Sports: Nation of Domination

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The NBA playoffs have started out with a bang, as we have seen some great performances from Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard who have all put up video game like numbers in their respective series. As for the New York Knicks, their season unfortunately came to an end as the Celtics, led by Rajon Rondo, completed what many people are quoting as the sequel on a “Boston Massacre.” The Celtics wrapped up the Knicks last Sunday at the Garden, completing a 4-game sweep. However, after Game 2, the Knicks went into Game 2 without their point guard, Chauncey Billups, after spraining his knee in Game 1. Billups did not play the rest of the series and, therefore coach D’Antoni had to start Tony Douglas at the 1. Douglas is more of a combo point guard, and can score points in bunches. On the other hand, Billups brought leadership and about 40+ games of playoff experience, not mentioning a 2004 NBA Finals MVP. In Game 2 during pregame warm-ups, the Knicks took yet another blow as Amar’e Stoudemire injured his back and showed signs of discomfort throughout Games 3 and 4, leaving Carmelo Anthony as the healthiest go-to guy for the Knicks. The Celtics seemed to be too much for the Knicks as Ray Allen showed he got game, lighting up Madison Square Garden. In Game 3, Paul Pierce dropped in 38 points and Rajon Rondo dished out 20 assists. In the last game, it was much of the same as the Knicks made a fourth quarter rally, but the “Big 3” of the Boston Celtics loom to be too much for Anthony and company. The Knicks did a poor job of rebounding the ball and as I stated in my column few weeks back, if you outrebound the Celtics, you put yourself in a good predicament to come on top with a W. Many questions speculate, Would the series have played out differently if Chauncey Billups was available? We can speculate all we went Brooklynites, but the fact is the Knicks had no answer, for the Celtics who seem to be having their own Tea Party. “ We did the best we could, we left it all out on the floor, and as a coach, that’s all you can ask for from your ball club.” D’Antoni said. Many people feel that perhaps D’Antoni’s “offensive uptempo” system may be allergic to defense. So now, his job security is nowin question going into next season. With not much “big names” in this year’s free agent market, what will the Knicks add to their team? Here are a few notable names in this year’s free agent class. 1. Yao Ming – Houston Rockets 2. Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies 3. Greg Oden – Portland Trail Blazers 4. Rodney Stuckey – Detroit Pistons 5. J.R. Smith – Denver Nuggets 6. Glen Davis – Boston Celtics 7. Tyson Chandler – Dallas Mavericks Just a few notable names the Knick team can look to entertain themselves in hopes of adding to their team. Not to mention Carmelo Anthony will get a full season in New York. Many people are looking forward once again to a year after the 2011 free agent class. The 2012 free agent class will consist of names like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul (who has been sought to favor the Knicks as a new destination),Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to name a few. The Knicks are a team that if their defense holds up can have a 50-win season. Consistency plays a big role in that happening. General Manager, Donnie Walsh knows he has much work to do as for the moment the Knicks are still under construction. With Anthony and Stoudemire together for the next couple years, the future sure looks bright. Sports Notes: (Baseball) The Yankees currently in first place in the American League East and look to protect their home field as they wrap up a 4-game series tonight against the Chicago White Sox. (NFL Football) Signs of hope? Judge Nelson lifts the NFL Lockout as NFL players strive to begin workouts. It is still possible a work stoppage can still happen, but there’s still hope for a 2011 season.

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