There are two ways to look at the Knicks' loss, neither of which is particularly heartwarming at this late hour. The first is the easy, knee-jerk one: The Knicks got screwed. After Toney Douglas's massive, no-no-no-YES! three-pointer with 37.8 seconds left and a "someone should probably guard Kevin Garnett, right?" inbounds dunk just 0.5 seconds later, Carmelo Anthony was called for an odd offensive foul call that hadn't been called all game and is almost never called in the waning seconds. Then, as Douglas was chasing down a cutting Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett quite obviously tripped him on a screen to get Allen open. If you call one, you have to call the other. But truth be told: No referee in the world would have the cojones to call Garnett's trip under those circumstances, in Boston, in an atmosphere like that.
In other words: This is the playoffs. This is what happens in the playoffs. Knicks fans better become accustomed to it.
There's a lot of bitching about the officiating among Knicks fans. I mean.. A LOT.
You want my opinion? There was no trip on KG. He set a screen and Toney Douglas tripped over his foot/leg. Tripping and getting tripped are two different things.
My favorite bitch session comes from KnickBlogger.net:
If you watched the game from the Knicks blue and orange colored lenses, then you must feel the same way I do. I just don’t get that offensive foul call with 21 seconds left in the game against Carmelo Anthony for a number of reasons. First, I don’t see how ‘Melo gets some kind of superior position due to the ‘foul’. And granted it seemed that there was a lot of hand fighting on both ends before the ball got there. The whistle could have gone either way.
Secondly how do the refs make that critical call given how loose the rest of the game was called? Again it’s not like Anthony got the ball with a clear lane to score. But considering the low ratio of New York layup attempts that ended up with Knicks on the floor to foul calls, why did all of a sudden the whistles come alive?
Finally, how is this call against Top 10 NBA Player™ Carmelo Anthony? Didn’t the Knicks acquire him to get these kind of last second calls? Aren’t the refs supposed to skew the calls towards the league’s elite players?
I can understand the Knicks gripe over this call. You had Melo and Paul Pierce going mana-a-mano with the game on the line. Let them play, right?
But Melo made a dumb move and Pierce took advantage of it (by embellishing). The smarter player usually wins.
And to answer his question about refs skewing calls towards the league's elite players. They did.. for Pierce.
On Page 2, props for KG.
Kevin Garnett can look old and done and you sometimes wonder if he can ever get off the new Boston Garden's parquet court. Then there are times when he seems to get shot out of a cannon and he still has a lot of spring in those old, tired legs.
Garnett didn't make the deciding basket Sunday night when the Knicks and Celtics opened their first-round series with as good a game as you'll see in the postseason. But his dunk off an in-bounds play in the final 37 seconds seemed to set off a chain reaction, with everything after that going right for the Celtics, and everything going terribly wrong for the Knicks.
Up went Garnett. Down went the Knicks. Hard.
Watch out for KG in Game 2. I'm sure he's not happy with all the props given Amare Stoudemire.