A reason to cheer again in NYC

Ten years is not only an eternity, it’s an annoyance in the City That Never Waits. Trains, cabs, Yankee championships … they all run on time. And then there’s a Knicks playoff victory, which goes counter to what New York is all about, which has the feel of an Eddy Curry full-court sprint.

It’s been a decade, for the most part, since Madison Square Garden had any reason to cheer in springtime. That’s another reason why New York deserves your sympathy, if the injury to Chauncey Billups and two blown games to the Celtics weren’t enough. The famous old building will throb with anticipation Friday night, hoping the Knicks have learned the hard way how to close out a playoff game by now, but mostly hoping 10 years of deflation is about to end, to be replaced by elation.

Carmelo Anthony, for his part, is ready to make his playoff debut on the MSG stage, as he tells our man Alan Hahn of Newsday:

Carmelo Anthony is ready for his close-up.

With the Knicks trying to avoid an 0-3 deficit in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics , and the possibility of playing with a limited Amar’e Stoudemire (back) and without Chauncey Billups (knee), Anthony will step onto the Madison Square Garden court for Friday night’s Game 3 with the desperation of a franchise on his shoulders and the focus directly on him.

“Without them two guys, I think me, personally, I have to step up and do it all to try and win,” the four-time All-Star said Thursday.

Anthony couldn’t have done much more — other than perhaps taking the last shot rather than passing to Jared Jeffries on that infamous final possession — to help the Knicks win Game 2 in Boston on Tuesday. His 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists was an all-time performance, but it still resulted in a loss.

And though some criticized his decision to pass rather than shoot — after he was criticized for shooting rather than passing on the final possession of Game 1 — others chastised Anthony for how he seemed satisfied in defeat. He even used the word “fun” to describe the game. Gasp! Kobe Bryant never would have talked like that.

“I’m not Kobe , though,” Anthony replied with his ubiquitous Cheshire cat grin in place. “I ain’t Kobe , man.”

The last time the Knicks meant something to the league, Latrell Sprewell was being hailed a hero and, at that point, still had enough money to feed his family. It was Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston and Jeff Van Gundy giving the Garden some life back in 2001. And then stuff happened. Scott Layden happened. Don Chaney happened. Curry happened. Larry Brown, Stephon Marbury and especially Isiah Thomas happened.

You know the rest. The Knicks endured a lost decade, the league lost its biggest market, and with the exception of getting swept by the Nets in the 2004 playoffs, the Knicks didn’t even taste the postseason. They needed to burn off a few years worth of salary just to reach this point, with Anthony and Stoudemire and signs of life finally sprouting in the middle of Manhattan.

The NBA losing the Knicks during this time has often been compared to the NFL losing the Cowboys for a decade, or baseball watching the Yankees vaporize. But that’s not really the case. The league has never relied on the Knicks and, in fact, thrived without New York winning a championship. The notion of New York needing a winning team, for the sake of the league, has always been overblown. The NBA has always been about stars, not necessarily teams. Stars drive the product. Stars are making Miami, not exactly a basketball haven, the center of the NBA universe. People tune in to see the names on the back of the jerseys.

Sure, there are exceptions. The Spurs are a proven ratings killer this time of year, and David Stern will never gripe about having Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles instead of with Charlotte (now New Orleans), which drafted him.

Still, there was something odd about New York’s non-existence. Is it great to have winning basketball return to the biggest market? Of course. Does the league rely on it, and do the basketball fans demand it? Not really. Even when the Knicks did win, with Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley, their brass-knuckles brand of basketball was an eyesore.

At least that appears to be changing somewhat. ‘Melo is coming off 42 and 17 in Game 2, when he went all Bernard King on the Celtics. Amar’e is perhaps the most important player on the team, someone who can and will stand up to (and outplay) Kevin Garnett. Not only are the Knicks back in the playoff mix, there appears to be some appeal and enjoyment in watching them play.

So while we won’t ask Celtics fans to participate, let’s hope the Knicks give this series some suspense, starting tonight. ‘Melo deserves it. Amar’e, too. And so does a city that grew so despondent over the Knicks for 10 years that the Knicks received the worst possible treatment New York can give: Being ignored.

Well, that’s over. And maybe the long wait as well.

2011/04/20/nyrfanfestfinalizednewNBA-1654857

73 Comments

  1. Law064 says:

    The Magic might be going home early if they don’t get it together. The Hawks are just out playing them. Get Dwight some help he can’t do everything. Dwight is the man and his team is so inconsistant.

  2. SMOOVE says:

    It will be a very interesting second round. Rose vs Dwight and Celtics vs The Heatles.

  3. Wow.. says:

    for all the miami bandwagoners bragging about home court, since when has miami home court become an advantage? people are in miami walking down the beach tellin joakim noah to beat the heat.. c’mon..

  4. KarlJohn says:

    Lol. The best teams are always the one that is being hated the most. hahaha. I can see a lot more of Boston and Lakers haters right now than last year because they know that they are still a big problem. Age is not an option to Boston OR Lakers, and they have proven that. I;m not a fan of Lakers but they can still pull it off. For NYK, still got a long way to go guys. NYK shouldnt be like Miami who is just relying on their big three, they should play as a team. Lakers and Boston was in the Finals last year because everyone contributed and played as a team, it’s not only their 1st five but also their bench who stepped up. I’m not hating on NYK or Heat but I think they need to have that if they want to be in the finals. Peace out.

  5. Richard says:

    Go knicks……………………………….dont
    gv and easy Win wth the Celtics

  6. Richard says:

    fileds must be in the court and hv more playing time

  7. Richard says:

    Knicks should find better center

  8. TrueFan says:

    Knicks fans are awfully quiet now….

  9. 787 says:

    Carmelo is a flipping joke.

    What an idiot, Chandler is much better defensively than him, good awareness, and Felton was way better at running offense than Old Billups.

    Good job, Knicks. Just screwed yourselves over.

  10. boston fan says:

    GOOOOOOOOOOO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    KNICKS CANT BEAT CELTICS TO MUCH FOR THEM.
    CELTICS ALL THE WAY TO THE FINALS
    ALL ABOUT 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. jin says:

    stop all the talkings , lakers will win it all

  12. HelloEveyone says:

    There is no way the celtics will sweep the knicks, they can barely beat them in boston without billups and stoudemire. The celtics didnt win games 1 and 2, the knicks blew both games. Now they are in NY, guaranteed they will win all games in NY.

  13. heat says:

    all the knicks need to do is play a fast paced game and they will win. the celtics are to slow to keep up. 4 of their 5 starters are over 30 years old.

  14. archie says:

    knicks can do it, carmelo must be like mj to beat boston or the the other player should step up.

  15. Notorious says:

    @ Dirty D
    You say the Celtics have the best core group in the NBA at the moment.. well i can agree with you on some levels. Honestly though if they can’t rebound.. for their life then they aren’t getting past Miami or the Bulls. Now the Celtics championship hopes for this year rest on a 39 year old Shaq. Unless he comes back fully health, and can play large minutes.. the Cetlics hope of getting out of the east.. is gone.

  16. Robert says:

    Thats all well and good, but I don’t think that saying things like New York “deserves” anything can be true. First off, I haven’t seen a lot of maturity from the stars there, so far, and also how do they deserve it more than any other team. There are teams in longer droughts, who have hard working people

  17. guest says:

    Game over for NY.

  18. NYK deserve a win says:

    I dunno about the series but if the Knicks win the 1st (and maybe even the second game at MSG) it’ll be a HUGE psychological boost both for the city and the players for next season.As a Raptors fan my 2nd favorite team to watch right now are the heat (still love you CB) and I think that a Knicks-Heat series would be far more interesting than a Heat-Cs not doubting the Cs but I can’t help it the Lakers proved themselves enough but the Cs?It’s been 3 years man and that championship seems as distant as ever

  19. brian says:

    carmelo is a ballhog!!! celtics got this one already .. : )

  20. Dominicano says:

    The knicks were not even supposed to come close in those two games in Boston and yet lost in the final seconds twice so with the game coming back to NY tonight i already know its a W for us tonight. Go Knicks!!

  21. i support melo and the knicks…go go nyk for the first win

  22. Dirty D says:

    First off i’m a laker fan so my comments on the topic are completely un biased. I am glad that NY has a good team now. More fun for the fans and more competition for the leauge. Do I think they will beat the celtics? No. No matter how you slice it the celtics have one of the most talented core group of players in the leauge still. Remember KG was one of if not the best overall player in the nba at a time. Because he could shoot the J, score inside, and defend with the best of them. HE STILL DOES ALL OF THAT! just slower lol. Paul was always slow stedy, smart, and skilled. and he still is! Ray was at a time one of the best guards in the leauge. Cause at any given time he could just shoot you right off the court. And he still can. Just slower. And Rondo is currently one of the best guards in the NBA. Hell you mix rondo and allen and you’ve got Magic Johnson! lol. Then consider that slow is there only set back. But come playoffs it all slows down! so the dis advantage becomes the advantage. Then who can match talent with them. Miami? KG, Allen, And Paul have all proven that they are clutch. Lebron, Wade, And Bosh still have that to prove. That and the fact that they only win fast paced games. The truth the celtics probly have the best playoff team in the leauge right now. I still think they have the best chance of coming out of the east. As for NY, They have the talent. If they get a center B4 Miami, They get a ring B4 Miami.

  23. Jay says:

    They aint getting past Miami ok they beat the Miami 3 games this year but when it mattered for that 2 seed Miami beat em by 23 that was like a playoff game for both teams Miami stole that home court from Boston and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Miami vs NY in round 2 but either way neither one of em are getting past Miami

    • Law064 says:

      @Jay your quite a delusional person. The heat beat Boston 1 game out of 4 so if it takes Miami 3 games to win 1 how do you see the series coming out.. 4-2 Boston….NY is dont this season

  24. Lynval Miller says:

    Too much yakking…I am trading all this jibber, jabber for a W…let’s go KNICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Kasper says:

    Latrell Sprewell was being hailed a hero and, at that point, still had enough money to feed his family… funny!!! (Only die hard fans can understand this one…)

  26. Shawn says:

    It is absolutely astonoshing how all you people underestimate the Celtics. It was the same thing last postseason and what happend? And please, what has melo ever done? what has amare ever done huh? billups is the only guy on that team that knows what its about to be a champion, and hes sitting on the bench! We are talking about the 2008 nba champions here, thats 3 years ago people! Kg has more spring in his legs than he had last year and ray and pierce are BOTH putting up CAREER FG%es people, career! and they have 4/5 of their starting five from 08. Sure the team has changed but never, i say NEVER EVER underestimate the heart of a champion!

  27. alex_ says:

    @NYC, home of the Knicks. the celtics have already beat the heat 3 times this year and they will do that again in round 2 …wait for it….. about the knicks..they have good team but not the experience and the depth that celtics has…the series goes to celtics …..4-1 i believe…the knicks will win this or the next game in MSG…..the knicks had their big 3 in the first game ..billups left the game in the final minute so dont say image if the knicks had the big three in game 2…besides the celtics ara 5-0 against knicks this year its clearly better team…

    • Steve says:

      when the celtics faced the heat the time it counted most, and closest to the post season, the heat handed them a beating! so yea, the c’s will probably get past the knicks but not the heat!

      • Law064 says:

        Well Steve I think the 1st 3 mattered as well, the only reason Miami won that game was the slump the Celtic’s was in. The Heat can’t beat them, Miami can barely beat the 76er’s.

  28. Truth says:

    Celtics fans have a lot to be worried about. not this year next year. Shaq = DONE. very hard to see bigman playing another year. Ray Allen 35. If this is his last year wouldn’t be surprised. If not this year next year hes gone. Doesn’t look like he could take a hard foul to save his life. KG 34. Has actually played more years than Ray Allen. Same story as Allen if not this year next year. Paul Pierce 33. He has already hinted to the fact he wont be playing much longer, and the same goes to that Palais Brawler J O’Neil 32. And to top it off Rondo is know to have to have bad knees and ankles. Like medically bad knees and ankles. cant see him playing well more then 4 years at the speed he is going. and the biggest concern of all. DOC RIVERS….. not going to be there in 2 years already said he would leave. To top it NY has already started looking in to getting Rivers (former Knick himself) after C’s. Not looking to good for Celtics. Hope they enjoy first round win going to last they see in a while.

  29. steve strachan says:

    none of this matters cause i smell a threepeat!! LETSSSS GOOOOO LAAAAAAAAKERSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

  30. KINGJAMESBALLIN says:

    LOL@these Boston fans getting excited about beating 2/3 of a Knicks team, yet they still have the arrogance to talk about not having Perkins and game 7 in finals of last season. Sit down and shut up.

    I hope the Knicks roll Boston right out of the garden. Then Boston will say if we didn’t trade Perkins we would have won the series. Boston fans are so finicky, obnoxious and arrogant. That is what happens when you have so many championships. No loyalty, just cowardice.

    • Yeah I Said It. . And I Will Say It Again. says:

      Sound like you talking about Laker fans . . . . . Boston fans dont talk as much trash as faker fans. . . .

  31. NY Vlad says:

    All you yougin’s out there should watch the game tonight and pay close attention to what a REAL homecourt advantage looks like. I myself will go over to a bar by madison street its gonna b great.

    Now i dont excpect to win the siries but tonight the knicks are going to wash the hardwood floor with green detergent. i expect the knicks to win the next two.

    • Law064 says:

      Hey Vlad how did that work out? First 2 and last 2 games at the Garden until next year LMAO. Heat fans they almost lost 2 games vs Philly. Just wait early vaca for Wade & Lechoke round 2 exit for Miami.

  32. NYC, home of the Knicks. says:

    @Celtics: I just need to say that when the Heats play the Celtics, YOU CELTICS FANS WILL BE IN OUR KNICKS FAN SHOES. So I wouldn’t be all hyped up for anything. The Celtics are NOT going to win the championship this year because you guys did the worst move ever by trading Kendrick Perkins. Now as your center you have Shaq (who barely even plays because of injury, retire already dude your too old) & Jermaine who will get eat up in the paint by Gasol and Bynum. And who do you guys expect to play as PF? Kevin Garnett Jeff Green, Glen Davis? And as for the series, the game changed in the last 0:15 in both games. Game 2, you guys almost lost without the Knicks having Billups or Amare. Imagine if the Knicks had them. You guys would’ve been praying that you guys win Game 3 at MSG.

    @Knicks: This is the first year the Knicks are in the playoffs since 2004. Although we won’t win the championship this year, I still give them credit for making it this far and acquiring Carmelo Anthony. All the Knicks need now is a good Summer Camp Training so that Amare, Melo, and Billups can work together more and learn more about eachother’s offensive skills, and also work on there defensive, we should be ready to roll next year in the 2011-2012 season. But LET’S GO KNICKS !

    • Yeah I Said It. . And I Will Say It Again. says:

      I am a Boston fan but a basketball fan first. . . . .I think it will be Bulls in finals cause they playing so well. . . and yeah I agree D Rose for MVP. . . . . . But we played like crap last year and we still pulled wins out so you never know about my team. . .we should dominate every gave against most teams since we have been playing together for so long. . .dumb trade by Boston mid season but we have to work through it. NY wil have your chance next year and we will start our rebuilding proccess which is fine with me cause its the circle of life. . .but we will be on top again with in no time best belive that. . . . we will not be like th Knicks out of sight out of mind for soooooooo many years. . . . Boston in 5 Games vs NY Nuff said.

    • Law064 says:

      @NYC home of the Knicks how many times have Miami beat Boston this year? ohhh 1 time out of 4 games. The Heat are next they’ll be down 2-0 going into Boston.. The Heat are done after the 1st round

  33. Nathanael says:

    funny how boston cant beat new york fairly. you cant win without tripping toney douglas or injuring 2 of our stars and dont give me that shaq bull. the man is 39 and missed 40 plus games.

    • B.O.B says:

      amare stoudamire had back spasms, i don’t have a clue what you’re on about with toney douglas and billups landed on his knee with no foul called. the celtics didn’t injure any of them two players, it’s the playoffs man, get over it!

      • Steve says:

        you dont know what he’s taking about with douglas…check the last 10 seconds of game 1 and you’ll see!

      • B.O.B says:

        @Steve, the last 10 seconds of game 1 were melo taking the ball and shooting a three, why does it matter if douglas was tripped?

  34. Nathanael says:

    cant wait till the big three retire cuz i want to see how boston fans react.

  35. dexxag says:

    Nick fans.. u guys r goin down… celtics will take over….. go celtics…..

  36. baldy says:

    U GUYS ACTUALLY THINK THE SMELLY NEW YORK ARE GONNA JUST GONNA WIN CUZ OF THAT SONG HAHAHAHA MY TEAM IS GONNA WIN THE SERIES…GO CELTICS

  37. Boston says:

    Ny fans get your brooms out cause i see a sweep coming to NY go CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Yeah I Said It. . And I Will Say It Again. says:

      yeah!!!!!!! Sweep’em out!! See ya next season MMMUUUHHHHAAAAAAAAA . . :)

      • F.S says:

        looking forward to the chuckster going fishing again….!! this time with melo and Amare!!

      • Really ? says:

        im laughing at all of you celtics fans talking junk but hey you guys might as well get all your little chuckles in now because after this season the celtics are gonna b in rebuilding mode and is going to lose alot of games so when people make fun of your team dont get butthurt oh and the same thing goes for the lakers fans 2 lol my knicks is one center away from being championship contenders all we need to do in the offseason is either pickup marc gasol, tyson chandler, yao ming( only if he is cheap) or samuel dalembert get ready nba because the knicks has risen.

  38. bombadeer says:

    Looking forward to C’s finally meshing – Look out NY – fallout is a B–tch

    • Steve says:

      C’s finally meshing? haha they’ve been playing together for years, if anything its the other way around

  39. majula says:

    celtics will sweep the knicks,only cause the knicks dont have go to go guy,the guy responsible he is also afraid of the role.

  40. Gary says:

    NY is done. I’m no hater but think about it. Melo by himself vs the Celtics. Their only 2nd option in my opinion is Fields and he hasn’t seen much action this series. I guess they can win one game but Celtics are closing this in 5 or less.

  41. If ‘Melo wasn’t so selfish the knicks could have won. JJ was WIDE

  42. kukon says:

    listen all you boston fans … shut your big mouth and wait till the series is over
    this is the new era of the new york knicks…. lets go knicks

    • ????/ says:

      Kukon… Shut UR big mouth series 4-0 boston

      • ????????? says:

        Dude…….

        Its u again……..

        Boston is team has been!!!!! Behind the pack!!!!!! Rest in Peace!!!!!!!! Old School!!!!!!!

        Theyre team bye bye!!!

        wont get past miami and deff not past bulls!!!!!

  43. Zar The Knicks Fan says:

    i am still optimistic about my Knicks. They are doing well even without 2 all-stars. @shwn have ur fun cuz this will possibly be last celtics playoffs wins for a long time and if celtics barely make it out in their home against short handed knicks. Miami will eat Celtics so bad that KG, RAY and 2 O’neals will retire right after this playofss.

    • ????/ says:

      Dude BOston has made it to the finals 2 our of 3 times. They can easily cruise to a 4-0 series against new york. And a 4-2 Series against the heat. 4-3 series against the bulls. SO SHUT UP!

    • Law064 says:

      @ Zar the Knicks fan 0-3 looking like they need a broom. Miami will get the same treatment. 1-3 vs Boston. Miami will be lunch for them

  44. Shiraz says:

    GO KNICKS GO!!!!!!!!!!

    • Imad Akel says:

      im a celtics fan more than a knicks fan right now, but im not gonna renew my fan contract next year :P

      so it doesnt matter even if the knicks are swept this year, next year they WILL be relevant. also, next year the celtics will age into oblivion :(

  45. chauncey foulups says:

    so close is not enough …you need to win not “so close”

  46. DR. drew says:

    The Knicks stayed with boston in the first two games. they were so close to winning both came down to a final shot. the point is is that boston made the clutch plays in the end. if New York cant figure that out by tonight then its over. which is good news and bad news. the good news is that they are getting the experiance and pressure in clutch moments which means next year there due to improve and possibly be a contender. or they figure it out and make this series exciting. either way they wont be winning anything big this year

  47. Shawn says:

    Dream on NYK fans, Celtics WILL sweep the knicks!