Swish. Man, it was good to see Carmelo Anthony’s 19-footer fall sweetly through the net with 0.5 seconds left on the clock last night. Before Melo’s heroics, the game looked like a typical Knick collapse from days of yore. Up 10 with just over three minutes to go, the Knicks managed to let their lead dwindle away behind three turnovers, five misses from the field and two unnecessary fouls that led to a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays for the Grizzlies. Suddenly, Isiah’s smiling face loomed in my mind (the Knicks boogeyman, for sure) and I was on the edge of my seat, praying that the Knicks would somehow sneak away with the win.
But, those dark days and nights have passed. Now, the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudamire. Remaining cool under pressure, the dynamic duo set up a pick-and-roll on the left wing, which led to a classic Melo step-back jumper over Tony Allen. Jared Jeffries intercepted the ensuing Grizzlies inbounds pass, and the 110-108 win was in the books. Sweet, sweet victory.
Y’all, THIS is why we got Carmelo Anthony. TrueHoop, ESPN’s NBA Blog, said it best:
Over the past three seasons Anthony has proven to be one of the most clutch performers in the NBA. He has made eight field goals in the final 10 seconds of games in which his team was tied or trailing by fewer than three points.
Those eight field goals are tied for the second most in the NBA over the last three seasons. Anthony has been efficient as well, converting on 50 percent of those opportunities. He is now 4-for-6 in such situations this season (1-for-1 with Knicks). Even more enlightening though is what other Knicks had done in these same type situations this season. Other Knicks have combined to go just 1-for-7 field-goal shooting in such situations. Raymond Felton (1-for-2), Wilson Chandler (0-for-2) and Danilo Gallinari (0-1), the key pieces in the Anthony trade, struggled under those same conditions.
One of the most clutch players in the NBA did what he does best last night. Since the trade, the Knicks have won six out of nine games. Not so bad, folks. If I was any of the other teams in the Eastern Conference, I definitely would not want to see the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.
Ed’s Note: Running neck and neck with Melo’s shot for the actual highlight is Walt Frazier and his smooth color commentary. That is all. Carry on.