Some fans dream of an improbable result, a moment for their team when it seems implausible, impossible, preposterous, and worse.
Generally, those fantasies, though many times delusions, are requested of a higher power when the stakes are at their zenith, when a victory translates to grandeur - the seventh game of a series your team has improbably tied at 3-3, a Super Bowl at the end of an incredible hot streak, a late season baseball game to reach the playoffs when no one could have expected it.
As fans of the Knicks, our horizons are lower to match our expectations. Remember, it is a franchise that inspired celebration at sneaking through the closing door last year to secure the last possible seed in an eight seed playoff structure. It is a fan base that is compelled to feel giddy delight at advancing exactly one rung up that ladder in one calendar year, to the dizzying, acrophobic heights of the seventh seed, though it was eminently clear there was no chance to advance beyond one round.
In short, we're not asking much.
All we want is one game at Madison Square Garden against a team in the Miami Heat and a player in LeBron James that we hate more than leprosy. Just give us one game - a game in which the building rocks with deafening clamor - a game in which each Knick shot is met first with a buzz, then hopeful, anticipatory silence, then explosion - a game in which the standing ovation endures from an hour before the game, through timeouts, to the final buzzer - a game that leaves the opposing team with a headache and shaken confidence.
Give us that kind of game - just once.
Certainly, it's unlikely, particularly with the Emergency Room roster the Knicks always seem to have. But upsets such as the one we're coveting have no rational basis. The players in this dream are face-less, have no numbers.
Clearly, it's a Game Three reverie. At three games to none down, a fourth game upset would go unnoticed, even to the most ardent Knick fan. No, all we're asking is for a Game Three celebration, for one more playoff game like that at the Garden.
Afterwards, you can return to being the Knicks for the fourth and fifth game. At least, will have had that one night.
Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
- · Yahoo! Sports Miami Heat page
- · Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press, Stoudemire: 'Great chance' of playing in Game 4