It’s heartbreaking for Knick fans, because you could argue the home team deserved to win. Did the refs miscalculate the time left after Pierce’s shot? What if Garnett’s layup doesn’t swirl around the rim right back to him? What if Felton didn’t fall down on a drive giving the Celtics a 4 on 5? What if Amar’e doesn’t take that hop right before he shoots that last three?
But that’s immaterial. There’s no need to make excuses. New York lost a close one, and that happens to good teams. However, they showed that they can hang with any team in the league. Prior to last night’s game, New York had the league’s fourth best offense. They imposed their will on the Celtics. The game was played in New York’s style at New York’s pace. At times Boston’s great defense looked mediocre against the Knicks offense. That’s what good teams do – make other good teams look foolish at times.
For those not old enough, this is reminiscent of a 1990-era Knicks bitter loss. They played great, but came up without a victory. However, considering that this franchise has been irrelevant for a decade, that’s a solid step forward. Sure the 90s Knicks were frustrating, and were thisclose to winning a title without actually doing so. Still they were a great team, and were capable of bringing home a trophy.
A roll here, a shot there, one ref’s whistle, a millisecond – these things can swing a game from one side to another. Those things can’t be controlled, as throughout the season every team has close calls which could send a game into the balance. A good team is like parenting; you do the best you can, then let go. If all the stars align, things should go smoothly. Unfortunately there are times when bumps in the road derail even the best of them. The most anyone can hope for is to do their best and then hope.
Tonight the Knicks were good enough to beat Boston. This wasn’t a “career-night” game where Jamal Crawford scores 50. Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari played really well. Each of them bettered or equaled the man in green across from them, and there were no flukes. Tonight the Celtics were fortunate enough to beat New York.