Written by William Lee
This is fucking depressing…..
The New York Knicks Friday night looked to take revenge on their Boston Celtic Atlantic Division rival for the Sunday matinee beating. With the 41 point lost fresh in the memory, the Knicks did not lack effort this night. Jared Sullinger got it started for the Celtics destroying Andrea Bargnani in the post, going a perfect 3/3 in the opening period for eight points. Carmelo Anthony kept the Knicks in the game scoring double digits in the first quarter. Courtney Lee in three minute of play in the first quarter, scored eight points, making two very difficult threes, both with the shot clock winding down, including a buzzer beater to end the first quarter, giving Boston a 29-26 lead.
New York could not play defense without fouling in the second quarter, sending Celtics to the free throw line on the first three Boston possessions to start the period. This sparked a 16-2 run to begin the quarter for the Celtics, giving Boston a 45-28 lead. The Knicks were over the foul limit with 8:04 remaining in the second quarter due to poor defense, and Sullinger’s continued dominance in the post, adding nine more points in the quarter. The Celtics though did not take advantage of this fact, going to the line only twice for the rest of the quarter. Carmelo Anthony carried the Knicks to the end of the first half, leading New York on a 13-3 run to end the period. Anthony was single handedly responsible for 11points during the run, scoring nine points, working it in the post and handing out an assist to Bargnani for a layup. This cut into the deficit to six, with the Celtics leading 54-48 after the first half.
The Knicks would complete their comeback from the 17 point deficit, clawing back to a score of 59-59 with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter. The Knicks would go on an 8-2 run behind a combination of pick and rolls (Anthony and Stoudemire) and pick and pop (Prigioni and Bargnani) plays to take a 69-62 Knicks’ lead with 3:10 left in the third quarter. The Knicks shut down the Celtics in the third quarter, forcing 12 missed field goals and four turnovers in the period. With the Knicks moving the ball around effectively and running plays the Knicks would take a 73-68 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Kenyon Martin left the game and never returned with a strained abdominal muscle with 8:57 in the fourth quarter. With the Knicks losing their best interior defender, the Celtics went on a 13-2 run, to tie the game up at 81-81 with 4:28 remaining in the game. Carmelo Anthony would briefly end the Celtics’ run, giving the Knicks the lead with an and one layup on the next possession. Though the Knicks could not get any defensive stops without Kenyon Martin, highlighted by a Vitor Faverani layup that capped a Celtics 7-0 run, to take an 88-84 Celtic lead with 1:07 remaining in the game. Andrea Bargnani would get the Knicks within one possession knocking down a jump shot on the ensuing possession, 88-86. The Knicks had another chance, and all they needed was one defensive stop. But again could not get a defensive stop, as the Knicks watched Jeff Green plow through JR Smith for what would be the game winning layup with 9.5 seconds left in the game. The Celtics increased their division lead on the Knicks Friday night, winning 90-86.
In the fourth quarter, the Knicks reverted back to isolation Carmelo Anthony basketball, even though the Knicks had great ball movement in the third quarter. The Knicks again stood around and watched Anthony play hero ball, unfortunately he would be the goat on this night, going 1/8 in the final period. The role players need to step up and help contribute, if the Knicks are to have any sort of success this year. Three players scored ¾ of the Knicks points, the rest of the Knicks missed 18 of 25 field goal attempts. 66 of the 86 Knicks’ points came from the frontline of Carmelo Anthony (26 points), Andrea Bargnani (22 points), and Amare Stoudemire (18 points). The Knicks again struggled from with their three point shooting, going 5/21, there needs to be a mentality change. The Knicks are the 12th worse team at shooting the three, at 34.2% entering Friday night’s game. (via NBA.com) Even at the below average clip of success, the Knicks are happy to hoist up the shots from beyond the arc, shooting the third most in the league, at 25.1 three point field goal attempts a game.