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Even if the Knicks suck, the food at the Garden will be good

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The first phase of the $850 million renovation of Madison Square Garden is just about done and will open when the Rangers start their season soon. It will be ready for the Knicks whenever the NBA gets around to having a season, too.

We don’t know how good the Knicks will be once the season rolls around — they have some guys who can score, but role players and defense remain questions — but we know one thing for sure:

Knicks fans are going to eat well.

Interesting story (at least for us wanna be foodies) in the New York Times detailing the new food options in the renovated Garden.

Sausage Boss by Andrew Carmellini is one of four new concessions that high-end restaurateurs have created to serve mainstream food at the 43-year-old arena. Jean-Georges Vongerichten will offer Simply Chicken, Drew Nieporent will serve up burgers at Daily Burger and Jeremy Marshall of Aquagrill will open Lobster and Shrimp Roll, which pretty much describes his fare.

Also coming will be pastrami, corned beef and knishes from the Carnegie Deli; chopped brisket — and hand-carved prime rib — sandwiches from Hill Country; kosher food from Carlos & Gabby’s; a gluten-free concession; and desserts from Magnolia Bakery.

It’s one of the next wave in arenas — more than just boiled hot dogs and crappy nachos. Real food, with real flavors, and not just for the people sitting in the luxury boxes. Granted, this is a way for the building owners to make more money — it’s always about the money — but this is good for fans.

Well, unless you like crappy nachos.

Going to have to check this out next time I’m in the Garden.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.