Despite Loss, Point Taken

In an early candidate for game of the year, Paul Pierce drained a jumper with .4 seconds left to lift the Boston Celtics over the New York Knicks.  In a game that felt like it was taking place in May or June and not mid-December, the two teams exchanged blows like heavyweight fighters from start to finish.  If there was ever such thing as a moral victory in pro sports (Which there is not), then the Knicks qualified for that title last night.  After being questioned on the value of the 8-game winning streak, because most of the stretch came by way of below average teams, the Knicks proved they are for real.  Had Paul Pierce shot his game winner, say, .4 seconds earlier and Amare Stoudemire’s last second 3-pointer counted, we would be talking about one of the most historic runs in league history.  Yes, it’s true.  Amare, who poured in 39 points, would have joined a list of players you can count on one hand to drop 30+ in 9 straight victories.  Amare wasn’t always this good was he?  He looks active in every aspect of the game.  Defensively he was a force,  spiking shot attempts in the lane like he was Gaylord Focker playing volleyball in a swimming pool.  Since ESPN has put microphones behind the backboard, you could hear Amare in one particular back-to-back sequence of blocked shots emphatically say:  “Get that sh*t outta hear.”  Love it.  How about the cast of Knick role players who stepped up?  Since when does former Tar Heel Raymond Felton have the ability to nail 26 points to the scoreboard while dishing 14 dimes?  That makes Felton directly responsible for 40+ points in a big game.  When Felton and Stoudemire needed a boost, wouldn’t you know it was Danilo Gallinari who put up 20 second half points!  Gallo had one stretch in the third when someone switched his battery pack to “beast mode” and dude just went in.  3’s?  Got it.  And-1 floaters?  Money.  Baseline reverse dunk?  Naturally.  Wait who?  Gallinari?  Yes, let that marinade.  Ready yet?  Wilson Chandler was.  The former DePaul forward posted 18 points to go with his 12 rebounds.  Chandler, who by most is being considered trade-bait, is making doubters think twice about his value (Averaging 17 pts, 6 reb).  I’m liking this Knick team more and more every day.  Oh, I think I mentioned that they lost right?  Let’s not forget, they were supposed to lose.  The Celtics are former world champions, chock-full of veteran hall-of-famers who are still playing at the highest level.  They’ve been to the top of the mountain before. Trailing for most of the game on Wednesday and finding a way to win shows the unreplicated resolve of champions.  The ability to not get too high with the highs, nor to low with the lows is something that will carry Boston into Spring.  After Amare’s would-be buzzer beater was waved off, Paul Pierce went to center court and gave nearly every angle of Madison Square Garden a ‘Reggie Miller like’ bow.  How polite.  At one point when Pierce was gallivanting around the court, his little jester Nate Robinson tried jumping in the air for a classic shoulder bump, only to have Pierce style the celebrating more by ducking low into airplane landing mode, sending Robinson sprawling on his back.  Should have made top-plays.  I’m pumped for the quick turn around as the Knicks will try to match their Wednesday energy against Miami when the star-studded squad comes to the Mecca of New York. 

Taking a peek at some other games around the league, the San Antonio Spurs Manu Ginobli buried a fading jumper as time expired to give his squad a 92-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.  It’s funny how the Spurs have been so good for so long, that they almost garner the least attention relative to the leagues top teams, while in fact being the leagues best team with a 21-3 record.  While maybe not the most talented team in the NBA,  they just may be the best pure team plain and simple.  What team’s top 3 players have played more together than the Spurs’ Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker?  Don’t let Ginobli’s bald spot, or Duncan needing a can of oil squirted on every joint like the Tin Man before every game fool you.  I equate them to the set of old guys that every men’s league has.  Every other team is dunking in warm ups, matching their shoes with the jersey and winking at their girlfriends, while the old timers are practicing out of bounds plays.  Unless it’s a big game, I usually switch the channel to Animal Planet or a WWII special when the Spurs play.  Considering the age of Duncan, I often get confused between the Spurs game and the old war footage, but when the camera goes to either Hitler or Popovich I usually always figure out the difference. 

Notes:  I hate the fact that this Sal Alosi guy from the Jets coaching staff may lose his job over his tripping incident.  Should he have done it?  Absolutely not.  It was unprofessional, and dangerous.  The NFL punished him, severely.  They fined him roughly a quarter of his yearly salary, while also suspending him for the rest of the season.  Now the Jets did their own investigation and are going to slam him again?  Are we expected to believe this guy was the only coach who instructed these players on the sideline to form a wall?  Does a strength and conditioning coach really have that kind of authority on game day?  The Jets taking it further rubs me the wrong way.  Dude was punished, let that be that.  After all, he was trying to help his team (Not that is an excuse of any kind, but it should be considered from his own team who is now after him).  No post Friday, see you Saturday.


20 Responses to Despite Loss, Point Taken

  1. Rocco DiJohn says:

    Wow Did I tell everyone on here watch out for the heat??? As people suck the knicks dick for winning a couple games Heat win 10 stright and by double digts again! Dude common don’t make me say I told you soo…. Lebron Killing? YUP. Bosh playing Malone Playoff D?? YEP!

    LB23 Hola!!

    • Evan Lane says:

      Rocco, to be fair, Malone’s playoff D wasn’t enough. haha But you are right about the Heat for sure. They are finding their groove. I really do hope they sustain and continue to get better at this rate. They need to win a couple of games against teams the caliber of the Celtics, Lakers, Spurs, and Mavs before it gets real serious. When they start beating those kinds of teams the league is in trouble. I wonder about the length and ability of the lakers inside and the toughness and relentlessness of the celtics insiide. Remember Big Z has as many miles as Shaq or Garnett. But even with all that having been said, The Bulls got 6 rings with out a dominate center and so can this team. So it will definitely be interesting to see how the season plays out. One more thing, last nights game may have been different if the Knicks already had Mello. Just a thought…not a certainty.

    • Nate says:

      I’m convinced now Rocco. I wasn’t ready to jump on board after their 5 game win streak, but now that they’ve pushed it to 9, played some good teams, and continued to win by double digits (minus the Cavs game) I’m beginning to get scared for the rest of the league. And if Joel Anthony can D up bigs like he did against Amar’e last night (seriously, where did that come from?), we might see this win streak stretch for a long time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s hilarious that you can always tell which comments are Joes lolololol

  3. JR Reid says:

    Love the ideas although the execution can be a bit shoddy at times; could use an editor. Keep it up though, worth the read.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Byesline, good stuff! Joe Harris you’re such a liar it astounds me. You were at the game right? In NYC? You sure you didn’t show up in Boston?

  5. Rocco DiJohn says:

    Wow Great post BL!! Had me laughing the whole time. Spurs and war footage?? Haha someone get this guy a talk show!

  6. Evan Lane says:

    I agree about the tripping incident. In my opinion this wasn’t a calculated action out of desire to hurt someone but a reflexive action in the heat of the moment. Like you said it doesn’t excuse it at all but the Jets ought to be able to empathize with the idea. I’m sure if you had asked him before hand if he would ever do that he would have truthfully said no. Also that he regretted it before they guy even hit the ground. His body had an athletic response before his mind could process it. Any athlete can relate to this and i’m sure the section of the Jet’s administration going after him have never played sports. They just got their sports management degrees and public relations degrees and think about what the financial bottom line is.

    Anybody reading this blog and wants a future in sports as a coach or in any other way should take notice in what Byesline said about the Spurs. Although the paragraph is full of references and humor, its strength is in the truth. Success in sports is an equation that involves preparation, execution, focus, all revolving around fundamentals. Popovich understands this as well as any coach in the NBA. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the Spurs have four Championships. They didn’t do it with superior talent, they did it with the basic ideas and principles of basketball combined with maximum work ethic and sacrifice of ego. This to me is not only a demonstration of superior philosophy but also a demonstration of why D’antoni will NEVER win a championship. I don’t care how many points Amare scores or how many regular season games the Kincks win, it was no different in Phoenix. You’ll see in the post season.

    • JB says:

      When you look up “Fall Guy” in the new Mobster dictionary, there’s going to be a picture of Sal Alosi. The Jets are clearly hammering him for something that there is no way he commanded alone. Like BL said, Alosi does not have that authority. And did you catch the quote by the tight end, Jeff Cumberland? “We’ve been doing that since the beginning of the year, standing right there. Sunday was not the first time that we’d been doing that. I mean, throughout the season you know things are going to happen but you never expect this to happen. He never really just gave a reason, He just said during punt return, ‘You just stand right here by this line, everybody just stand right here.’ There wasn’t really a reason why. But we kinda figured just in case somebody ran over here.”

      We kinda figured?!?!?! LOLOLOL

      And Evan, I couldn’t disagree with you more that this was an “athletic response”. Accepting that you would know a lot more about an athletic response than I would, let me just say that a player running out of bounds happens numerous times in an NFL game. This often results with those players (often gunners) running into NFL players on the sideline. What reaction do you see happen the vast majority of the time? Either said players get out of the way or put up their arms to brace for contact. I have yet to see a player, who more than anyone on this blog would know about an athletic response, on the sideline stick his knee out while holding his hands at his side (since they don’t have pockets to put them in like Alosi is clearly doing in the picture – that can hardly be considered an athletic response). I agree that he didn’t mean to hurt him, at least I hope that’s the case, but I do believe that he deliberately set out to take Carroll down. Why else set up the wall? Why else calmly have your hands in your pocket while you lunge forward?

      Not to go all “Man didn’t land on the moon” conspiracy theary on everyone, but I believe the Jets did not fire Alosi for the simple reason that they don’t want to risk him telling that the real orders came from higher up.

      • Evan Lane says:

        JB, I think you are right about the jets using him as a scapegoat to protect themselves and you raise a good point about the regularity of football players running out of bounds into crowds of players and coaches. I suppose i should stick to basketball. I Used the term “athletic response” because i can remember times i did something without calculating it that could be construed at malicious but in fact it wasn’t. I didn’t really stop to think about the fact that this happens throughout the game in football and anyone standing there should be prepared for it. Most likely the truth is probably in the middle somewhere.

        P.S. Joe harris, this exchange between JB and I is an example of what a sports debate should be like. We didn’t lie or insult each other, we simply spoke sports.

      • JB says:

        I can agree on that. He probably forgot the little bit about it being on camera (like everything these days) or NATIONAL TELEVISION. I highly doubt he would have done the same had he thought about these things, so I see what you’re saying about the reaction.

        lol about the PS to Joe

  7. Mark Miller says:

    I love how the Jets special teams coach was unaware his team had formed a wall, but was quick to point out it was a strategy the Patriots used. Bush League…

    • Anonymous says:

      Soooo true! He’s obviously still mad that he can’t sit down without it hurting after that 45-3 dismantling last week.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Very Very funny stuff, especially that Spurs paragraph. Literal lol

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