Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knicks Down This Road before with Pacers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knicks Down This Road before with Pacers

Article excerpt

Of course they can.

After watching the Knicks plod and lumber and lurch and stagger and trudge through the last few seasons, don't you think they can go into Indianapolis tonight and grasp one more game for themselves? Out of sheer stubbornness, I mean.

We're not talking right or wrong, good or bad, artistry or destiny. We're talking obstinacy.

The confidence to win Friday night is contained in the answer Patrick Ewing gave late Wednesday night, long after he had willed himself toward the basket for the winning goal with 1.8 seconds remaining.

Somebody asked if Ewing had ever made a bigger basket. The answer was supposed to be some gushing blather like "No, this is the crowning pinnacle of my long and honorable career."

Instead, Ewing said tersely, "Seventh game, last year."

He said it with a grin because this is a self-aware adult, not the timid young man who came to New York a decade ago. This is now a man who drops lines for effect, the way some great athletes do when they figure out the way of the world. He admits his calves hurt. He forgets the pain at select moments.

Late Wednesday, Ewing reminded everybody that this victory was delightful, that it extended the Knicks' season, but it was no big deal because the Knicks - and for that matter, the Pacers - have been this way before.

Last June the Knicks went out to Indy, sixth game of the conference championships, a lovely promising evening. Somewhere outside the sterility of central Indianapolis, lush midwestern spring had finally blossomed. Everybody was so festive, and then the Knicks plodded and lumbered and lurched and staggered and trudged for a victory that brought the series back to New York.

The thing I remember most about that Friday night in Indy was Charles Oakley limping into the press room to borrow a cold can for the bus ride to the airport. Oak didn't ask. He took. It was symbolic.

Both teams also remember that Sunday afternoon in the Garden, Game 7, when Ewing went up to get John Starks's missed drive and slam-dunked it with 26. …

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