Like I said right after the game, I found that a pretty fitting way for the Knicks to end their 2010-2011 season. The Knicks did what they do: Inexplicably puttered to an early deficit, erased it in a matter of minutes, then made silly mistakes down the stretch to fall short of a comeback. We've seen that storyline take place dozens of times this year, so tonight's sweep-completing loss to the Celtics was more than appropriate.
It's our offseason now, and we'll move on to offseason things pretty promptly. Let's very quickly recount New York's last stand.
- The Knicks actually played a touch of defense early, I think. They switched and doubled like they meant it, blocked a few shots, and generally made up for the fact that they were completely incompetent on offense. In the second quarter, the defense dropped out as well and the Celtics ditched 'em. Carmelo Anthony hit some shots, but missed a bunch, too. Nobody else contributed, really. Amar'e Stoudemire, battling through some stankyback, couldn't catch a friendly bounce. Landry Fields was as shaky as ever, Toney Douglas misfired, and no bench friend could find the range. The deficit was 17 at halftime, the shooting percentage 23%, and the game pretty much out of reach.
- They teased us, though, like they do. Just like everybody imagined would happen, Anthony Carter took the team on his back on both ends of the floor, molesting the Celtics into turnovers on one end and making all kinds of plays on the other. CAHTAHHH gave us dimes off the dribble and in transition and even a flurry of jumpers. No shit! New York's Shar Pei in residence was unquestionably the impetus as the Knicks struck within four of the reeling Celtics. The Celtics recovered, D'Antoni's spunky bench turned sour, and the game ended the familiar way.
- Other things: Jared Jeffries tried to execute a spin move and just coughed up the ball, like a video game person.
- Ray Allen didn't end up shooting quite that well, finishing just 5-13. It seemed like the Knick strategy was to switch more on him, or at least it was at the beginning. I was kinda just watching this ladybug walk across my TV during the second half.
- Perhaps the most important moment in these playoffs: Renaldo Balkman's periwinkle suit and bow tie. I promised myself I'd get a screenshot, but completely forgot. High five for anybody who gets me a photo of that fresh outfit.
- Ronny Turiaf landed funny and had to leave the game, which is very Ronny Turiaf of him.
- Amar'e, by the way, was a lot more active and spry than previously, but just didn't have touch. Who knows how much that had to do with his back.
That's really it. I was delighted to see the Garden applaud the Knicks despite their loss, and was applauding a bit myself. The late-arriving energy and blown leads were an epidemic this season, but I just can't deny the progress they've made, and the confidence I have that this new core, with some additions, will be motivated to defy this fate next season. Obviously, we'll go into much greater detail on the season that was in the coming weeks.
In the immediate future, it might get a little light. There'll be news updates, maybe some silliness, and open threads for the rest of the postseason whenever possible. Once the summer starts in earnest, we'll move to the draft and other offseason shenanigans. Thanks to all of y'all who commented on game threads and read our recaps, breakdowns, and everything else, really. We've grown quite a bit this season, mostly for the better.
Good season, Knicks!