Final: Boston Celtics (87) – New York Knicks (85)
Playoff experience made a huge difference in this one. The Celtics, who won their NBA-high 17th championship in 2008, and lost in seven games last year to the Los Angeles Lakers, made the crucial plays in the final moments of game one and didn’t make crucial mistakes down the stretch. Conversely, the Knicks, led by an underperforming Carmelo Anthony, made poor decisions and amateur mistakes in the final moments with the game on the line.
New York is making their first playoff appearance in seven years. The Knicks have lost their last three postseason series and have gone 10 years without a win in a playoff game and didn’t break their losing streak in game one. With the Knicks up 85-84 Carmelo Anthony was called for an offensive foul for pushing Paul Pierce with 21 seconds left in the game. (Great acting job by Pierce – Kudos) Then, with 12 seconds left Ray Allen who led the Celtics with 24 points, sank a game winning 3 pointer from beyond the left arc. Anthony’s last second 3-pointer attempt hit the front of the rim and the fat lady started to sing.
This loss falls on Carmelo.
Memo to Melo:
If you want to be “The Man” you can’t go 1-11 in the second half of a playoff game, scoring only 15 points for the entire game, and expect your team to win
If you want to be “The Man” you can’t push a savvy playoff veteran like Paul Pierce with 21 seconds left in the game, while all eyes are on you, giving him the opportunity to flop and draw a foul. Pierce, “played you”, he “took you to school”.
If you want to be “The Man”, don’t stand out behind the 3-point arc wasting time with the ball and then shoot a three under duress; they weren’t going to foul you out there and you’re no Ray Allen. Drive the ball to the basket and get the bucket, dish it to someone for an easy shot when they collapse on you, or go to the line and make your free throws if they foul you.
The Knicks didn’t bring you here so that the fans could watch you get taken to school. If you insist on getting taken to school, when you get there, be the teacher not the student.