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Knicks Open NBA Season by Beating Celtics: A Fan’s Reaction
The New York Knicks opened the season against the Boston Celtics on Sunday (Dec. 25) in what turned out as Carmelo Anthony's best game since the trade. Anthony hit on 10-of-17 shots, scoring 37 points and grabbing 5 rebounds to help the Knicks to a 106-104 over their Atlantic division rival.
Last year, the Celtics swept the Knicks in four regular season games as well as in the first round of the 2011 Eastern Conference Playoffs. That is part of the past now though, because this is a different team on the floor for the Knicks now. It was definitely a show that Anthony was putting on, as he came up huge down the stretch with 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Amare Stoudemire scored 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, Toney Douglas had 19 points and 4 assists, and the newly acquired Tyson Chandler had 7 points and 6 blocks in his first game for the Knicks. Iman Shumpert added 11 points off the bench and Landry Fields had 7 points from the other guard slot to cover most of the scoring for New York. Shumpert went down with a sprained MCL though, so he is lost for about two weeks of recovery time now.
On the other side of the ball, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo had a spectacular game with 31 points, 13 assists, 5 steals and 5 rebounds in the absence of Paul Pierce. It wasn't enough though, even with 20 points from Ray Allen, 20 points from Brandon Bass and 15 points from Kevin Garnett.
This game was a lot closer than it should have been, as the Knicks jumped out to a 34-23 lead by the end of the first quarter. A 10-point halftime lead got erased in the third quarter and the Knicks actually trailed by eight points heading into the last quarter. This was where Anthony took over, as he scored the same number of points at the Celtics (17) in that quarter.
This was a spectacularly impressive way for the Knicks to open the season, not just because it was a win, but because the win came against the defending Atlantic division champions. Now New York resides in first place for at least a day, showing that this team can play defense when needed and that Anthony is coming back very strong this year. If he can keep playing like he did on Sunday afternoon, we could soon hear MVP talk surrounding him.
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*Ryan Christopher DeVault is a fan of the New York Knicks that has followed the team since the days John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason instilled their defensive will on the rest of the league.
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