Upon their return from the All-Star break, the Knicks beat the Magic 120-113. Despite a difficult first half defensively, the team earned plaudits for how it buckled down in the second half, specifically their young guards.
Between Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay, the team did enough defensively to win. Now, they are focused on the Celtics, which should prove to be a more difficult challenge, specifically with the guards against Kyrie Irving.
"It's going to be challenging like every other game," Ntilikina said, via Fred Kerber of NY Post. "We know that they're offensively very talented so we're going to have to step up and try to limit them."
Ntilikina admits that a player like Irving can't be stopped, only limited. It won't just be up to Ntilikina, though, as the Knicks plan to put different bodies on him all game.
"You cannot really stop a player of [Irving's] talent, but you can limit him and not give him what he wants on each possession and it's going to affect their whole team," Ntilikina said. "That's the mindset we're going to have [Saturday] and with all the point guards we have, we're going to have a lot of options. We're going to exchange our type of defense and go compete."
Ntilikina and the Knicks host Irving and the Celtics on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.