the new york knicks were swept by the boston celtics four games to none in the first round of the 2011 nba playoffs. this was the knicks first playoff series since 2004 & they have yet to win a playoff game in 10 years. knicks coach mike d'antoni was obviously disappointed in the outcome yet remains optimistic about the future of his team, which was challenged with nagging injuries & new superstars.
amare stoudamire resurrected the culture of the knicks at the beginning of the season when he came over from the phoenix suns. in fact, bcuz of his stellar play he was the mid-season favorite for mvp. before the all-star break the knicks scored big wins over atlanta, chicago, denver, miami, new orleans & portland, establishing themselves as a legitimate force. stoudamire was voted by fans as a starter on the eastern conference squad - their first since patrick ewing.
after the all-star break the knicks acquired carmelo anthony, chauncey billups & anthony carter from denver in a blockbuster deal sending wilson chandler, danillo galinari, raymond felton & timofey mozgov to the nuggets. they also picked up (former knick) jared jeffries from washington & sent eddy curry to minnesota for corey brewer, who was later released to dallas.
the team noticeably struggled with their new lineup: brilliant one game & baffling the next. ny finished the season with a 42-40 record, their first winning season in a decade. the city was buzzed. the fans were excited. the players were hyped. their post-season relevancy benefits the league: madison square garden is the mecca for championship basketball & new york city is the media capital of the world.
still, the celtics displayed their chemistry, experience & resilience in each game. 2010 all-stars ray allen, kevin garnett, paul pierce & rajon rondo successfully embodied their roles within the team framework. glen davis, jeff green (newly acquired from okc), jermaine o'neal & delonte west solidified a team on a mission.
the first two games were hard fought. billups was injured late in game one & sat out the series. boston held their home court victories - by a total of five points - primarily bcuz they executed down the stretch, a skill the knicks must cultivate during the off-season if they expect to contend for a title next year & in the future.
stoudamire suffered back spasms in game two & was never fully healthy despite a gallant effort throughout. games three & four in the garden were blowouts, neutralizing the crowd's anticipation & thirst for killing celtic green. the knicks' bench competed mightily, outscoring the starters, yet boston proved why they deserved to move on the eastern conference semi-finals against the miami heat. the celtics are a better team.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.