With no Chauncey Billups and an Amar'e Stoudemire who probably wasn't fit enough to take the court during most of games two through four, it's understandable how the Knicks would easily fall to the Celtics, who held the top seed in the East for much of the season.
The Celtics put an end to the Knicks' injury misery, as well as their season, with a 101-89 loss on Easter Sunday.
The Knicks clearly didn't have the manpower nor the strength to keep up with the Celtics, but they definitely showed a lot of heart throughout. Spirits were high, as the team knew how coveted this playoff appearance really was by the city and their fans.
Carmelo Anthony willed through with a Bernard King-like 42 point performance in game two, but he simply couldn't carry the Knicks on his own. If 42 points from Anthony wouldn't secure a victory, something told me nothing else would, given the circumstances.
The Knicks brought in Anthony, and even Chauncey Billups for that matter, to add superstars and winning players to the squad as they continued to build a stronger team going forward. The problem is the Knicks needed the entire squad in order to fairly compete, and they just didn't have that this series.
Shawne Williams, the Knicks' comeback kid, scored 17 points in an awful game three, and has expressed interest in returning to the team after they helped resurrect his career. He's been a strong role player throughout, so I'd be nice to see him return.
Anthony Carter, who we've talked about constantly this season as someone who filled a massive void for the Knicks, came up big once again game four, scoring 11 points in an attempt to save his team's season, but it was too late. Carter is the type of player that a coach can put in to turn a game around with hounding defense, heart, and offensive spurts, and he didn't fail to deliver last night. Perhaps the rest of the team did, though.
The two teams weren't evenly matched. The Carmelo Anthony trade was made for the future, and in the future is when and where the Knicks should thrive. Disregarding a potential NBA lockout at the moment, given an entire training camp (with a healthy team, but that's a given) and even a full season to get things right, one would expect the Knicks to come back with a vengeance next season.