Knicks vs. Celtics Game 1 Thoughts
If Game #1 is any indication of what’s to come in the Knicks/Celtics series, call me an NBA Playoff fan! All I can say is, “Wow.”
Ray Allen hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 12 seconds left as Boston rallied to beat New York 87-85 in Game #1 of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday night.
Here are a few of my observations in the Knicks first playoff game in 7 years.
Was that an offensive foul on Carmelo? Yes, it was a foul. Carmelo locked Paul Pierce’s arm and yanked him. But I don’t think the referees normally make that call with 20 seconds to go in a tight playoff game.
Carmelo Anthony’s shooting woes: Let’s just be honest here – that was a horrible shot by Carmelo in the end but he's their clutch guy though. You live and die with him. It might have been bad shot selection – but the right guy was taking it. 5 of 18 shooting though isn’t very Carmelo-like.
Will the Knicks intensity last? New York played great defense and made Boston work for almost every basket. Can a team that doesn’t normally play great defense on a regular basis continue to put forth the same type of effort night after night?
The Chauncey Billips’ factor: Not having Billips at the end of the game hurt New York badly. Toney Douglas looked rattled bringing the ball up in crunch time. He didn’t have much of a plan and the kick-out to Carmelo Anthony didn’t give Melo many options.
The Celtics are clutch: They might be old and slow but it’s a grizzled group of veterans that know how to get it done at crunch time. I’m not sure too many other teams could have clawed back in the game like the Celtics did. How many clutch shots has Ray Allen made like that in his career? It seems like hundreds.
Amare Stoudemire is a REAL superstar. I don’t just mean he scores a lot of points every night and puts up stats that fantasy geeks love. I’m talking about Amare being a serious clutch player. The Knicks forward had big basket after big basket. He finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics just couldn’t stop him.
Boston’s interior defense has issues: The Knicks really exposed Boston down low as Amare had a field day with Davis and O’Neal. I bet you Danny Ainge wishes he didn’t trade Kendrick Perkins now, huh?
Sinkoff’s 6-Minute Rule: I’ve always said you don’t really need to watch an NBA game until the final 6 minutes. What was the score with 6:00 left? Knicks up by 2. Just sayin’.