Celtics Vs. Knicks: New York Is Eliminated, And Excuses Begin

It was nice knowing you, New York Knicks. After playing two incredibly competitive games in Boston, the Knicks completely rolled over against the Celtics in New York, getting blown out in Game 3 and essentially getting blown out in Game 4 too. The Madison Square Garden crowd was supposed to energize the Knicks; instead, the Knicks de-energized the crowd.

Now, anytime the Knicks fall in the playoffs, there will be plenty of people coming out to mock them. This is especially true when they employ Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire on the same team. One arguably held the league hostage with a season-long trade demand, the other has always been put down for being horrible on defense (valid) and riding Steve Nash's coattails (very invalid). But this time, those two will mostly avoid criticism because their head coach decided to say this:

D'Antoni on Rondo: "I'd like to see him play on Minnesota and see how he does. ... They've got three Hall of Famers out there."    

The line led to the day's ultimate Twitter meme, and with good reason. Andy covered this well on Sunday, but it bears mentioning: there's a time and place to begin the discussion over whether Rondo's development was aided by three Hall of Famers. Immediately prior to your team's elimination game, when the dude has been shredding what you call your "point guards" all series, is not that time. D'Antoni may catch too much grief for having a shallow roster and two superstars who are an awkward fit at best, but he deserves every amount of ridicule he received for that line.

In the end, the Knicks are gone, and they went out in typical Knicks fashion. Save for some inspired play by Anthony Carter, their performance over the weekend, even given all their injuries, was pretty shameful. And really, the only thing Carter's performance was good for was one of the worst Mark Jackson puns anyone's ever heard ("turn up the AC!").

(Speaking of Jackson: does anyone else imagine Jackson and D'Antoni meeting on a plane and deciding to switch jobs, like in that Kobe Bryant Turkish Airlines commercial? We'll then see D'Antoni scrambling to come up with broadcast catchphrases, while Jackson gets into a fight with Anthony while his Knicks keep losing. Then, when it's all done, the two will agree not to question each other, and Jackson's not-so-secret public lobbying for D'Antoni's job on air will stop).


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