At the half of New York’s 87-71 Game 2 win over Boston, Charles Barkley called for Carmelo Anthony to give him more, saying New York doesn’t have enough scorers to have off nights from Anthony and still expect to win. ‘Melo had made just three buckets in the first two quarters, and New York was trailing by six. Mike Woodson must’ve heard him, and quietly changed the offense to run more of it through Raymond Felton (16 points, seven boards) rather than Anthony. Because of that extra freedom, the NBA’s leading scorer exploded after the break, finishing with 34 points as the Knicks’ offense was flowing smoother than Jason Kidd‘s neck fat in the third quarter. A 29-6 run might’ve officially closed the door on Boston’s season. … J.R. Smith (19 points) started the night by receiving the Sixth Man of the Year trophy, and then proceeded to hit his first four shots in the first quarter. The Knicks closed out that quarter by unleashing Swish for five straight points. It really was a microcosm of Smith’s year and his maturity. First, he gets isolated with around 15 seconds left, doesn’t force anything, works himself into a nice, on-balance pull-up and cans it. Then he nearly draws a charge on the Truth, which forces a turnover. After that, just to show Earl Smith III still has a little crazy left in him, he drops a 30-footer while being surrounded by four guys in green, before doing some dance that should’ve stayed in the ’70s. It was so good that later on NBA TV, it forced Baron Davis to bring back the dreaded “YAHTZEE!” call.
Kenyon Martin (11 rebounds, four blocks) was all over the glass, spiked a couple of shots into the stands, and did it all while spending long portions of the game checking Paul Pierce (18 points) 25 feet from the rim. So you’re telling us no one wanted this dude for months? Sometimes we don’t understand NBA GMs. The only thing he did wrong all night was blow a dunk off a pick-n-roll on one of New York’s best sets. … Jason Terry must’ve heard us calling him one of the season’s most disappointing players. The old JET was back last night — at least in the first half — rocking a swagger that was just screaming out for Sam Cassell‘s big nuts dance. He hit three triples in the first half, and two of them came on fast break situations. As for Kevin Garnett, when he picked up his fifth foul (in just 24 minutes), the crowd started serenading the big man with “KG sucks!” chants. For once, Garnett had nothing to say because he was playing uncharacteristically soft.
And Quentin Richardson is barely getting any PT, but at least he looks good with some custom Air Jordans on the bench.