Knicks Move Closer to Division Championship With Blowout of Celtics

Published on: 31st March, 2013


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New York – Before tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden between the Knicks and their Atlantic Division arch-rivals, the Boston Celtics, Rasheed Wallace, the veteran power forward currently disabled with a foot injury had written the number 50 on the white board in the Knicks locker room. For those unaware of such things as NBA milestones, that number represents a big achievement in a team’s evolution. Winning 50 in a season, even in a watered down NBA, is still a big deal.

Wallace Wrote the #50 on Locker Room Board

Wallace was trying to urge his teammates to achieve something during this season that few teams do. With the playoffs already clinched, and 45 wins coming into tonight’s game, the Knicks know they will finish either second or third in the Eastern Conference. Team objectives for the regular season with only ten games remaining on the schedule are dwindling down to a few. To Wallace, that nice, round number seemed a good goal to remind the guys to keep pushing.

Tonight, they pushed and they pushed some more against the undermanned Celtics, who were minus Kevin Garnett. After another Knicks blowout, 108-89, they now have their 46th win in the books. The Knicks may be making Wallace smile much sooner than later.

Carmelo Anthony led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as the Knicks remained the league’s hottest team, winning their eighth consecutive game. This streak is dwarfed next to the Miami Heat’s great 27-game winning skein that just ended a few days ago in a loss to Chicago but, it’s still an achievement the Knicks are proud of.

“Sheed came in and put that number on the board, that was our goal and it is very doable for us,” said Anthony. “We started believing in ourselves again. Every season, you hit walls, hit hurdles and you lose momentum a little bit. You have to find ways to get that back. We are now finding ways to get that back.”

The Knicks beat the Celtics for the second time in a week and won the season series for the first time since 2003-04, taking three of four against Boston. They climbed back into a tie with Indiana in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, which would currently mean a playoff meeting with the Celtics.

The Knicks, who won by 15 in Boston on Tuesday, haven’t won a division title since the 1993-94 season.

The Knicks shot 52 percent in the first quarter, got 12 points from Anthony and led 28-23. They opened it up with eight straight points early in the second to take a 42-32 lead on Steve Novak‘s 3-pointer. The Celtics trimmed the deficit to single digits just once in the half, which ended spectacularly when Felton threw in a buzzer-beater from just beyond half court to make it 65-48.

After the Knicks came home two weeks ago from their disastrous West Coast road trip, most NBA observers kissed away any chance the Knicks had of making noise in the playoffs. They looked like the old legs of this mostly old team had seen their best days of this season during the 18-5 start.

Since then, their record is a very pedestrian 28-21 but, prior to this eight-game run of wins, they were just 20-21 since the great start.

Guess what? The Knicks are back in the conversation for going deep into the playoffs and being a real threat to the crown the defending champion Miami Heat currently wear on their heads. Funny how a couple of good weeks can change matters.



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