In case you missed Tuesday nightâ€™s playoff matchup, you missed another interesting finish in the Celtics-Knicks series.Â Chauncey Billups was out with a sprained knee and Amare Stoudemire didnâ€™t play in the second half due to back spasms, so the pressure was on for Carmelo Anthony to carry his team and even up the series.
The small forward did a great job most of the game.Â The Knicks were neck and neck the entire game and had the lead for most of the final minutes.Â Then just what Celtics fans were hoping for, and Knicks fans were afraid of, New York couldnâ€™t step up and finish, yet again.Â Sure, it would have helped if Billups and Amare were in the game, but they werenâ€™t and it was up to Carmelo to step up and lead his team.
Anthony did hit an impressive step back three-pointer in the last two minutes or so, but besides that you didnâ€™t see much else from him at the end of the game.
What really stood out to me is when the Celtics were up by one and were passing the ball in from the sideline with just over four seconds left.Â The Celtics throw it in the backcourt to Delonte West, who Anthony was guarding, and he starts slowly jogging and almost appears to be confused on whether or not to foul him.Â He ends up fouling with point-six seconds left.
Now, I donâ€™t understand how your so-called â€œsuperstarâ€ doesnâ€™t know to foul him right away.Â I realize he had five fouls and didnâ€™t want to be the one to have to foul, but that is no excuse.Â If you foul West right when he gets the ball, you will have enough time to have enough time to get off a decent shot and have a chance to tie up the game.Â Instead you only leave yourself with less than a second for a desperate heave, and thatâ€™s exactly how the game finished.
Anthony is also receiving some criticism for the Knicks final possession when they were down one.Â Melo received a pass with about eight seconds left and instead of trying to score, like he had been all game, decided to pass it down just below the block to Jared Jeffries, who caught the ball in a tough situation.Â Jeffries attempted to pass it to an open player right in front of the hoop, but Kevin Garnett was able to deflect it and call a time out with four point one seconds left.
I donâ€™t think I can completely fault Carmelo for making the pass down to Jeffries.Â If you see an open player cutting towards the basket, itâ€™s not a horrible idea to pass it to him.Â At the same time he did have 42 points and was scoring with ease throughout the game.
It does make you wonder what would Kobe, Durant, Rose, or other star players would have done in the same situation.Â I think that more attention is being brought to this because it is Carmelo Anthony and he has been known for not rising to the occasion from time to time.