By Matt Noonan
This was his night.
Carmelo Anthony must have known that Game 2 belonged to him and clearly he accepted the challenge.
Anthony and the New York Knicks unfortunately finished Game 2 with a loss, as the Boston Celtics secured their second win in this best-of-seven game series.
Although, one could believe that this game fell on his shoulders due to the injuries of two key players.
“Chauncey [Billups] and Amare [Stoudemire], two of our biggest guys, we missed them a lot [tonight],” said Anthony via (NBA.com).
So, without the “biggest guys,” the Knicks called upon their no-name bunch to fill the void, but again, the outcome was not in their favor.
“I think it [gave our team] momentum, it [gave] them confidence [because] when there number’s called, they can go out there and produce,” said Anthony.
Sure, Anthony may have acted smooth and suave when he met with the media after yet another heartbreaking playoff defeat and credited his teammates efforts, but seriously, this game belonged to him. Although, his teammates did compliment his play and efforts, so maybe, just maybe, we should thank the New York bench.
Anthony finished the game with 42 points, that’s right, 42 points, but simply it wasn’t enough. He connected on 14 of 30 shots from the field, as well as sank 10 of 12 shots from the free throw line.
Want more statistics from Tuesday’s game?
He finished with four three-pointers, 17 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and oh, by the way, he also recorded five fouls, in case fans were wondering.
Yet, forget the box score. Just sit back and replay this particular game in your head. Anthony was jumping out of the TD Garden and surely, his efforts did not go unnoticed. In fact, it almost felt as if LeBron James was leading the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Celtics, but after blinking a few times, one realize it wasn’t him, but instead, Carmelo Anthony.
Without Billups and Stoudemire, Anthony was a one-man band. He had to lead a group of guys that not even the casual NBA fan knows quite well, in fact, besides Bill Walker or Toney Douglas, who is a member of this Knicks bench that one knows off the top of their head?
Douglas was somewhat helpful, as he added 14 points, but Walker, besides yapping and mouthing off finished the game with just two points. He was 0 for 11 from the field, as well as spent all of his time and energy looking to pick fights with his former Celtics teammates.
Yet, despite Anthony’s heroic efforts, the Knicks have dug themselves a hole and who truly knows if they can rebound and possibly find a way back in this series?
New York will host Boston for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday, but without a win in either contest, their season will come crashing down. In fact, the Knicks have not won a playoff series since the ’99-’00 season, so obviously, New Yorkers want their team to win.
Boston was favored to win this series, but again, who would have predicted that Carmelo Anthony’s heroics almost saved the Knicks, especially in Game 2? Did anyone imagine that Anthony would act as a superhero and fight his way toward the top?
Who knows, but this superhero didn’t finish the task or lead his team to victory.
In fact, his 42 point effort is almost the same as when Dwyane Wade scored 46 points against the Celtics during the 2010 NBA playoffs. Wade and the Miami Heat lost to the Celtics in five games and excluding Celtics fans, who truly remembers that heroic or glossy effort?
Anthony should indeed be commended for his efforts, but in sports, wins outweigh flashy statistics, especially in the playoffs and the only way he will be remembered is if he can manage to lead his teams to wins.