Knicks Beat Sixers: The Facts and the Near Future
The Knicks play solid basketball, beat the sixers, and grab the six spot
Recently, when writing about the Knicks, I’ve been consumed by an erratic passion. Either I damn the team when they lose, with feverish and violent prose, or flatter them in a poetic voice, echoing authors that I admire. Statistics and other facts have not been my focus. If anything, numbers have been markers that direct my intuitive and emotional reasoning, but in no way contain them. I think, now, after last night’s win against the Sixers, the fifth in our winning streak, it behooves oneself to calm down, reflect soberly, and methodically report some objective truths.
At the start of the second half, the Knicks were up 49-41, and it seemed like the lead was only going to get bigger. In a portentous moment, with just under 7 minutes to go in the third, Melo scored back-to-back threes at the right wing. This brought the Knicks’ lead to 17 points, marking an 11-0 run against the Sixers. Things were still looking good.
Then, with 5:52 minutes left in the third, Chauncey fell to the floor after some contact with Elton Brand. He left the game a little later with a right thigh contusion. Stoudemire reported that Billups did not expect to miss any future games. That’s good news. Without a point guard, the Knicks had some trouble in the fourth. Thaddeus Young led the Sixers to a late 88-87 lead with a 10-0 run over the disoriented Knicks (in a bizarre moment, STAT even attempted a three pointer from the top of the key).
Sixers fans were going wild. But as we’ve learned: you can count on Toney Douglas to make things happen. Just short of two minutes left, Douglas took back the lead with a three. Now, Knicks fans were going wild. In another clutch move, Douglas sank two free throws, making the score 92-88. Sixers answered that with yet another three pointer. God damn. With Philadelphia only down by one point, 18 seconds left in the game, the Knicks really needed to take advantage of their possession. If they missed and the Sixers got the rebound, they could potentially take the lead, really pressure the Knicks, and probably call it a game. But Carmelo Anthony, all smiles, found his favorite spot on the right wing, and sank another three, leaving the Sixers four points behind, 11 seconds left. That would make it official.
The Knicks won 97-92 and grabbed the six seed from the Sixers. Simply put, this was good basketball. Coming up on Friday is Knicks-Nets. If the whole team plays with the aggressiveness that Melo had in the second half of the game against the Nets last week, the Knicks should win no problem. Then comes Indiana; I want revenge. Seven wins should give the Knicks the confidence to battle the Bulls and the Celtics. You, Us, We are ready Now. Let’s do it.
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