December 25, 2011 4 Comments
I rarely watch basketball games in their entirety, but this game was the exception. I was very curious to see how the Knicks would perform against a Boston team that has championship experience and great team chemistry.
In the first half the Knicks had complete control of the game, it seemed everything Boston did, New York had the answer for it. However, the 3rd quarter proved to be almost fatal for the Knicks winning chances.
The 4th quarter was an epic seesaw battle between a team predicated on flawless execution in the Celtics, against an upcoming power in the East in the Knicks, this game had a playoff atmosphere and this Knicks win had a “changing of the guard” feel.
There are some important factors us Knick fans MUST confront before we can officially label this Knick team a Championship caliber team.:
The Celtics Did Not Have Paul Pierce - Any basketball fan knows that Pierce is the unquestioned closer on this team. He is a great clutch shooter and a nightmare for opposing teams to guard. The Knicks received a Christmas gift for him not playing this afternoon.
Consistency - The Knicks started the game very strong, however they allowed the Celtics to come back and take the lead in the 3rd quarter. I give credit to the Celtics for coming back, but from a Knicks perspective you got to close the door on a team, especially a team with championship experience.
Point Guard Play - The Knicks had no play execution in the 2nd half. Their talent (Carmelo and Amare) allowed this team to edge the Celtics. The Knicks could not set up scripted plays from the point, you just felt that the knicks were trying to figure out how to get the ball to Melo and Amare. A healthy Baron Davis can really make this team a threat in the East, experienced Point Guard play is CRUCIAL for a team to be successful in the playoffs.
Manage Your Expectations - We are ALL excited about the Knicks being relevant again, and this win proves that. However, you can not account for how important Paul Pierce is to the Celtics.
I believe this game would have been completely different if he played. It was a great win, BUT I don’t put the Knicks over the Celtics YET.
Let’s enjoy this win because it is a great one. It could be the first step towards a championship, something that Knick fans have been dreaming of for 40 years. However, the Knicks must improve their point guard play and their ability to keep teams from crawling back into games.
This is something that will take time to do, but the question is how much time?