotta sit back and enjoy it.
 
“But I’m not shocked. I’m very proud because I come from that same pedigree...I like how that team is built up. Obviously the head of the snake is Kyrie, and he’s leading them by example and I love it, and the dynamic seems to be cool, but I love more the progression of the younger guys, having a chance to play in real games, real experiences. No practice will ever give you that, so the fact that they’re growing up before our eyes is something special and I think we all need to have our eyes pinned to the television and to the season, with their progression”

The Cavs beat the C’s in the season opener, which remains the lone meeting between the teams this season. They’ll next face each other Jan. 3 at TD Garden. 

Kyrie's steal leads to bucket for Baynes

Kyrie's steal leads to bucket for Baynes

In the first quarter vs. the Knicks, Kyrie Irving comes up with a steal and finds Aron Baynes in the paint.

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Matching Knicks' intensity key for Celtics tonight

Matching Knicks' intensity key for Celtics tonight

Watch tonight's Celtics-Knicks game on NBC Sports Boston, or stream the game here.

TORONTO – Getting up to play the Toronto Raptors was easy for the Celtics.

Like the Celtics, the Raptors are one of the top teams in the East.

And in their first meeting of the season, the Raptors looked and played the part on Friday in winning, 113-101.

The New York Knicks?

They pose a different kind of challenge being a scrappy squad with lots of youth that, on paper at least, doesn’t have the kind of depth or talent the Celtics possess.

“They got a young team,” said Marcus Morris. “They’re trying to find their way. They’re gonna play hard. We have to go in there and take care of business.”

Indeed, the Celtics know they can’t take the Knicks lightly.

“We have to go in there and get it done,” Morris said. “At the end of the day, they’re NBA players.”

Morris believes the key for Boston tonight at Madison Square Garden will be matching the Knicks’ intensity.

“Once we match their intensity, athletically, physically, fundamentally, we’re better,” he said. “We just have to match their intensity.”

Celtics guard Terry Rozier believes getting off to a good start will play a huge role in avoiding tonight’s game being a down-to-the-wire dogfight.

“Kill them in the first half,” Rozier told NBC Sports Boston, adding that the Celtics need to “set the tone early.”

There were multiple mistakes and miscues that contributed to Boston’s first loss of the season. Still, within that defeat, are lessons that should be learned and can help as early as tonight.

But ultimately, the formula for success for this team is a relatively simple one.

“Come out, play hard, and play Celtics basketball,” Jaylen Brown said.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE