Two Games Down, Next Two in New York
The New York Knicks battled the Celtics for a full 48 minutes in Game 1, and the winner was decided in the final seconds. The Celtics escaped with an 87-85 victory after Ray Allen hit a three with 11 seconds remaining in the game. On the very next possession, the Knicks opted to give the ball to Carmelo Anthony, who was 1-7 from the field in the quarter. Instead of giving the ball to Amar’e Stoudemire who was having his way with the Celtics’ bigs, the Knicks had to live with desperation three by Anthony. The Knicks fell short in Game 1, and in the process they lost point guard Chauncey Billups to injury. Billups left the game in the fourth quarter due to a leg injury and he did not return to see the Knicks lose.
Although the Knicks lost a heart-breaker to the Celtics, they surprised the league with their ability to hang with the Celtics. The Knicks were clearly not as experienced as the Celtics, but they were only one shot away from pulling the Game 1 upset.
In the opening game of the series, Anthony had 15 points and 4 rebounds, while Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds. However, shortly after the conclusion of Game 1, the Knicks announced guard Chauncey Billups would be doubtful for Game 2. Thus, New York had to rely on young Toney Douglas to run the offense and stop Celtics’ Rajon Rondo.
Highlights of Game 1
The Knicks came into Game 2 shorthanded at the point guard position, but early in the second quarter captain Amar’e Stoudemire left the game due to back spasms. Although Stoudemire made efforts to return to the game, he lost his athletic ability and it was obvious that the spasms were impeding him from attacking the basket. With both Billups and Stoudemire unable to play, the Carmelo Anthony was left with the responsibility to carry the Knicks to victory.
There was a dearth of superstars on the Knicks’ roster in Game 2, but Anthony’s offensive explosion allowed New York to remain in the game. Despite several runs by the Celtics, the Knicks still had a chance to win the game. Boston had no answer for Anthony, and just when it seemed as the Celtics would expand the lead to double-digits, the Knicks answered back with a run of their own.
However, during the final stretch of the game, the Celtics decided to double-team Anthony and force the other Knicks players to create their own shots. In the final possession of Game 2 for the Knicks, Anthony decided to pass the ball to an open Jared Jeffries under the basket. The Knicks were only down by one point at the time, but instead of looking for his shot, Jeffries lost the ball and lost the game for the Knicks. Kevin Garnett of the Celtics stole the ball from Jeffries, and Delonte West sealed the game at the line.
Once again, the Knicks had an opportunity to win the game, but they fell one shot short of pulling the upset. Nevertheless, the Knicks should feel proud for being able to battle the Celtics to the wire without two star players. In Game 2, Carmelo Anthony scored an amazing 42 points and grabbed 17 rebounds; however, his effort weren’t enough to steal a game in Boston.
Highlights of Game 2
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