In January the Knicks have losses to Boston, Indiana, Chicago, and Brooklyn – not good. However, Thursday night in Boston they have an opportunity to not only beat the Celtics and send them to 20-22 but also knock them 7 games out of the lead in the Atlantic, and their 5th consecutive loss. The Knicks haven’t beat the Celtics in Boston since the “Rondo and the Big Three’s” era began and I don’t care what anyone tells you the C’s are in the Knicks heads. For the past 5 years Boston has won this division and not only did the Celtics sweep New York out of the playoffs in Carmelo Anthony’s first year; they beat them an embarrassing 8 times in the 2010-2011 season.
Its time to go in their house and beat these guys – the same way Boston came to NY without Rondo and got a W. Furthermore, not only beat these guys, run them out of the gym. Boston is reeling, Doc Rivers is publicly questioning their desire to work hard and play winning basketball. New York needs to walk in that building, get physical, get nasty and make a statement. Here’s how it needs to be done:
New York’s offense is hurting without Raymond Felton and without the pick and roll. We haven’t seen much driving to the basket; we need that from Melo, JR and Shump. We haven’t seen much transition scoring – Kidd has even slowed it down, guys have to run with him, and we haven’t seen any alley-oops to Tyson Chandler. We’ve seen a tendency for this offense to get stagnant and a lot of dribbling by Melo and JR and that needs to change.
Knicks fans are tired of Rajon Rondo! The last time the Knicks were in Boston, Rondo had 18 points 20 assists and 17 rebounds. In the 2011 playoff sweep he averaged 19 points 12 assists and 7 rebounds. This guy has to be stopped whether it’s Shump, JR, Brewer or even James White, Rondo CANNOT dominate this game and getting the ball out of his hands has to be the focal point.
Stoudemire is working his way back into form and with all the attention defenses pay Melo these days, STAT can feast around the paint when the double teams come. The offense is natural to him; the effort on defense and the glass will end up defining his legacy in New York. Stoudemire has to keep Brandon Bass and Jard Sullinger off the glass, and that’s exactly what he didn’t do against Kris Humphries on Monday.
Ric Flair made his living coining the phrase, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man!” The Knicks have been talking about winning the division since training camp; the Atlantic has been Boston’s division 5 years running. Stop talking and start winning, no excuses, no cop-outs, and no KG nonsense, make this statement New York!