Knicks look to continue win streak in date with Celtics

julius randle, knicks
Feb 25, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) goes for a dunk in the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks will look to extend their five-game winning streak to six Monday when they take on the East’s top-seeded Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden.

These two teams will play each other twice in the next four games. They have already played two games against one another this season, with both teams 1-1 in the season series.

Monday is a huge night for the Knicks, as their recent winning streak has put the team on the map as a team that needs to be taken more seriously. A battle with one of the league’s best is a true test as to whether or not they are a legit threat in the playoffs.

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The Knicks will catch a break, as Celtics won’t have Jaylen Brown:

The Knicks will catch a big break Monday, as star guard Jaylen Brown is out for personal reasons. However, they will still have to deal with MVP candidate Jayson Tatum.

Tatum, who is averaging 30/8/4 on 46%/35% shooting splits this season, has had a rough two games out of the All-Star break, as he is shooting just 38% from the field (16-42) in the first two games back. However, Tatum knocked down the game-winning three-pointer against the 76ers on Saturday, so there’s a strong possibility that momentum carries over into Monday.

With Brown out, the Knicks have to take advantage and not let Tatum get hot. Josh Hart may see some additional minutes to match up better with Tatum.

Julius Randle needs to have a big game:

In the last matchup between these two teams, Knicks star forward Julius Randle went off for 37 points and nine rebounds en route to a thrilling overtime road victory. Another game like that could be the catalyst to win Monday’s game.

Randle has been sensational since the calendar flipped to 2023, as he is averaging 26/11/4 on 45%/34% shooting splits in 25 games since Jan. 2. Surely, he is in line to have yet another monster performance, which would be more significant against a juggernaut like Boston.

The Knicks have no players listed on the injury report. Everyone is good to go. For the Celtics, Brown (personal reasons) is out, Danillo Gallinari (torn ACL) is out, and Derrick White (right ankle sprain) is probable.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_