Knicks Come Back, Finally! • Latino Sports


Knicks Come Back, Finally!


New York, NY – The New York Knicks have had more than their share of off the court distractions going into the game against the Houston Rockets Monday night. The seemingly never ending Stephon Marbury contract saga; The devastating recent news of the murder of the woman who gave birth to Eddie Curry’s first baby and her 9 month old baby girl. Most glaringly though was their record trailing after 3 quarters. 0-21! It looked like the streak would be extended to 0-22 when they fell behind 89-80 with just under 8 minutes left in the game. The Rockets, without center Yao Ming who is nursing a sore left knee, were doing everything right up to that point. Suddenly, unlike their last game in Philadelphia where they could not come up with defensive stops, the Knicks clamped down and came away with a 104-98 victory.

Aside from forcing the Rockets into uncomfortable shots, New York would go on a 14-5 run in the next 4:05 to tie the game at 94. Nate Robinson was the catalyst, scoring 10 points. During that span, Houston would miss on 7 attempts but would regain the lead for the final time (96-94) after a Luis Scola lay-up on a feed from Ron Artest. Wilson Chandler followed that up with a 3 pointer giving the Knicks a lead they would never give up. Still, it was the defense that rose to the occasion when it mattered.

Rockets guard Tracy Mc Grady, finished the night with 20 points, but they were hard fought points, taking 20 shots and making only 7. Trailing by 3 (99-96) with 1:42 left, McGrady misfires on his last 3 shots, all three, 3 point attempts. Houston’s final basket would come on Luis Scola lay-up. The Argentinean starting in the place of Ming, felt the team let this victory slip away. “That was our game,” Scola said afterwards. “We should have won this game.” With the Knicks clinging to a 3 point lead, Scola rebounded a Mc Grady miss. His attempted lay-up rolls out and the diminutive Robinson comes up with the rebound. Scola fouls Robinson who calmly sinks both free throws. “I was disappointed in myself because it was a big shot. That’s what Nate does pretty good,” said Scola.

The defense the Knicks played depended not only on Mc Grady, but on Artest who was not forgotten by Coach Mike D’Antoni. They finished a combined 11 for 39 and only 31 points. They missed 9 of their final 10 shot attempts. “He’s a tough cover,” said D’ Antoni about Mc Grady. “I thought we did an outstanding job of just trying to deny him the basketball, get him out a little bit and not go for fakes. That’s about all we could do.” Artest, who saves some of his best games against the team that had a chance to draft him out of college, never got into a rhythm. “Our energy especially the last 7 minutes was outstanding. For once, we started the fourth quarter down and we won a game,” D’Antoni noted.

For one night, the New York Knicks could put all of the off the court drama behind them. It took them 22 games but they were finally able to win a game in which they entered the last quarter trailing. “Baby steps,” said the head coach.         

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.