Sunday, April 17, 2011

N.Y. KNICKS ~ Playoffs; BeanTown vs. The Big Apple

They're Baaack!!



Game One

Boston Celtics

From Not The Old Boston Garden

NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS ~ Payoffs and Playoffs;
Donnie Walsh Delivers.

Welcome back to the post season fellas.  It's been a long time.  Congratulations.

First and foremost, thank you very much Donnie Walsh!  His plan paid off.

And let us keep that in perspective; shall we?  Because it can not go under-spoken.  Donnie Walsh said give him two years to strip the team down, get under the salary cap, and reconfigure things.  He asked to be judged on his third year as GM of the Knicks.  He was clear about his intentions and followed his prescribed plan.

Today on April 17th, 2011 -  the Knicks feature a Twin Power Threat comprised of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.  They have with them also a former NBA Champion and still very capable floor leader; Mr. Big Shot, point-guard Chauncey Billups.  And on this day, the New York Knickerbockers are opening the 2010-2011 NBA Playoffs in a Round One match-up versus the Boston Celtics.

So, if I'm Donnie Walsh, I'm asking, - How do ya' like me now!? 

Don't ya just love it when a plan comes together?  This team is still a work in progress.  There is still a big piece missing in order for this team to truly compete for a Championship.  But here we are in the tournament trying to compete for one none-the-less.  It's a great first step forward.

To the very patient Knicks' fan base, you have the post-season again.  Have fun.

The Big Apple  vs.  BeanTown
New York Knickerbockers vs. Boston Celtics

I think the Knicks can win games in this series.  I'm just not so sure we can win four before Boston does.

We can match-up against KG with Amare.  He's not the menacing paint presence he used to be.  But he can still muster up havoc a game at a time.  KG is more of a jump shooter these days, and my biggest concern is having an answer for his rebounding especially on the offensive glass.  We have to deny Boston 2nd and 3rd attempts at the basket.  Amare gets knocked for weak-side shot blocks, but he's very game on defense and Turiaf can definitely help.  Amare will get his points.  Have no concerns there.

We can match-up against P-Pierce with Melo.  You know damn well, at the end of each game this series, both teams will be looking to get the ball into each of these players hands.  The ball will find it's way to them in waning moments of games and much will be decided this series based on their respective fingertips. 

After that, is where I think the Knicks get into trouble.  The Celtics are deeper and will win this series.  I question Chauncey's ability to keep up with Rondo and wonder who will equal Ray Allen's points?  Landry Fields?  I want to believe that.  I think the Celtics' bench is much deeper than ours; even without Shaq.  Big Baby has been shooting off his Big Mouth but he's still going to be a Big Problem off the bench.  There is no rest with a big body leaning on you; if Cry Baby does nothing else.

Outside of Chauncey, what I do think the Knicks have going for them is youth.  This is most likely Boston's last chance at a run for a trophy together.  The Celtics are not a young group and maybe there's a chance the Knicks will be fresher.  I wouldn't count on it though.  The familiarity the Celtics have with each other and the team cohesion they enjoy is an advantage I feel they have over a Knicks team that is still trying to gel together.

A team with Melo, Amare, and Chauncey on it has a legitimate chance of advancing beyond the first round.  Next year, the Knicks will have more than just a chance...

Enjoy the playoffs.  It's been a while.

The Knicker-BackBone:
I won't be at the games when the series comes back to MSG, but you can find me, so to speak, riding the back of Amare Stoudemire.  That's my guy right there.  I like the way he embraced everything about coming to New York City and throwing this team on his back.  I'm not into cheapening his story by listening to the "he came here because this was the best deal" line, as to why he came in the first place.  I don't care if it's true or not.  He came here and did and said all the right things. 

Earlier to start the season, he led a likable F-Troop squad back into the limelight of New York City sports and into favor again with the fans.  Amare took guys like Ray Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Mozgov, and holdovers, Fields and Turiaf, challenged them and even scolded them.  For his part, he led the way with thirty-point game performances.  He helped make Knicks' basketball fun again.  As a player, he made the team matter again.  After games, he listened to every question and spoke into every microphone before he left the building at night.

Then came the Melo trade.  And while Carmelo Anthony will be going school yard, one-on-one with someone, and will be called upon as Option One during the closing minutes of games, I'm with Amare because he's the one who ultimately pushes this team through four quarters and gives it it's backbone.

Let's Go Knicks!


May 2011 SLAM; Cover 2 of 2
NYK Magazine

Other pictures taken by BTB


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