All the focus before the New York Knicks came to their road game was on Carmelo Anthony, and not for basketball reasons. For gurdges, rivalries, and his weight being back to where it should be. After the win, the Knicks’ third in four games, all the focus was still on Anthony, for the right reasons.
Not just for the 28 points he scored, making it his 27th consecutive game with at least 20 points, but for not letting the atmosphere in Boston (a little jaded because of their losing streak, 5 in a row) get to him, despite all of the attempts by the crowd and by the team, showing a video of him waiting next to the team bus after the 102-96 loss on January 7.
Once again, Anthony didn’t really shoot the ball well with only 11-28 from the field, but he had enough of opportunities in post up and isolation situations, scoring 20 of his 28 points that way. He’s the only player in the NBA to among the top in the league in both ways of scoring. There was also a big difference from the first matchup in where Anthony got his points from, scoring 17 from 15 feet or longer, making only one field goal from that distance in the first game.
Having the Boston Celtics continuing their terrible form didn’t hurt: Trailing 84-86 with 2:58 left, the Celtics went on to turn the ball over on two of its last four possessions, including one by Paul Pierce with 7 seconds on the clock, one of 12 turnovers by the team. During this losing streak, the Celtics have been unable to finish out games, averaging only 86 points per 100 possessions in the second half while turning the ball over on almost 20 percent of their possessions.
Rajon Rondo finished with a triple double (23 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists), his fourth of the season. It didn’t matter; not when Paul Pierce makes only 40% of his field goal attempts and Kevin Garnett, maybe Boston’s most disappointing player during their losing stretch (14.2 points per game, 41% from the field), scoring only 8 points and looking like the old player his birth date says he is against a very physical and focused Knicks team.
The Celtics refuse to look at themselves, at least when it comes to talking to the media, and finding the reasons for why they’re 2 games under .500 this season. Saying the opponents just outplayed them is easier, but there are serious problems that shouldn’t be ignored.
We know, with that effort you’re going to win most nights. We’re two games under .500. still a lot of season left so we believe we can climb back in this division race.
Carmelo Anthony got a lot of help from Amare Stoudemire, still coming up from the bench, scoring 15 points in only 20 minutes, also grabbing 9 rebounds. After a slow start, Stoudemire is scoring in double figures on the last four games, and is so far right along with the team when it comes to effort on defense and not trying to steal anyone’s thunder. With Stoudemire feeling very comfortable as the sixth man and Carmelo Anthony looking focused and healthy, there’s no doubt the Knicks are the best team in the Atlantic Division.