Carmelo Anthony and Knicks Near First-Round Victory


Jim McIsaac

Anthony has been a key part of the Knicks strong 3-1 opening against the Boston Celtics. (Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT)


When the 2012-2013 NBA season began, the New York Knicks had one of the oldest teams in the NBA. At the age of 28, Carmelo Anthony is one of the younger members on the veteran team, and is its biggest star. He had a phenomenal regular season, claiming the title of the NBA’s 2012-2013 Scoring Champion while scoring 28.7 points a game. Now, ’Melo is trying to lead his team to Eastern Conference playoff glory.

Anthony has been a key part of the Knicks strong 3-1 opening against the Boston Celtics. (Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT)
Anthony has been a key part of the Knicks strong 3-1 opening against the Boston Celtics. (Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT)

On Saturday, April 20, the Knicks began the playoffs with an 85-78 win over series opponents, the Boston Celtics. The Knicks went 6-1 against the Celtics during the regular season, and continued to play well with Anthony leading the scoring on either side. He collected six rebounds and was able to shoot 36 points during game one, making 16 out of 20 free throws attempted as well as 10 out of 35 field goals attempted. Playing in front of the home crowd at Madison Square Garden, ’Melo was fired up during the second half, scoring 17. After trailing the Celtics by seven points in the third quarter, the Knicks fought their way back in the fourth. The biggest moment was a play that occurred 2:37 before the game ended. As Celtics forward Paul Pierce tried to pass the ball to a teammate, Anthony intercepted the ball and had an easy layup that put the Knicks up 81-76. With a little less than one and a half minutes left in the game, Anthony shot another two-pointer, making it 83-76, to ensure a win for the Knicks.

Game two of the series, on April 23, resulted in another Knicks win, this time 87-71, as ’Melo continued with yet another tremendous effort. In 40 minutes of play, he only gave up one turnover and picked up four rebounds. Anthony also scored on 10 out of 11 free throws attempted and hit two three-pointers. His teammates, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton, also helped out the Knicks, with Smith scoring 19 points and Felton scoring 16. By halftime, the Celtics were actually leading the Knicks 48-42, but the Knicks came back in the second half by outscoring the Celtics 45-23. In fact, by the end of the third quarter, New York had changed the score from a six point deficit to a massive 16 point lead. Anthony had 13 of his 34 points in the third quarter. With the win of game two, the Knicks won consecutive playoff games for only the first time since way back in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks continued their playoff surge in game three when they defeated the Celtics 90-76. At one point in the game, New York led Boston by a whopping 21 points, while Boston’s biggest lead against New York was a mere two. The Knicks led practically all game, and Anthony continued to be the hottest shooter, scoring 26 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Felton shot in 15 points himself, adding 10 assists. Smith also had 15 points in addition to his three assists and four rebounds. However, it wasn’t Smith’s, Felton’s or Anthony’s performance that had people talking the next day.

Towards the middle of the fourth quarter, Smith was ejected from the game for elbowing Jason Terry, a guard for the Celtics, in the face. While Terry was guarding Smith, he swung his elbow and hit Terry, who flew to ground immediately. The officials called the foul a Flagrant 2, and Smith was also suspended from game four of the series.

Despite ’Melo scoring another 36 points in game four, the Celtics were finally able to defeat the Knicks, 97-90, on April 28. Although Anthony was the top scorer, he missed 25 shots throughout the game, the first time he’s ever done so in a postseason game, making only 28 percent of his shots. At the end of the first half, Boston was leading New York 54-35. When the game resumed for the second half, the Knicks managed to outscore the Celtics 30-14 in the third quarter. By the end of regular play, both teams were tied 84-84. During overtime, Boston outscored New York 13-6 and took the win. Ironically, the hero for Boston was Jason Terry, whose first start was in game 3 and who was the victim of Smith’s elbow-to-face foul. Terry prayed on the Knicks’ defense late, scoring nine of his 18 points in overtime. His nine points accounted for the majority of the Celtics overtime scoring, helping the Celtics escape game four with the Knicks leading the series 3-1 instead of sweeping the Celtics and advancing to the next round.

The Knicks and Celtics will continue their best-of-seven series on May 1 with game five, with a chance for the Knicks to wrap up the postseason series with a win at home.