NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Steve Novak #16 of the New York Knicks reacts after scoring a three pointer as Brandon Bass #30 of the Boston Celtics and Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics look on 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)
Good morning! After the jump, you'll find a little more on last night's win over the Celtics (and my experience of being at it).
- I was lucky enough to sit pretty close and right beside the Knicks' first half basket, which meant I felt almost near enough to hug Carmelo Anthony as he made magic from the left wing. I like to think that we in that section contributed to his triple-double, too. See, when he found himself isolated against one Celtic, we were all like "TAKE HIM!". In the second quarter, when Boston started throwing doubles at him, we were all like "GET RID OF IT!", and when the ball caromed off the rim, we were all like "GO GET IT!". As a result, Melo decided to get lots of points, rebounds, and assists.
- It's worth noting that the Celtics did what the Heat did and guarded Landry Fields with their power forward (which, once again, didn't yield any positive results from Fields) and put Paul Pierce, Sasha Pavlovic, and a parade of helpers on Melo. So, this wasn't one of those games in which Melo just got loose because he had a mismatch, which I liked.
- I don't know what to say about that second quarter. It was outright delirium. I think I heard as much laughter as I did cheering-- "HAHAHAHAHAAAYYYYYYY"-- and certainly contributed plenty of both. I'm that asshole that stands up in celebration before a three-pointer actually passes through the rim (this is typically admissible only when it's Steve Novak shooting), but everybody was doing it by the end of that quarter.
- Melo's ten assists were wonderful, but how about J.R. Smith and Mike Bibby chipping in six assists apiece? Those two did such a nice job of swinging the ball around the perimeter, and each of them made at least one gorgeous shuffle pass in the pick-and-roll. Earl's short-armed bounce to a rolling Jared Jeffries made me pee a little.
- Perhaps you heard about the halftime marriage proposal gone awry. It was brutal, and really confusing. From the look of things, the lady said "no" before the man even did his proposin'. The message came up on the screen, the lady looked very displeased, and the guy didn't even bother to present his ring or get down on one knee or whatever you're supposed to do. They just sat there muttering to each other and not making eye contact for about 40 extremely uncomfortable seconds. Poor folks. I don't really get the whole proposing thing, and I DEFINITELY don't get the notion of doing it at a live sporting event.
- This one had a lot of inter-team grumbling. Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Bass got tangled up at one point, which led to Melo getting in Bass's face and the two of them receiving a double technical. Then there was Greg Stiemsma's hard foul on J.R. Smith, which ended in Earl stepping in to prevent Melo from going after and biting Stiemsma (sources close to Anthony say that he was, indeed, going in for the bite). There was also a moment where Tyson Chandler and somebody (Bass, I think) got into it and Novak grabbed Chandler to prevent him from giving chase and possibly drawing his twelfth technical.
- Shout-out to the two rather obnoxious individuals sitting behind me! One was a Knicks fan who just had to provide running, repetitive, cliche-ridden commentary on everything that took place. I heard dozens of iterations of "Why is Baron Davis even out there?", "Steve Novak is one of the best shooters in the league. Bar none." (he really kept saying "bar none"), and "Melo is having the game of his life. One for the ages!" (he really kept saying "one for the ages"). This did not stop. Not ever. The other guy, I guess, wasn't that obnoxious. He was just a Celtics fan who kept yelling pro-Celtics things (which, I guess, is what Celtics fans do) while failing to grasp the nature of the crowd around him. People kept yelling "PAUL PIERCE SUCKS!", and he'd reply with something like "HE HAS 40 POINTS! HE'S THE BEST PLAYER ON THE FLOOR!". We know, sir. That's why we feel compelled to yell about him. We don't like him and we're not really being reasonable.
- It's really fun, as an opposing fan, to watch Keyon Dooling shoot jumpers. It's the defensive equivalent of watching Steve Novak shoot jumpers.
- Avery Bradley, though. If the Knicks hadn't gone bananas themselves, we'd be very sad right now about Avery Bradley draining five of six corner threes.
- I finally got to see the new, fancy, lower-level Garden concourse, and it's very nice. Much nicer than the old, decrepit, half-functional upper level concourse.
- I was pleasantly surprised to see the Garden crowd show concern and give Rajon Rondo a round of applause when he hit the ground hard (except for this one guy who kept yelling "NO PLAYOFFS, RONDO!"), but then I kinda felt like we'd been played when he got up and remained in the game.
That's really all I've got. It's kinda hard for me to keep things straight having been in the building and without notes. On to the Nets!