Friday, April 22, 2011
The Fans Will Be Knicks' Ultimate Sixth Man
It's clear that games one and two of the Knicks/Celtics playoff series could have gone the Knicks way, recognizing just how close they were to winning each one.
Having said that, as the pressure mounted, the Knicks were not only met by the intense nature of Kevin Garnett and company, but the Celtics' pumped up fans as well.
Just as the Celtics have gone through multiple big playoff runs, so have their fans, cheering loud for their team, and screaming even wilder in attempts to pester the Celtics' opponents.
Perhaps Knicks fans won't have as much vigor and aggression (Celtics fans may take after their team in that regard), but there's no doubt that Madison Square Garden will be absolutely rocking tonight as the Knicks step on the home hardwood during the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
With the team facing injuries to the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, and even Ronny Turiaf, they could use all the help they can get.
Knicks fans have waited for this moment; not only seven years for a playoff appearance, but a solid ten years for a simply playoff game victory.
Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony surely have the credentials to deliver one, but even so, the fans are surely ready to do their part. Knicks fans are some of the most energetic in all of sports, and the fact that they have been longing for tonight's very moment makes it that much more crucial for the Knicks.
Hopefully the Knicks can take the same momentum the Celtics had in Boston and turn it around in their favor as they return home and feed off of the excitement.
“I’m pretty sure it will be crazy,” Anthony told ESPN New York. “I think crazy is an understatement but that’s the word I’m going to use right now.”
Given how closely matched the Knicks and Celtics have been (even barring multiple injuries for both teams), it's clear that these are anyone's games, and if the Knicks play their cards right, they could be returning to Boston with a tied-up playoff series.
Of course, if the fans come out to "play," the Knicks will be just as ready.
“We understand that… and we want to match the fans’ energy,” Anthony said.