“He’s heating up!”
“He’s on fire!”
Anyone who has ever played the classic video game, NBA Jam, is more than familiar with the above phrases, but in case your idea of a quality NBA video game is NBA 2k14, allow me to fill you in. NBA Jam was an action-packed game of 2-on-2 basketball that provided millions of basketball fans with hours of entertainment back in the 1990s. One of the best parts of the game was when one of your players connected on three shots in a row, prompting the announcer to proclaim, “He’s on fire!” as your guy went ballistic, nailing pretty much every shot you took until either the other team scored or until you had made four more consecutive shots with the player who was on fire.
Why do I bring all of this up tonight? Simply because watching the New York Knicks torch the Boston Celtics in the first half of tonight’s game was about as close to a real-life version of NBA Jam as I think I’ll ever see. Let’s take a look at the numbers from the game, shall we? I’ll understand if you decide to opt out, in which case you should skip right over the bullets below.
- The Knicks scored 36 points in the first quarter, and then added 32 in the second to lead 68-48 at the half.
- The Knicks shot 9 of 10 from behind the arc in the first half, and were good on 60.5% of all of their shots in the first half.
- The only three-point attempt missed in the first half was a long-range bomb as the horn sounded to end the half – and even that shot hit iron.
- For good measure, the Knicks also topped 30 points in the fourth quarter.
- No player for New York had a negative +/- ratio tonight – not one!
To make a long story short, the New York Knicks theoretically could have handed Boston its worst loss of the season had they not come out sluggish to start the second half. Jeff Green scored 17 of his team-high 27 points in the quarter, and actually got the Celtics to within nine points in the third, I’m pretty sure that only pissed the Knicks off, who took control of the game soon after and never allowed Boston to breathe from that point on.
The Knicks were led in scoring by Carmelo Anthony, who notched 34 points and 2 assists on the evening. Oooh: two dimes! No wonder he is absolutely destroying Josh Smith in my latest poll. (Hint: they were actually tied when I wrote this.) My favorite part of listening to the guys over at MSG call this game tonight is captured in this Tweet:
Clyde Frazier: “Melo forcing shots now.” Really, Clyde? Now? Or his entire career?
— Hardwood Houdini (@HoudiniCeltics) March 13, 2014
I guarantee you, if I watch 100 Knicks games broadcast over on MSG, I’ll hear a hell of a lot more laments about ‘Melo forcing shots than I will complaints about ‘Melo forcing passes. I guess if he ever became a member of the Celtics he could help Rondo average 20 assists per night, but seriously, the ball dies in this guy’s hands.
That didn’t exactly matter tonight, though, as the Boston Celtics even allowed Cole Aldrich to score 12 points against them. Cole Freakin’ Aldrich! Ah well – we all knew the under-manned Celtics could potentially get punked like this, so we’ll forget about it quickly and prepare for Boston’s next opponent . . . the Phoenix Suns. Yeesh. Better start practicing your NBA Jam catch phrases for that one!