Carmelo Anthony had really stepped up and taken his game to a new level, playing winning basketball most of this season. The last two games, he has reverted to me-first hero ball BS.
I can't even explain how disappointed I was in this game. We started out strong and then Anthony and JR took their foot off the pedal, as if Boston was going to just roll over and give up. SMH. They were content to trade baskets with Boston and were only playing at 80% speed the rest of the first half.
Second half came around and they thought they could just turn it around and turn it on and that would be the end of Boston, but that's not the mindset of a champion. That is not winning basketball. That is not how you close out series. Furthermore, I am disappointed in Woodson for not giving guys on the bench more playing time. For not recognizing the problems the team was having on this night and not trying something different to inject some energy into the team.
This game was also two wasted performances by Felton and Shumpert who were the only rotation players that played both well and 100% the whole game.
Melo and JR shot a combined 11-38. The worst part is they were not trying to create for their teammates. There were a lot of poor iso shots forced against double teams, etc. That is not how we won 50+ games and that is not how we won the first 3 games in the series.
There is absolutely NO EXCUSE not to give 100% effort for the whole game in a playoff game, in your own building. NONE.
Even if we go on to win this series, this game took away a lot of the good that had been built up over the season. This is not a contending team anymore. There is no way a true contending team's stars/main players lose intensity and take most of a half off in a playoff game like that. I have seen a lot of basketball in the last 30 years and that is a bad omen. And, it is an even worse indicator that Woodson didn't recognize it/did not do something to shake his "stars" out of their doldrums or make an adjustment to take away Boston's rhythm/momentum.
I hope they come out in Game 6 and play hard for the whole game, unless they are up by 20 points in the last 4 minutes of the game.
I am also disappointed in Chandler and Kidd and the veterans for not getting in Melo and JR's face and pointing them in the right direction.
Unfortunately, adversity reveals character, the adversity of the past two games is showing that the Knicks are not quite championship material. If they beat Boston, they will have the second round to get back on track, but it's looking pretty scary right now.