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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Knicks are One Sad Basketball Team

Credit to the Knicks, after getting absolutely embarrassed by the Celtics on their home floor Sunday afternoon, they came to Boston tonight and found a new and different painful way to lose to one of their biggest rivals. Sure the C's (11-14 overall, 6-6 home) blew a 17-point lead earlier in the game but that was nothing compared to New York (6-16 overall, 3-8 away) choking away an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter in an eventual 90-86 loss at TD Garden.

Who could blame Knicks head coach Mike Woodson for looking like a defeated man for most of the night. Apparently he'll be able to keep his job until Tyson Chandler comes back but honestly, will his return even matter? Through bad contracts, ineffective, old and/or injured players plus being centered around perhaps the most one-dimensional and overrated player in the NBA-Carmelo Anthony (26 points)-means that New York is likely stuck in this predicament for a long time.

These teams meet twice more, the next time is January 28 at Madison Square Garden. Is there any chance Woodson will be paid to be there too? The Celts are basically the anti-Knicks: no stars (without Rajon Rondo), few egos, unselfish play and they at least attempt to give defense a whirl plus they have a coach that is constantly learning on the job.

Jared Sullinger (19 points, 6 rebounds) led four players in double figures for the Green; Avery Bradley had 13 points and six assists, Brandon Bass notched 10 points and eight rebounds while Courtney Lee was a real spark off the bench with 18 points (3 for 3 on 3-pointers).

New York's big acquisition Andrea Bargnani put up 22 points and seven rebounds but where did that get them? Amar'e Stoudemire (18 points, 5 rebounds off the bench) has actually played pretty well recently but that still doesn't come close to justifying his Looney Tunes contract.

Boston led 29-26 after the first quarter and 54-48 at halftime. New York went ahead with a strong third quarter (25-14) but their fourth was typically pathetic (outscored 22-13). The Celtics shot 8.5% better from the field (48.5-40), they blocked four more shots (5-1) and scored 11 more fast break points (14-3).

This is a sweet spot in the Celtics' schedule as they are in the midst of a five-game homestand with three more on tap beginning with Monday (7:30, CSN) vs. Kevin Love and the Timberwolves (11-12, 4th in Northwest Division). He had an amazing performance (42 points, 14 rebounds, 8 3-pointers) but it wasn't enough as Minnesota fell 117-110 at San Antonio this evening to fall back under .500. At some point, the Timberwolves are going to be good, right?

Tonight snapped a two-game losing streak for Boston and with Minnesota, Detroit and Washington all coming to town next week, this unfortunately could be the start of another win-streak. Other than Brooklyn, who else is going to challenge them in the putrid Atlantic Division this season?

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