Down by a score of 53-49 at the end of the first half, and defense a concern, the Knicks came out in the second half and gave up a total of 25 points, including just 8 in the 4th quarter. It was the lowest point total in a second half ever in the much storied Celtics playoff history, and the Knicks went on to win game 1 of the series by a final score of 85-78. It wasn’t pretty, but you kind of expect it to be this way when these two teams clash. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 36 points on 13-29 shooting. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton chipped in with 15 and 13 respectively.
Knicks Game MVP – Honestly, you could make the argument that Kenyon Martin was as integral to this win as any one of the Knicks, but I have to give this one to Carmelo Anthony. There is no doubt that this was not one of his best shooting nights, but he was 4-6 from the beyond the arc, and he most certainly made some huge shots at the right times. Melo finished with 36 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and his deep two with the shot clock winding down to put the Knicks up 83-76 was the biggest shot of the game.
Knicks Game LVP – I realized he’s missed the majority of the Knicks games down the stretch of the regular season, but Tyson Chandler was virtually invisible today. Not only did Chandler not score, he failed to even attempt a shot. He finished the game with just 5 rebounds, and barely played in the second half. No mind though because Kenyon Martin stepped up big time in his absense, and there is no doubt in my mind that Chandler will be more of a presence in game 2..
Play of the Night – With under 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the Knicks up 81-76, Anthony held the ball on the right wing with just seconds left on the shot clock and burried a deep two, putting the Knicks up by 7, and all but putting the Celtics away.
What’s Next – Game 2 at the Garden will be on Tuesday night at 8:00 P.M. on TNT. The Knicks will look to sweep the first two games on their home court before they head off to Boston. The crowd was rocking today, and I would expect nothing less on Tuesday night.