Was that a game 7 atmosphere or what?! I had to check my emotions and remind myself that we were still sitting on a 3-1 lead after Jason Terry lead Boston on an overtime surge to pull out their first win of the series, 97-90. The game was the Knicks to lose in the 4th quarter, and boy did we ever behind Melo’s worst performance in recent months.
MELO GIVES THE GAME AWAY: Carmelo Anthony (10-35, 36 points) has had some bad games during his Knicks tenure, but this was one of, if not the worst shooting performance I’ve seen from him. I’ve said before that I could care less about his field goal percentage as long as he scores when it counts in crunch time. For the first three games in this series, he did just that. Yesterday, he couldn’t covert if his life depended on it.
Playing iso at point forward, Melo missed repeated drives and pullup jumpers. Tyson Chandler (11 rebounds) and Iman Shumpert (12 points, 12 rebounds) got repeated offensive rebounds, and still Melo couldn’t buy one. I knew it wasn’t his night when he couldn’t even nail a short 5-7 footer, and bricked two free throws that could have extended the Knicks lead to four late in the fourth. No worries, as Melo will redeem himself on Wednesday.
CAN WE GET ONE COMPLETE GAME?: Much has been said about the Celtics blowing a 20 point halftime lead and not being able to play a full 48 minutes. Well, it’s not like the Knicks have had a complete game either this series — the difference is NY has been turning it on in the second half and running the Celtics out the building. But with JR Smith, that extra punch was missing yesterday afternoon.
FELTON GOES OFF: Raymond Felton (27 points) is the man. His 16-point third single-handedly brought the Knicks back from 20 down in less than eight minutes. And that long three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to bring the Knicks within three (68-65) was absolutely breath-taking.
WOODY’S HEAD-SCRATCHERS: Coach Woodson made two calls that ended up being disastrous. First was going with Quentin Richardson to start the second, which began the big Celtics run. Second was repeatedly going to Melo at the expense of Felton, who Boston had no answer for. Yes, conventional wisdom said Melo would hit something, but Felton should have gotten about 3-4 of Melo’s 4th quarter shots.
ALL BECAUSE OF A DAMN ELBOW: JR Smith learned the hard way how one sneaky elbow can result in another 48 minutes of work. I expect him to take this personally and go for at least 25 points on Wednesday when the Celtics come back to town.