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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