Monday, December 26th, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  14 responses

Mike D’Antoni: Knicks vs Celtics is a True Rivalry Again

Now that both teams are a bit more evenly matched, Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni won’t hesitate when it comes to announcing that Boston and New York once again have an official basketball rivalry. From the Herald: “This was an event. ‘Lots of energy in the building,’ Carmelo Anthony said after he scored 37 points (including the ones that mattered most) in a 106-104 victory over the Celtics [team stats]. ‘Lots of it.’ The Celtics were here, too, as the NBA, eager to recoup the losses sustained during its ugly lockout, squeezed a handful of games into the nation’s television sets. Celtics-Knicks, Mavs-Heat, Bulls-Lakers, Magic-Thunder, yeah, they were squeezed in juicier and tighter than the Christmas turkey and assorted sweets inside your beltline. The league was going great, as great as any time since Michael Jordan, until the lockout, and now we’ll see if it can regain that momentum. There will be 990 games squeezed into 124 days in a 66-game shortened season where a slew of teams rightfully figure they have a shot at the NBA Finals. On this day, nothing was going to top the hype of the Mavs hoisting their championship banner and LeBron & Co. promptly shredding them. Still, Celtics vs. Knicks was a tasty start. And by the time Kevin Garnett, angry he had missed a 14-foot jumper and his chance to tie the game at the buzzer, went at Bill Walker, you couldn’t help but feel we may have something special brewing here the next few seasons. ‘It’s going to be a rivalry now, because I think we can get up to the same level they are,’ Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. ‘It’s going to be knock-down, drag-out. We’re not backing down. They’re not backing down. It’s going to be tough, tough sledding. Every game is going to be a slugfest; well, not a slugfest. I hate to use those words … but we’ve got to get to their level and I think we can get there.’”

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  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai


  • B

    I’m suck of seeing people say pierce ain’t play… It ain’t like the Knicks were totally healthy nether… With pierce on the floor, there’s no way rondo has the game he had anyways… A win is a win no matter how it comes… Any competitive person knows that…

  • Heals

    He’s right and I’m glad it’s back (you’re next Phili), but I love how the team that’s been 3-18 the past 4 years gets to declare that it’s back after winning their home opener in wake of being swept in playoffs. Welcome back to basketball NY and yo chill out B ya’ll won…

  • T-Ray

    What’s sad is that it actually ended up being a game when the Knicks should have thrashed them. I do feel that if Pierce was there they win the game. But a W is a W we can talk injuries all day.

  • MikeC.

    Knicks are on the rise, while Boston is on the decline. They’re really in the same position right now. Both teams are talented and believe they can win it all if everything works perfectly for them, but neither one is really good enough to win it all. For NY, they have the luxury of adding the word “yet” to the end of the previous sentence.


    ^^^ Word , that’s why i think the true rivalry will be Knicks & Bulls AGAIN. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    I am a DIEHARD knicks fan and I hate to admit it but if Pierce was playing we might have lost, but that’s NOT because the Celtics are better. I love Tony Douglas game but our point guard situation was totally exposed, BDiddy needs to get better quick. Chandler needed to play tougher, looked like the pressure fazed him in the 1st half, he wasn’t contesting shots.. but after his alleyoop in the 4th quarter he settled down and had some huge blocks and played big. Celtics still have the better coach and the better point guard so you you have to respect Doc and Rondo.

  • Mike From Spain

    Well, playing in the MSG against a Paul Pierce-less Celtic squad and win by 1… I like these Knicks, but I would not be overconfident. It is a step in the right direction but let’s see if there is really a rivalry.

  • boboho

    mike d antoni still knicks coach?wow.

  • Justin G.

    It’s funny…nobody thinks that if the most overrated player in the history of the game played that the Celtics might have lost by more? You know, Pierce does have bad games. Maybe he doesn’t hit some of the shots that Rondo or others hit or maybe he coughs up a timely turnover like Kobe did. I’m a fan of neither team but give props to those that did play and played well and to both teams for a great kickoff to the season (KG’s ridiculous exploits aside)

  • LA Huey

    I agree with _’Antoni. And injuries are part of the game. It’s pathetic to see people using injury as an excuse for an old team like Boston. Age has its benefits and downsides.

  • DieselMechanic

    Good win for NYK but we will see what the truth really is when the Truth comes back. They still aint seeing us in a playoff series.

  • http://WWW.SLAMONLINE.COM Benn0

    Those saying not having pierce didn’t matter are dumb. Its called when melo started hit big shots in the clutch, pierce would have been able to respond, but instead we have sasha pavlovic and marquis daniels, who aren’t the best offensive players.

    p.s Rondo was hitting was brilliant, and you watch him go and dominate games?take more shots this year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If every rivalry ignited after one of the teams got swept then every game would be a rivalry game. Just focus on making it too the playoffs as a healthy team Mr. D’Antoni, the hospital is the Knicks only rival at this point.