Chauncey Billups did not wear Knicks blue tonight, out with a damaged knee.
Amare Stoudemire left during the first quarter with 5 points and back spasms and did not return.
Yet the Knicks held a one point lead in game 2 of their matchup with the defending EC champs with less than a minute left. How? Because Carmelo, when his shot is falling, cannot be stopped by conventional defense. Melo had the best playoff game of his career in a losing effort, and it would have been a win if not for a clutch bucket and a clutch steal both by Kevin Garnett to close out the game.
Carmelo had 42 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 assists, and when Boston switched to doubling him on the catch in the last few minutes, he got his teammates open and gave up the ball unselfishly. Defensively he matched up with Rondo in the 4th quarter and slowed down Rajon’s career high 30 point outburst by spacing him with his length and narrowing the driving lanes.
The Knicks are going home down 0-2, having lost twice due to last second excellence of execution by the Celtics. But really, Boston was supposed to take care of the home court, so NY hasn’t done anything wrong yet. They’ve shown they can more than compete with Celtics and that both Amare and Carmelo can explode against the vaunted Boston defense.