Re: Hot off the NY Presses!
posted at 5/2/2013 8:35 AM EDT
Knicks dress for Celts’ Game 5 funeral, but defeat gives rivals life
The Knicks and J.R. Smith faded … to black.
In nothing short of a choke, the Knicks allowed the Celtics to keep their season alive and take Game 5 last night in a 92-86 shocker at the Garden, staving off the anticipated Boston “funeral.”
Once ready to sweep the Celtics, the Knicks cling to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series which is headed back to Boston tomorrow, echoing memories of 2004 when the Red Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit to shock the Yankees.
No NBA team has recovered from a 3-0 series deficit.
The Knicks got too full of themselves in the past few days, and it cost them. Smith bragged the series would be over if he had not been suspended Sunday. And following the lead of Kenyon Martin, all Knicks players had black jackets and black slacks hanging in their lockers before last night’s potential Game 5 closeout, anticipating the demise of the Celtics’ season. Embarrassingly, they were forced to wear their all-black garb afterward.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
UGH! After arriving dressed in black for what the Knicks thought would be the Celtics’ funeral, J.R. Smith, tangles with Boston’s Jason Terry for a rebound during the Knicks’ 92-86 Game 5 loss last night at the Garden.
“We were going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried,’’ said Smith, who said he won’t wear black to a game anytime soon. “We got humbled.’’
There was shoving and words after the final buzzer, and it appeared on replays as if Boston reserve Jordan Crawford made a vulgar comment about Carmelo Anthony’s wife. Again. No blows were thrown, but Raymond Felton had to be restrained, going after Crawford, who claimed he wasn’t in the vicinity. Kevin Garnett allegedly made a comment about Anthony’s wife, La La Vasquez, in a January game, prompting a postgame skirmish.
“Just bickering. Acting like a bunch of schoolgirls,” Smith said. “We got to just play basketball.’’
KNICKS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Smith, who got a standing ovation when he checked in with 6:38 left in the first quarter after serving his one-game suspension for elbowing Terry, was not the returning hero but the goat. He missed his first 10 shots in a horrendous outing, finishing 3-for-14 for 14 points, doing his best John Starks impression from the 1994 Finals.
Carmelo Anthony hurt his left shoulder early in the fourth quarter and labored through a 22-point, 8-of-24 dud. Anthony was 2 of 10 — 0-for-5 from 3-point land — in the second half but said he believes his shoulder “is fine.’’
Martin said after Game 4 he would wear black yesterday after Jason Terry told him Sunday he wouldn’t let the Knicks dance at their funeral. Martin and his teammates did, in a presumptuous move for a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff series since 2000. It also seemed in bad taste considering the recent deaths at the Boston Marathon.
Martin scolded a Boston TV reporter who asked about the all-black outfits the Knicks wore in the dressing room afterward.
“I’m just answering basketball questions,’’ Martin said. “If you want to talk about basketball, we’ll talk about basketball.’’
Asked if the all-black getup incited the Celtics, Iman Shumpert said, “I couldn’t care less.’’
When Jeff Green rolled to the hoop for a driving dunk with 8:00 left, the Celtics led 75-60 and the Garden became stone-cold silent. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each scored 16 points and Jason Terry knocked in 17.
“I just got too excited,’’ Smith said. “I couldn’t wait to play.’’
The Knicks offense collapsed without the spark from Smith or Anthony. They shot 5-of-22 from 3-point range — their bread and butter.
“Everyone’s upset, everyone was frustrated,’’ Smith said. “ If anything they swung the pressure on us [to go to] their building. Worst comes to worst we have two more games. We have to get one more and move on.’’
“They did what they had to do,’’ Martin said. “They came here and stole one.’’
Anthony, whose voice was shaky afterward, said the Knicks still are in good postion.
“We’re good,” Anthony said. “We got two chances to close it out. We’ll see what we’re made of when we get out to Boston. We know they’d fight and they’ve thrown some punches at us.”
Smith was 0-for-10 until making his first field goal with 2:47 remaining — on a 3-pointer from the left wing. He made his next 3-pointer to bring the Knicks to within 88-83 with 1:05 left, but it was too late. Garnett (16 points) iced it with a 20-footer, pump-faking Tyson Chandler, to push the lead back to 90-83 with 48.3 seconds to go.
The Knicks looked primed to blow out Boston in taking an 11-0 lead before falling to pieces.
“We are missing shots we normally make,’’ Felton said. “There are a lot of things we have to clean up. Yes, we wanted to sweep them. We wanted to end it tonight. Things are not always the way you want it to be.’’
Anthony, who was 10-of-35 in
Game 4, missed badly on many of his jumpers and seemed tentative all second half.
“We’re just not making shots,’’ Anthony said. “Nothing Boston is doing.’’
“No need to panic,’’ Jason Kidd said. “We’re still up 3-2. We just have to win a game.’’