Tag: NBA christmas games 2011

Carmelo Anthony

Knick show better poise, execution in clutch to beat Celtics


If we told you first thing this morning that the team that executed better at the end, that showed the more poise under pressure — and after the whistle — was going to win the season opener between the Knicks and Celtics, we all would have thought it would be the veteran combo from Boston.

Nope. Carmelo Anthony drew the late foul (on a borderline call but the refs will blow the whistle on the reach from behind almost every time) and sank free throws, while both Marquis Daniels and Kevin Garnett missed good looks and the Knicks come away with the 106-104 win at Madison Square Garden.

The Celtics were playing without Paul Pierce, and they could have used his offense and shot creation against a spotty Knicks defense — there were moments at the rim with Tyson Chandler and other spots the Knicks looked good, then there was the whole third quarter where they looked like the Knicks of old.

This game pretty much summed up what we can expect from the start of this NBA season — sloppy and inconsistent. That’s what you get after shortened training camps.

To start the game the Knicks ball movement was spectacular — they had 34 points on just 24 possessions in the first, according to John Schuhmann of NBA.com. The Knicks were up 10 at the half and the Garden faithful were loving it.

Then in the second half the Celtics cranked up the defensive pressure and the Knicks were suddenly an ugly isolation team again. Meanwhile, Ray Allen found his stroke (he finished with 20) and Rajon Rondo was being aggressive like he will need to be all season for Boston (31 points and 13 assists).

The game was tied at 104-104 with just under a minute when the sloppiness impacted the game — first Carmelo lost the handle coming off an Amare Stoudemire screen and the ball rolled out of bounds. Then the Celtics were forced to pass to the open man — Brandon Bass three feet from the rim — but Chandler sent one ball back and Bass got stripped on the recovery.

Next time down the Knicks halfcourt offense was non-existent so Tony Douglas threw a dangerous lob to Carmelo, who caught it at the elbow and tried to spin toward the basket, only to have Marquis Daniels reach from behind, get almost all ball but also get the call. (Note to Celtics fans, that call is not why you lost, the first half might be a better reason for one.) Anthony drained two free throws.

Again the Celtics depth hurt them on their first try late in the game, the Knicks did a good job taking away a few options including Rondo’s drive so he kicked to Daniels for a wide open corner three, which he missed. Daniels was in because Pierce was out. But Rondo tracked down the rebound and Celtics got another chance with 4.4 seconds left.

And it was a good look and chance — Bill Walker of the Knicks essentially picked his own man (Chandler) off Garnett who had the ball (Walker was trying to track down Rondo). Garnett got a clean look from about 16 feet out, with Walker on a late close. KG missed.

Then this happened.

Nice poise, KG. Shouldn’t be any fines or suspensions on this one, but the Knicks are not going to back down from Celtics is the message. They are feeling good about themselves.

Carmelo had a game-high 37 points, Stoudemire had 21. Brandon Bass had 20 in a nice showing for Boston.

What a way to start the season, and it’s going to be fun when these two meet again.

Clippers vs. Warriors to be last Christmas Day game

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks
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Looks like Blake Griffin and Stephen Curry are going to have to work on Christmas.

The Warriors are going to host the last of five Christmas Day games, with the Clippers as the opponent, according to CSNBayArea.com. (Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times broke the story.)

This will be the last game of the five-game day. It will open with Boston against the Knicks, followed by the Heat against Mavericks then the Lakers hosting the Bulls. We do not yet know the fifth and final game of the NBA’s opening day.

Report: Knicks will host Celtics on Christmas Day

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Yes, yes, we know: If there’s a season. But since the league is pretending like there will be a season by releasing the 2011-12 schedule on Tuesday, as details of the marquee games continue to leak out, we’ll keep bringing them right to you.

We’ve already told you that the main event on Christmas day will be a Finals rematch between the Mavericks and the Heat. Now comes word of another of the holiday’s scheduled games, via Barbara Barker of Newsday (on Twitter):

Knicks to host the Celtics on Xmas day, league source tells me. Provided, of course, there is a season.

If all of these reports are true (and really, we have no reason to believe otherwise), then that leaves the Lakers, who traditionally play (and often get crushed) on Christmas day, without an obvious opponent considering the Heat and the Celtics are already matched up elsewhere.

Since the league typically uses Christmas as an opportunity to showcase its biggest markets, brightest stars, and top teams, you’re probably looking at some combination of L.A., Oklahoma City, Chicago, and Orlando being involved, along with a couple of upstarts to round out the schedule.

We won’t have to wait much longer for the official announcement, which will come at 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Exactly when we’ll get the more important announcement — you know, the one that tells us whether or not there will actually be a season — is unfortunately anyone’s guess.