In a game where the Knicks controlled all aspects of the game, offense and defense, something they usually don't bring to their game, it came down to the NBA's all time best 3 point shooter, who when it mattered the most, hits the big shot for the win.
When it came down to the rebuttal after Allen's big shot, Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks general not only during the game, but the whole regular season, did not touch the ball once. He didn't even touch the ball on the last three team possessions. It was Carmelo Anthony, the new guy who eventually took the last shot, a low percentaged one too, that ended the Knicks chance of upsetting the Celtics. Anthony on the previous offensive possession, was called for an offensive foul, which ended up giving the Celtics back the ball. It would be on that drive by the Celtics, where Ray Allen, the NBA's all time leading three point shooter, would knock down his third three of the game to give the Celtics a 87-85 lead.
Going into the series, nobody though the Knicks would have a chance. They were swept in the regular season by the Celtics, and many though that they were mismatched against the Celtics. The Knickerbockers came out strong though at the TD Garden last night, and by the end of the first half, were up by 12.
All season long everyone knew how good the Knicks offense was. Amar'e Stoudemire is one of the most explosive players in the game, and the addition of Carmelo Anthony, should have made the offense even stronger. It was the defense, that in the beginning, helped out the Knicks the most. They only gave up 39 points in the first half, including a 15 point 2nd quarter. At times in the seasons, the Knicks have given up more than 39 points in a quarter alone.
Amar'e had a pair of blocks, and Ronny Turiaf had 4. Jared Jeffries off the bench helped out and grabbed nine rebounds. Turiaf wasn't just good on defense though, he was perfect from the field, until late in the game when he missed a highly contested lay-up.
It was Carmelo, the new guy who really threw the Knicks off. Anthony was awful down the stretch and only had three points in the second half. He was 5-18 from the field and missed a free throw as well.
More bad news for the Knicks is that veteran guard, Chauncey Billups will be out for game two, after injuring himself late in game one.
As for the Celtics, it wasn't Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, or Rajon Rondo, who really stepped it up and helped spark a comeback. It wasn't Shaquille O'Neal either, who sat out of game 1, but it was Jermaine O'Neal who helped the Celtics knock off the Knicks.
O'Neal was a perfect 6-6 from the field, and had four blocks. He wasn't the leading scorer, but O'Neal's presence on the floor was a key contributor to the C's comeback.
Rajon Rondo also played a great game. He was one assist and one rebound away from a triple double. Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who has been one of the most improved players in the NBA, and one of the best 6th men in the league, was ineffective in the game. He shot an atrocious 1-8 from the field, had a pair of turnover, and only grabbed four rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
It was Ray Allen though, who was the hero for the men in green. Allen led the Celtics with 24 points, which was more then a fourth of the team's total points. Allen was 2-3 from beyond the arc, and was perfect from the free throw line. If the Knicks want to have a chance in this series, not only do they need Carmelo Anthony to step up, but they need Ray Allen to step down.