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Knick show better poise, execution in clutch to beat Celtics

Dec 25, 2011, 3:49 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony AP

If we told you first thing this morning that the team that executed better at the end, that showed the more poise under pressure — and after the whistle — was going to win the season opener between the Knicks and Celtics, we all would have thought it would be the veteran combo from Boston.

Nope. Carmelo Anthony drew the late foul (on a borderline call but the refs will blow the whistle on the reach from behind almost every time) and sank free throws, while both Marquis Daniels and Kevin Garnett missed good looks and the Knicks come away with the 106-104 win at Madison Square Garden.

The Celtics were playing without Paul Pierce, and they could have used his offense and shot creation against a spotty Knicks defense — there were moments at the rim with Tyson Chandler and other spots the Knicks looked good, then there was the whole third quarter where they looked like the Knicks of old.

This game pretty much summed up what we can expect from the start of this NBA season — sloppy and inconsistent. That’s what you get after shortened training camps.

To start the game the Knicks ball movement was spectacular — they had 34 points on just 24 possessions in the first, according to John Schuhmann of NBA.com. The Knicks were up 10 at the half and the Garden faithful were loving it.

Then in the second half the Celtics cranked up the defensive pressure and the Knicks were suddenly an ugly isolation team again. Meanwhile, Ray Allen found his stroke (he finished with 20) and Rajon Rondo was being aggressive like he will need to be all season for Boston (31 points and 13 assists).

The game was tied at 104-104 with just under a minute when the sloppiness impacted the game — first Carmelo lost the handle coming off an Amare Stoudemire screen and the ball rolled out of bounds. Then the Celtics were forced to pass to the open man — Brandon Bass three feet from the rim — but Chandler sent one ball back and Bass got stripped on the recovery.

Next time down the Knicks halfcourt offense was non-existent so Tony Douglas threw a dangerous lob to Carmelo, who caught it at the elbow and tried to spin toward the basket, only to have Marquis Daniels reach from behind, get almost all ball but also get the call. (Note to Celtics fans, that call is not why you lost, the first half might be a better reason for one.) Anthony drained two free throws.

Again the Celtics depth hurt them on their first try late in the game, the Knicks did a good job taking away a few options including Rondo’s drive so he kicked to Daniels for a wide open corner three, which he missed. Daniels was in because Pierce was out. But Rondo tracked down the rebound and Celtics got another chance with 4.4 seconds left.

And it was a good look and chance — Bill Walker of the Knicks essentially picked his own man (Chandler) off Garnett who had the ball (Walker was trying to track down Rondo). Garnett got a clean look from about 16 feet out, with Walker on a late close. KG missed.

Then this happened.

Nice poise, KG. Shouldn’t be any fines or suspensions on this one, but the Knicks are not going to back down from Celtics is the message. They are feeling good about themselves.

Carmelo had a game-high 37 points, Stoudemire had 21. Brandon Bass had 20 in a nice showing for Boston.

What a way to start the season, and it’s going to be fun when these two meet again.

  1. jjordannba - Dec 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Or Knicks show they can only beat the Celtics barely when Paul Pierce isnt playing

  2. jjordannba - Dec 25, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    im sorry but the Knicks had everything in their odds for today, Up 17 points, Homecourt, and the Celtics dont have Paul Pierce. But yet they only win by 2. that is not impressive. How do they expect to beat the Heat or win the East when they can barely control a team without their best scorer??

  3. raidmagic - Dec 25, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    There goes Garnet the cry baby. Sore loser

  4. keyshawn22 - Dec 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    First of all raidmagic learn how to spell it’s Garnett. Second of all he has won a title which is more than anyone on the Knicks has ever won besides Chandler. Celtics lost by 2 playing without Pierce there is no reason to be concerned. The heat are the only team in the east that can beat a healthy celtics team in playoffs in the east.

    • njsteeler - Dec 25, 2011 at 7:40 PM

      keyshawn22…, calm down! Your boy KG has 1 ring, and he had to join P Double to get it. I’m tired of his tough guy act too. Punching people in the balls, and now trying to choke someone for d’ing him up. You don’t have to be concerned, because last time I checked I didn’t see a Keyshawn on the C’s roster. However, your old team from Beantown might was to consider that there is another team in the East to be worried about. See the Knicks have fire power, and one of the best finishers in the game today. Just give them time to gel, but it’s already apparent to me that the Knicks will be something to reckon with this year. Once Baron is healthy, and they have a true PG to run the show, they will be dangerous. Face it, the window is closing on the C’s. The Knicks are younger, and the bench is not as bad as some thought coming into the year.

    • raidmagic - Dec 25, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      Damn I’m sorry I forgot the extra T I’m sure you have never made a mistake before, that sure invalidates my point. GarnetT is a thug and loses his temper over the dumbest things when things don’t go his way. On a side note I’m not a Knicks fan so I’m not sure what your point with noone on the thier team winning a title I couldn’t care less I guess that is just your way of making an excuse for GarnetT’s bad attitude, he’s won a title it’s ok. lol

    • goforthanddie - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:25 AM

      Misspelling someone’s name is a show of disrespect. Gharrn3t is probably closer to what he deserves. Pussy is perfect, but that would be an insult to pussies (and I don’t mean vaginas).

  5. forkyou14 - Dec 25, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Kreayshawn is crying just like “Garnett” the second T is for tool

  6. JMil_ATL - Dec 25, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Not sure that you’ll have a healthy Celtics team this year and there’s more for you to worry about than just Miami.

    No matter how you spell Garnett the sentiment is correct. Liked his game in Minnesota but have hated his attitude since joining Boston. Not sure if he has always been like this.

  7. footballgod87 - Dec 25, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Kevin Garnett=ass clown

  8. awsgiants - Dec 25, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Why shouldn’t there be a suspension? He took a swing a him on the court.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 26, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      I don’t think it was that bad, but I’m a bit old school.

  9. damnyankee13 - Dec 25, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    the truck;oad of crying towels are on the way to Boston

  10. goforthanddie - Dec 25, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    1-I wish to God someone would show up at Garnett’s house with a video camera and call his bitch ass out. The world wants to see exactly how tough Mr. Nutpuncher is.
    2-Get used to it Cs. You and Miami are in the same position: one ripped-up knee away from being crap. Except Boston is a lot closer to crap already.

  11. havlicekstoletheball - Dec 25, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    If Garnett played as tough as he tries to act, he might be a hell of a lot more valuable to Boston. He is no longer a great rebounder, mostly because he doesn’t give the effort. But on the bright side, Bass is a lot better than Davis, especially on defense.

    The Knicks’ most valuable player this year might be that kid Chandler. While Stoudemire and ‘Melo and eventually Davis get into fistfights over whose turn it is to shoot, Chandler will defend well, rebound well, and get ten points off the offensive glass.

  12. keyshawn22 - Dec 26, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Let all the haters hate. Nobody is denying the Knicks are an up and coming team and this is the celtics last stand. Point is Knicks barely beat the celtics without Paul pierce that’s nothing to get excited about. For all those hating on Garnett he’s got a ring an MVP and a defensive player of the year award. The second he arrived the celtics became title contenders. Nobody hates on ray Lewis for acting the same way on the field and he stabbed someone to death. Keep hating on the celtics we can just keep counting our rings.

  13. njsteeler - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Yo Key, the only one I see hating is really you. It was one game. The C’s are still contenders, and the Knicks have improved. Fact is KG has done some questionable things on the court in the past few years. Fan or not, you must be blind or in denial if you can’t admit that. With that said, the Knicks are younger, and have a pretty decent upside. The Celtics are older, and on the downside. Just another fact…

    • phaden27 - Dec 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      I don’t think he said anything bad about the Knicks persay. He said the Knicks don’t beat the Celtics without Paul Pierce, I personally thought it was an exciting game regardless and was proud the Celts made somewhat of a comeback with PAVLOVIC at the starting 3. I won’t deny the Knicks being a good team getting far better, and I also won’t deny the downslide. What I do want is for these teams to play again with both (HOPEFULY) healthy starting lineups and benches, that my friends would be a great game! And KG needs to take a deep BREATH!!!!!!!!!!

      • njsteeler - Dec 26, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Agreed!

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