Knicks Head West On A High Note

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: March 25, 2005

NEW YORK – First the Knicks took care of business by drubbing the Duncan-less San Antonio Spurs, 88-75. That game was won in large part also to newly acquired power forward, Malik Rose playing the role of ‘coach on the floor’ by signaling all of the offensive and defensive sets that the Spurs were running and the Knicks being more than ready for them.

Knicks guard, Stephon Marbury added, “I was happy for him. Whenever you play your old team you always want to beat them. We were out there for him.” Then Knicks were ahead for much of the game and didn’t let up as they’ve done in past games when they’ve had big leads only to have meltdowns and either lose the lead and play to intense moments or they’ve lost the game out right. Malik Rose who said he was nervous at the beginning of the game playing against his old team and who’s become a locker-room favorite with his all out professionalism and smarts said, “I think the team did a really good job of communicating.

Then the Knicks took on the chatter-box, Boston Celtics and whipped their Atlantic Division leaders, 107-82. This game became a tech-fest as four technical fouls were called in the first quarter alone. One technical was called on Sixth man of the candidate, Ricky Davis, while he was still sitting on the bench. Davis and Stephon Marbury exchanged well wishes and the refs didn’t like it.

Boston’s All-star guard, Paul Pierce who was held to 5 points divulged, “just playing us probably motivated them. We pretty much dominated them (the first three meetings) and they didn’t want to end the season with a sweep. They really gave us their best ball tonight.” But, newly re-acquired Celtic, Antoine Walker added, “They played a little over their head tonight…We beat ourselves. We were our worst enemy tonight.” Too bad the season series is over, barring a playoff matchup.

The Knicks now set sail on a touch four game West Coast swing that includes their first game against the much improved, Seattle Supersonics. With or without the injured Ray Allen the Sonics will pose the Knicks major problems with their height and bulk up front.

GAME NOTES: The Knicks are now 29-37 overall and 21-14 at home this season. Starting power forward, Kurt Thomas missed his second straight game with an infected right elbow that caused him to have a 102 fever and a two day stint in the hospital. The Knicks have won 8 of 13 since the NBA All-Star break. The Knicks finished the season with a 2 game split against the Spurs and 1-3 against the Boston Celtics. The Knicks have help their opponents under 100 points for a season high eight straight game.

Jerald L. Hoover