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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An overrated team from New York? Now I've heard everything

Now that I'm slightly grown up, I don't want to hate New York. Some of my best friends hail from the metropolitan area along with dear family members. Still, New York's pro franchises and fans often make it too easy to make fun of them.

Since the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony, we were told how New York was now on the fast track to the title. Much like the championship-on-paper Miami Heat. How's that going?

In a possible playoff preview before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden, the Boston Celtics (50-19, 4th straight 50+ win season) erased a 15-point deficit (for the second straight game) and beat the Knicks 96-86.

More blood was shed in this game alone than a pay per view at the old ECW arena. Ray Allen, Carmelo and Troy Murphy were all left bloodied on the court and nary a blade was in sight.

Behind Mike Dantoni, the Knicks (35-35) play absolutely positively no defense and they have no depth, so tell me again why they're dangerous?

Under Melo, they're off to a great 7-9 start. Well at least LaLa gets to sit courtside with Whoopi Goldberg, that's what this is all about.

Kevin Garnett was the best player on the star-studded court with a game-high 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Paul Pierce added 21 points, Allen scored 15 and Rajon Rondo had his first solid game in weeks with 13 points and 12 assists. Glen Davis was nice off the bench with eight points and nine rebounds.

Carmelo had 22 points but only five in the second half, indicative of the front-running joker that he is. When the going gets tough, you can always count on him to whine to the refs and turtle. I could say most of the same charges against Amare Stoudemire (16 points, 11 rebounds) as well. Chauncey Billups (21 points) is the only clutch player wearing a Knicks uniform but he can't carry a team at this stage in his long NBA journey. Ronny Turiaf was the only other New York player in double figures with 11 points and four blocks.

If one half of a regular season NBA game could better encapsulate a fraud team and fan base, these eyes haven't seen it. New York led 25-22 after the first quarter and 51-37 at the half. It was a perfect time for Spike Lee and the assorted celebrities to pretend this team is going somewhere this season.

Unfortunately for them, the Celts tightened up things defensively and outscored the Knicks 26-18 in the third and 33-17 in the fourth. Seeing the crowd running out like a fire alarm went off late in the fourth was a beautiful sight.

I'm conflicted about if I want to see the Knicks in the playoffs. Odds are it would happen in the first round. I know the Celtics would beat them (just like they have all three times this season) but it would likely take more of an emotional and physical toll than the no questions asked sweep of the Pacers.

Boston shot 46.3% to New York's 40.5%. The Knicks made six more 3-pointers (7-1) but the Cs pulled down 10 more rebounds (48-38). New York had three more assists (20-17) but Boston had five more steals (11-5) which made up for six more blocks (6-0) for the Knicks. In the most telltale stats, New York committed five more turnovers (13-8), the Celtics had 11 more fast break points (18-7) and 16 more points in the paint (44-28).

The Celtics come home to face the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night. It will be Tony Allen's first return to the TD Garden in another uniform so it's sure to be sold out and the lead on Sportscenter.

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