Good day! Our Knicks hold a playoff series lead. It's been a while and one never knows how long it'll last, so let us bask. I've collected some media, links, and loose notes I wrote from last night's game. Consider this a little shrine to it.
- After Carmelo Anthony's game-opening flurry of buckets, the highlights came primarily out of pick-and-rolls with Kenyon Martin. J.R. Smith was the first to register such a highlight:
And here it is in .gif form:
- Jason Terry thought it was a good idea to attempt a dunk over Martin. It was not.
It should be noted that Raymond Felton attempted a dunk not longer after Terry's. If either had connected, the game would have ended instantly.
- Felton didn't get the dunk to drop, but he did play some great perimeter defense (on-ball. Off-ball, he had some trouble), including this block of Avery Bradley.
Upon being blocked by Felton, Bradley's career ended instantly. He joins Stephen Curry in the Frosty Wings retirement community for guards smote by Raymond Felton.
- The Knicks' iso-heavy first half offense wasn't the greatest, but this was pretty excellent:
- SB Nation media master Clay made this gripping tribute to the foolish Courtney Lee play that bought the Knicks some crucial fourth-quarter points.
- More excellence from the Kenyon Martin pick-and-roll, this time with Raymond Felton as the ball-handler and J.R. as the weak-side finisher (and holy shit, that finish):
- And again, that pick-and-roll, via Bronx Chica:
- Down the stretch, Carmelo Anthony hit one huge, contested bucket to keep Boston at arm's length:
- Our friend Dan from the KnicksFanblog was at the Garden and took video of the crowd during Martin's game-icing reception and finish off Melo's bullet entry pass:
- I did not realize Boston's 25-point second half was their worst playoff second half EVER. And they've played quite a few of those.
- John Schuhmann: not only did Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin come up huge down the stretch, they made Mike Woodson look smart for relying on them instead of his starters.
- The excellent Paul Flannery was in the building yesterday and makes some great follow-up points this morning, including one I hadn't really considered: The Celtics match up pretty well with Carmelo Anthony, as we saw last night, but they don't really have the personnel to stop J.R. Smith. He didn't have a big game yesterday, but maybe that's in the future.
- And in closing, Pablo Prigioni sounds at least mildly positive/grateful following more treatment to his sprained ankle. There's some hope that he'll be back for Game 2, and I've been thinking this morning about how much his return could mean. Beyond all the obvious stuff Pablo brings-- more two-point-guard sets, passing, shooting, defense-- I wonder if he'll also be one of the more composed guys out there. This should fade with time, but it was plain to see a few Knicks were shook yesterday. Iman Shumpert and Chris Copeland each looked hesitant at times and botched a few plays they'd usually make. Pablo's a "rookie", but he's played crucial playoff games in top foreign leagues and at the Olympic level. Maybe those realms don't compare to postseason play against the Celtics at MSG, but I still expect Pablo to be relatively unflappable. Pablo don't flap.
- We've also gotta hope Tyson Chandler turns things around in the next game. Every post-game quote suggested he was rusty, not hurt, but man, did he look off. He played some great defensive possessions early, but also got that weird technical for randomly pushing Kevin Garnett (not worthy of the tech, but still unnecessary in a playoff game), then simply stopped boxing out and rotating to help.
- I singled out Shump and Cope as guys who looked a little frazzled, but their defensive rotations (when they played) were pretty sharp. Each got stuck with some unseemly mismatches because of all the switching, but they arrived on time and contested shots as best they could. The only major issues with those two was fouls. There were a lot.
- Despite missing Prigioni, Mike Woodson still played two point guards he much as he could. Going by PopcornMachine: Felton and Jason Kidd shared the court for 7:58 in the second quarter, 8:34 in the third, and all of the fourth. Both played big minutes, and they got to spend almost 30 of 'em on the floor together.
It feels great to have won. There's still a long way to go and plenty of room to improve. More later!