Time For The Knicks To Shut Up And Play The Game
Oh I sensed it going into yesterdays show ( Game On with Bruce Jacobs- 4-7 P.M. 1045 ESPN Radio) that the Knicks, many fans, and even much of the media had the Celtics buried and the Knicks moving onto round 2 of the eastern conference playoffs. Now that the party has been put off can we get some perspective here.
The Boston Celtics are a proud franchise with 3 great players and others who had done little and were bound to make a contribution. All that happened Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden and the Celts beat the Knicks 92-86 forcing a game 6 back in Boston Friday night.
I tried to warn mouthy Knick fans who were feeling all fat and happy that this series, against this opponent is not over-and that was after New York went up 3 games to nothing. Oh Knick fan starting calling for a blowout and that sort. I scoffed. Still am. Hello this is Kevin Garnett, a basketball warrior. Paul Pierce,grizzled future hall of famer. Jason Terry, who has had a tremendous career while also winning a title in Dallas. These guys don't roll over. Instead some Knick or a few Knicks hatched this absurd idea to show up at the Garden in black suits, ready for a funeral, the Celtics funeral. Hold off on the wake ok fellas!
You will hear about the shooting numbers all day. The national media will harp on Carmelo Anthony and his poor shooting, and J.R. Smith whose elbow to the chops of Terry during game 3 may have cost the Knicks game 4 and a sweep. Even he admitted so. The pile on public will cling to a talking point or 2 as they usually do. But the biggest problem with the Knicks the way I see it is their 'comfort level."
The most glaring number to me is Kevin Garnett's 18 rebounds in game 5. Seriously? Where is Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin?
Or how about Brandon Bass and Jeff Green coming alive. Bass scored 17. Green had 18. Meantime it was a race to see who could score 1st, J.R. Smith or the NY Islanders. Both were stuck on 0 until Smith finally hit a 3, then another to keep the Knicks in it. The Islanders were shutout by the way in game 1 of the NHL's eastern conference quarter finals by Pittsburgh so Smith can feel good about outscoring them.
Back to this absurd idea of wearing Black to the game by Knicks players. Not sure who hatched this terrible idea but funny afterward no Knick wanted to talk about that. Good thing what is there to say.
Now having said all this I still like the Knicks to win the series, be it in 6 or 7 games. they are the better team, their core players younger, and Anthony is bound to shake off the 2 game slump he is in. But for now the Knicks have been humbled. I hope. When you haven't won a playoff series since Moses roamed the earth or so it seems talking smack against a great and valiant opponent is not wise. In fact it is flat out stupid.
Also it is time for coach Mike Woodson to buck up. He went away from his regular season substitution and warrant the best players with time while those who were slumping the pine. I speak of Pablo Prigioni mostly. He was aggressive early although scoring only 3 points but was effective on the defensive end. With him in the game the Knicks did take an early 11-0 lead before the Celts righted the ship. Why J.R. Smith had to play so many ineffective minutes is beyond me. Woodson has been an underachiever in the playoffs. It's time to achieve by closing the mouth and playing ball.
You can take this to the bank-The Celtics are not going away easy. You have to beat them and then beat them a bit more ON THE COURT, not in the quotes and pre-game yapping.