NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks drives against Sasha Pavlovic #11 of the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Oh man! What a performance! I was lucky enough to be at the Garden tonight, and can attest that I and the folks around me were screaming things not unlike what Doug Chu caps-locked in the game thread (quoted above). In that first half, and especially in the second quarter, New York's offense was as crisp and effective as any offense has been anywhere ever. Once the Knicks' offense settled in, Carmelo Anthony got to cookin' soup from the wings. He simply couldn't be stopped on his jumpers or off the dribble. So, when Melo returned to the floor in the second quarter, even though the Knick reserves had already nailed a couple threes, Boston threw doubles his way. And that's about when everybody started screaming.
As his ten assists will tell you, Melo did a terrific job of passing quickly out of those double teams, and his teammates did a [there is not a sufficient adjective] job of finishing plays from the perimeter. The Knicks hit 11 three-pointers in that second quarter. That's quite a few. J.R. Smith alone hit five (seven in the half), which, again, is quite a few. That shooting bought New York 72 points in the half and had them up 19 headed into the break.
We all knew there'd be a letdown in the second half (I said aloud to anyone who'd listen: "There will be a letdown in the second harf. I mean half. Sorry, I'm not good at public speagib."), and indeed there was. The game devolved from delirious three-point shootout (it should be mentioned that Celtics hit a ton of threes themselves) into dreary foul-fest. Paul Pierce, who'd go on to drop 43 stupid buttface points, just kept drawing whistles and getting to the line, and the Celtics chipped their way back to single digits while the Knick offense slowed. In the end, though, New York ran some great plays to find Tyson Chandler, Melo hit some shots, and Steve Novak-- that wonderful, wonderful man-- canned consecutive threes to seal the victory, at which point I screamed very loudly in the direction of a nearby Celtic fan who'd been talking shit throughout the second half. It felt good. I felt ALIVE.
I'm gonna go into more detail tomorrow (though I don't have notes or anything, seeing as my hands were too busy clapping and high-fiving) but let's quickly summarize the fine performances: Melo had his second career triple-double. He dropped 35, 12, and 10, and was just brilliant in every single way possible. Smith hit seven of ten threes (!) and threw some gorgeous passes. Novak hit EIGHT of ten threes (!!!) and did a pretty commendable job on defense. Tyson Chandler ran the pick-and-roll like a goddamn champion and finished nine of ten attempts at the basket. Finally, Mike Bibby-- Mike Bibby!-- played a very solid game off the bench, canning a three, tossing some perfect entry passes, and grabbing five rebounds (!?). It was sort of a top-heavy performance-- four players accounted for 105 points-- but it got the job done.
The Knicks beat the Celtics! And I didn't even break out in cold sweats or cry or anything. Wonderful game. More tomorrow.