Two Nights ago, I saw absolutely no reason why the New York Knicks shouldn’t put the Boston Celtics out of their misery at Madison Square Garden thus advance in the NBA Playoffs. The Knicks were coming off a tough overtime loss at Boston Garden to the Celtics in a game where they without suspended J.R. Smith. They were also facing a team with its’ back against the wall and the potential of this being the final run for a great group of guys in Beantown.
So what do the Knicks do? They show up dressed in black as if to be attending the funeral of the Celtics and then go out and play offense as if they were looking for a shot with time winding down at the end of a quarter. The move to dress in black reeked of immaturity and selfishness. It also completely ripped on a Celtics’ team filled with solid and legendary players. It was a move that back-fired tremendously and could potentially have even greater consequences should this series keep going.
My question is one that I cannot believe went unasked for quite some time yesterday and frankly I don’t know why. Could someone please explain what Mike Woodson was doing as a head coach throughout this game? How could he not see his team becoming as stagnant as the Empire State Building? There was little if any ball movement and guys looked consistently out of position and totally uninterested.
Carmelo Anthony has been shooting horrendously over the last two games and then consider he has just six total assists over five games of this series. ‘Melo has never been known as a guy to rack up the assists but this is ridiculous and speaks of the lack offenive ball movement and lack of coaching that the Knicks are suffering from.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit Doc Rivers and the Celtics however for contributing to some of the New Yorkers’ problems. With a bench far shorter than the Knicks, Rivers is weaving a masterful wand in getting his team to exploit match-ups and play more team defense that is disrupting the Knicks.
If the Knicks can’t close this out in Boston tonight, then I have serious doubts they’ll be able to even at home. The sheer pressure of fighting off the fumbling of a 3-0 lead could be too much pressure for them.
Who I Like Tonight
Indiana at Atlanta (Pacers Lead 3-2) – The Pacers enter as 1.5 point underdogs tonight in Atlanta. I’m actually surprised it isn’t more seeing as how they stumbled and bumbled their way to two losses earlier in the series. Take Atlanta to hold serve and win big forcing a game seven.
Oklahoma City at Houston (Thunder Leads 3-2) – With all the attention on New York’s failings, Oklahoma City’s struggles have gone somewhat unnoticed. The Russell Westbrook absence excuse is no longer viable after three games, but someone has to take some pressure off of Kevin Durant who is getting defenders in his face at will. Look for the Rockets to force a game seven in a ‘pick’em game.’
Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis (Grizzlies Lead 3-2) – Most sports books are holding off on a line for this one until more definitive word about the health of Blake Griffin is revealed. Either way, I expect the Grizzlies to be favored and Griffin to be far from 100%. I like Memphis to advance.
New York at Boston (Knicks Lead 3-2) – As much as I want to say the Knicks will have learned from their poor play in game five, I just can’t count out these Celtics. I love Boston as a two-point under