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Thread: Knicks matter again...

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Default Knicks matter again...

    New York Knicks, Amar'e Stoudemire turn back time against Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden

    Mike Lupica
    Thursday, December 16th 2010, 4:00 AM


    Simmons/News
    Amar'e Stoudemire has his way for most of the night against Glen Davis (l.), Marquis Daniels and the Celtics, but Paul Pierce's jumper with .4 seconds (below) sends the Celtics out on top.

    Simmons/News








    They came down the stretch the way they did Wednesday night, into all the noise that kept rolling in from the past, out of the collective memory of the place. And on this night, it wasn't just the Knicks who were back like this, big as they were Wednesday night and big as they have been this season, but the Knicks vs. Celtics was back, too. It was as much a part of the magic of the night as anything else. LeBron and them are here Friday night. It can't be better than what the Garden saw Wednesday night from the Knicks and Celtics. And what it felt. And what it remembered most of all.
    Now, at the very end, after it turned out the basketball night was officially over, there was still one last shot that left Amar'e Stoudemire's hands from the left side, at the Celtics' end of the Garden. Or maybe Larry Johnson's end.
    Paul Pierce, who played a magnificent game for the Celtics, had just ended up with Stoudemire at the other end, then backed off him and made the jumper with .4 left that put Boston ahead by a basket.
    "He was able to get the step-back," Stoudemire said later. "Got the step-back, made the jumper."
    Still the Knicks thought they could win the night. All the big nights this season from Stoudemire, all those games in a row with 30 points. Now he was trying to get past 40 against the Boston Celtics, trying to make one last shot, this one from out on 33rd St. Trying to win the game with a 3.
    The ball went in. And the Garden went mad, happier than it has been in 10 years. It all seemed to happen at once, the ball going through and the buzzer sounding. In that moment, the whole place felt and sounded as it did when the Knicks mattered.
    "Classic," an old adversary of the place, Sam Cassell, would say. "Classic NBA basketball. Classic Madison Square Garden."
    But you can't catch and shoot the way Stoudemire did with .4 left on the clock, you really have to catch and shoot in the same motion. Clearly Stoudemire had not done that, the refs knew it and the Celtics knew it. The call on the court was that the shot was late and the replay said the shot was late. One beat late. Celtics 118, Knicks 116. The Garden on this night had gotten everything except the ending it wanted.
    "A second late," Stoudemire said.
    The ending does not change the fact that the Knicks have made themselves the story of the early season in the NBA, more than the Heat, more than the West. More than the Celtics, who are 20-4 now. The Celtics are a great team. They were not at their best Wednesday night. They beat the Knicks anyway. It is what great teams do.
    But the Knicks are where they are, they have made themselves a team to watch and care about again, because of the way they stood in there Wednesday night against the Celtics. Don't worry, they are a playoff team again. They are going to be around.
    "We take away a lot," Mike D'Antoni said when it was over. "We stood up pretty well."
    Then somebody asked him about the excitement of the night, of the game, of the occasion and he said, "This is what you hope for." He hasn't been around long enough to fully understand just how much.
    The Celtics led this game at 7-5 and did not lead it again until 116-113, did not take the lead back until the Celtics threw it to Ray Allen in the right corner, there at the end of the Knicks' bench, and Allen, who had 26 points, buried a three-pointer. The Knicks don't cover much. But you've got to cover Allen in the corner at 113-all.
    But then the Italian kid came right back. This was Danilo Gallinari's shining moment as a Knick Wednesday night. The kid got shut out in the first half and did not look to be up to the circumstances, or the occasion. But he scored 20 in the second half against the Celtics. He threw down amazing dunks, one of them a drive from the lefthand corner and a reverse that rattled the basket and tried to make more of the ceiling at the Garden fall from the sky. Not Starks against the Bulls. But pretty good and pretty loud.
    Now Gallinari threw up this playground shot from the left and got fouled and made the free throw. So it was 116 for the Knicks and 116 for the Celtics at the Garden, 50 seconds left. The great basketball night in a decade looking for an ending now.
    Pierce, who had 30 points by now, threw a bad pass to Allen, and Allen couldn't handle it and Landry Fields came up with the ball. But Stoudemire, who has been so brilliant this season, who hears "MVP" chants now, got inside and faced up and had as easy a shot as he'd had all night outside of his dunks. One that might have won this game. And missed somehow. And Paul Pierce came down with the ball.
    Twelve seconds left. Celtics ball. Game still tied. Knicks and the Celtics, going toe to toe again. All that. The last time they both had good records this late into a season was 18 years ago. When Doc Rivers, now the Celtics coach, was still a Knick. The ball ended up in Pierce's hands. Stoudemire ended up on him, right side. Pierce stepped back, made it. Four-tenths of a second left. Pierce ran a victory lap around the Garden.
    Finally the ball was in Stoudemire's hands again, then it was in the air. Then through the net. Ten years after the last basketball nights we had like this, one second too late.
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  2. #2
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    This was the most fun I have had watching a basketball game in 10 years. 10 Years! Years of ineptitudes, awful players, garbage coaching, moronic managment that added up to meaningless games and a despirited Madison Square Garden. Undoubtedly Stoudemie is the best player the Knicks have had since Sprewell and Ewing. I was jumping for joy cuz I thought he nailed it on time. Even when they called it off I was still elated because of the quality of the game that they played.

    The Knicks of the 90's were my childhood idols. Besides the center, they had mediocre talent but world-class heart. Ewing was the talent, Oakley and Mason were the hustle and Starks (my all-time favorite player) was the heart of a very memorable team. They taugh me that the value of playing hard can make up for many shortcomings. They hung in there with the great Jordan all those years and gave me many disappointing and sleepless nights. If it wasn't for David Stern's fascination with having Jordan in the Finals every year they might have won a championship or two. To be honest, at the back end of that run I was sick of the constant heartache. Now I miss it.

    Yesterdays game hopefully signifies that the Knicks are back and ready to take us on those gut-wrenching contest that hurt oh-so-good.

  3. #3

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    Glad someone remembers when the Knicks were relevant, when February sports wasn't just waiting for March Madness or baseball. St john's filled the void for a while, but have fallen back. NYC has been hoops starved for too long. The NBA was foolish to allow its biggest media market to deteriorate.

    At the start of the season when the Knicks lost several games, I texted a friend in California who has been a Knicks fan since the Ewing years "The Knicks suck." Since that message, they had won 8 in a row.

    I caught the first-half at a bar, then went home and watched from the middle of the third quarter to the end. Garden sounded like 1973, when I went to every playoff game. hopefully, the Knicks can continue rebuilding, and get Carmello Anthony.

  4. #4

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    Knicks beat Spurs.

  5. #5

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    .. and how cool is that?

  6. #6

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    I am sorry to tell everyone, but the Knicks ain't going nowhere with Amare and Melo. These guys are famous for being "me first" players, not team players. And the Knicks are paying them so much that it will be difficult to get help for them. It would help if they played some defense. Maybe, maybe if the Knicks get Chris Paul, you could have something here, but only because Chris Paul is amazing, and he is so good he might get the other two in line somehow. But I doubt it.

    What the Knicks really need is to get rid of Dolan. Any chance of that?

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Dude in the GROOVE ...

    Lin KILLS IT at 1:20 , 2:20 + 2:30


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    We may have another Victor Cruz.

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  10. #10
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Linsanity continues!

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I seriously, SERIOUSLY hope this does not go one of two ways.

    1. Quick burn out (Michael Chang? Juvie tennis star that was out before he was 30, I believe).
    2. Head Games. He does not become full of himself and forget the couch he was recently sleeping on.


    I do not think 2 will happen. He does not seem to be that kind of personality. But I hope he stays true. That sport (indeed ALL sports) need a few more role models....

  12. #12
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Michael Chang was anything but a "quick burn out" ...Retiring from pro tennis by 30 is hardly unusual. Chang was a pro player for 15 years (turned pro at 16, after 4 years of exemplary junior play); he won 34 top matches and earned nearly $20 million in prize $ during those pro years:

    He was a year-end top-ten player for six consecutive years in the 1990s (19921997), a feat matched in the decade only by Pete Sampras. He is one of a few players to win ATP titles in three different decades, and his three Indian Wells Masters championships (1992, 1996, 1997) are an ATP record, equaled only by Roger Federer.


    Fingers crossed that Lin will keep the Lin-sanity going for years to come.

  13. #13
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Funny, I just remember him being the rage, then slipping from public notice rather quickly....

    It may have just been his coverage more than his actual career....

  14. #14

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    L-I-N.

    The perfect name for headlines. Just put an L in front of any IN-word.

    Linsanity
    Thrillin'

    So the rag New York Post can't come up with anything other than Amasian.
    The guy was born in LA; went to high school in Santa Clara. He's an American.

    Which brings up a silly caller to talk radio, who theorized that Lin being overlooked was racist in nature, and he was noticed here because of the large Asian-American population.

    Hello! Lin played for Palo Alto HS, in the San Fran Metro Area, and was on the GS Warriors. He also was on the Houston Rockets, who Yao Ming played for.

  15. #15
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    You know the reason he was over looked was because he was short, right?


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