The Cardiac Celtics have done it again. Boston survived the will and offensive onslaught of Carmelo Anthony to win 96-93. Boston exhibited incredible poise down the stretch of this game and showed New York exactly what team basketball is about. Carmelo destroyed the Boston defense on his way to 42 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assists. The points matched Melo’s career playoff high and the rebounds set a new career playoff high for the All-star forward. Melo was a one man wrecking crew not because he was greedy, but because he had to be. With the Knicks absent Chauncey Billups (knee) and Amare Stoudamire in the 2nd half (back spasms) Anthony showed why Doc Rivers said he is the best overall player in the series. One man’s will was not enough as Kevin Garnett hit the go ahead basket on a jump hook with 14 seconds left to play to give Boston a 94-93 lead. KG then stole the ball away on a terrible pass from Jared Jeffries with 4 seconds left to seal the victory for Team Green on the ensuing Knick possession.
New York’s effort in this game and more specifically Carmelo’s was special. With a lineup that featured Toney Douglas, Roger Mason, Jared Jeffries, Shawne Williams, and Melo for most of the 4th quarter Boston should almost be embarrassed that the game was so close. New York stampeded Boston on the glass 53-37 and ravaged away 20 offensive rebounds. The Knicks took 27 free throws to the Celtic’s 16 and still when it was all said and done New York walked out of TD Banknorth Garden with a another loss. The Celtics could very easily be down 2-o themselves and have been leprechaun lucky in a lot of ways so far in this series. I can’t say that Boston has been the better team but they clearly have been better in late game execution and that has been the difference in both games.
Rajon Rondo has turned on the playoff switch and is in full attack mode in this series. He scored a playoff high 30 points while adding 7 assists and 4 rebounds tonight. His ability to pressure the cushion soft defense of New York has been instrumental thus far. However tonight the hero was KG. It is rare that a player can single-handedly win a game for his team both on offense and defense on back to back possessions. The future hall of famer did just did that tonight. The Knicks will likely be at full strength on Friday in front of a New York crowd that has been chomping at the bit for a rebirth in the playoffs. The other garden is sure to be rocking and Boston might need another hero to save them on Friday night.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com