Sunday, November 22, 2009

KG's Buzzer Beater Does In Knicks

Right when I thought the Knicks were going to record their first three-game win streak in recent memory...

Just when I thought the Knicks would string together a few significant wins for the first time since John Starks made big centers pay for sleeping him and his pogo stick hops...

Actually, the Knicks reeled off a sizzling six-game win streak during mid-January of 2006, the rookie seasons of Nate Robinson and David Lee...

Those wins were highlighted by a signature victory over the then high-horsepower Phoenix team.

That run-and-gun, souped-up Suns team was of course operated by Steve Nash and coached by, oddly enough, Mike D'Antoni.

D'Antoni is now on the other side, trying desperately (there seems to be a lineup change every other game) to prevent this season from spinning out of control.

The coach who flourished in Phoenix with his speedball, uptempo style attack is close to losing his mind with this putrid, paltry, and pathetic New York team.

Seeking to extend the win streak to three games, the Knicks fell in overtime to the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

It was an old case of Celtic Pride.

You know you need pride if it's a matter of salvaging a loss to the Knicks, which would be one hell of a reputation-shattering loss.

Kevin Garnett bailed out the C's with a jumper that beat the overtime buzzer, sending the Celtics bench into a giant sigh of relief.

The Knicks, walloped thoroughly by the Celtics in during a memorable first meeting during their 2007-08 23-59 quagmire, stayed tough throughout this one.

This time, Al Harrington was clutch in the fourth quarter. Harrington reversed his curse (recall his notable pitfalls in crucial, decisive moments in the fourth quarter twice last season), burying two clutch free throws to push the game into overtime.

Paul Pierce turned in one of his best performances this season, scorching the nets for 33 points (6-for-7 from downtown). So, with the game on the line in the extra sessions, Pierce served as the decoy which set up Garnett's game-winner.

The hot-handed Pierce was chased on the final play, which allowed Garnett to get free at the top of the key.

KG buried a 19-footer and the Knicks' hopes of a three-game win streak.

Both Garnett and Ray Allen played poorly, combining to shoot the rock at an arctic 9-for-28 clip.

The Celtics, however, went to other threats.

Rajon Rondo--a beast among boys at Kentucky, where his Godzilla-sized hands registered their presence--and Kendrick Perkins helped key the tight victory.

Rondo nearly turned in a triple-double. He dropped 14 points, dished out 10 dimes, and tacked on nine rebounds in 43 minutes.

Perkins, who connected on 6-of-7 field goals, turned in a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards. The big man added four blocks.

The game signified Boston's depth.

Despite pitiful shooting from a star-spangled triumvirate of Garnett, Allen, and Rasheed Wallace (who went Houdini and disappeared offensively, shooting 0-for-6) the Celtics had enough firepower and depth to avoid an embarassing loss to the Knicks. It's pick your poison with these Celts, who have 6-7 game-changing players on the roster.

For the Knicks, Harrington was magnificent. He dropped 30 points and snared nine boards.

Lee stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, 15 boards, and three dimes.

A day after being brutally bitched out by his coach (for hoisting up a three on the opposite basket during dead action in a win against the New Jersey Nets), Nate Robinson provided plenty of spark.

The high-motor, half-pint guard scored 19 points in 26 minutes of burn.