Editor’s note: The following is a brief selection of a running diary of Game 2 of the Knicks-Celtics playoff series, played on April 19, 2011 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. It is the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Celtics took Game 1 of the best of seven series with a last second three-pointer by the NBA’s record holder in that category, Ray Allen. The Knicks lost starting point guard Chauncey Billups to injury and star Carmelo Anthony came into Game 2 facing heated criticism from the national media for poor shot selection and modest offensive output. The writer is a Knicks fan, who has waited seven years for a return to the playoffs and was rather depressed after the opening defeat, was having a generally terrible day by the time Game 2 began, and is developing a truly cynical outlook on life.
Before tip: We’re live from Boston. A few shots of the revelant players in today’s game: Ray Allen coolly draining jumpers, Chauncey Billups sporting a heinous shirt and tie combination on the bench, Carmelo smiling for the camera. No word on whether the Knicks media guys rerecorded Dr. Dre’s seminal “Forgot About Dre” to be “Forgot About Ray” as a way of reminding the club to keep their guard up.
6:45 to play in first: Toney Douglas, in as a replacement for Billups, drives to the basket and gets rejected by Paul Pierce. The ball bounces to Allen who outlets it to a streaking Rajon Rondo for a layup. Rondo, who scored ten points in Game 1 and shot terribly, scores 14 in the first quarter, exclusively on layups.
1:00: Carmelo makes a quick move, gets fouled while in the air and makes an impossible bank shot for an old-fashioned three point play. After Game 1 he told the media the silly shots he took were shots he usually made, and so far he’s proving it.
6:18 to play in second: Amar’e Stoudemire heads to the bench after a few bricks. It’s like the Knicks refuse to have two players play well in the same game.
6:15: Turns out Amar’e is hurting. Shit.
1:57: Carmelo is single-handedly carrying one of the worst playoff lineups I have ever seen, as he drives and dunks to make 40-39 Celtics. The Celtics are actually doing everything well and up by one point over a team playing Carmelo and four D-Leaguers. This makes no sense.
1.2 seconds: Shawn Williams is inexplicably fouled 90 feet from the basket by Glen “Don’t Call Me Big Baby” Davis and the Knicks go into the half up one. I’m cautiously giddy.
10:47 in third: Garnett to Allen, Allen hits a three. Painfully perfect.
4:08: Allen sinks another three and we get the obligatory shot of his mother clapping in the stands. Apparently she ran the marathon on Monday. She also looks like her son, but with hair and a rhinestone encrusted jersey.
10:30 to play in fourth: Crazy sequence. Melo misses a shot, falls down, and angrily pouts while the Celtics race up the court, only to miss. Bill Walker (0-11 this game) secures the rebound and heaves it to Melo who lays it up and acts like he made a good play. Whatever, it’s a two point game.
7:51: Melo hits a turnaround to put the Knicks up two. Spike Lee is dancing a jig in the front row.
1:14: Pierce drives, draws two defenders, deftly dishes to Garnett for a dunk. There was much more D in that sentence than the Knicks offered on that play.
20.6 to play: Boston now doubles Melo immediately, so the Knicks are forced to go to Jared Jeffries, the worst offensive player in the NBA, who incredibly makes a layup to give them the lead. I am laughing hysterically.
7.9: After a KG jump hook to give the Celtics the lead, the Knicks feed Jeffries again, who turns it over. Fuck everything.
3.8: Delonte West dribbles out the clock as the Knicks look on, dumbly. Celts up 2-0, this writer is crestfallen.