Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Not Sitting Well

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Not Sitting Well

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- After the bruising first-round battle with the Boston Celtics, the Knicks survived, advanced and insisted they'd learned from it. Then they came out in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers and showed that the words and lessons were hollow.

By their own admission it was nothing more than effort that put them in a 16-point hole. They were outworked, outhustled and outplayed as they dropped a 102-95 decision and lost the home-court advantage that they'd battled the Pacers for all season long.

"Take out the X's and O's of the game," Carmelo Anthony said. "They just flat-out played harder than we did today. That was the key in their victory. They outplayed us. They outworked us. There's nothing else that needs to be said about that."

Unless you asked Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

Woodson echoed Anthony's remarks to the team before addressing their effort to the media.

"I thought they played harder than our team tonight and that was the difference," Woodson said. "Loose balls and things of that nature, in the playoffs you've got to come up with. They did all the little things. We didn't start playing until we actually got down and it was desperation, and we've got to play like that from the start."

After the Knicks nearly squandered a 3-0 lead against Boston, dropping the next two games and nearly blowing a 26-point cushion in the fourth quarter of Game 6 that could have forced a Game 7, they came out lifeless and seemingly intimidated by the size and force of the Pacers.

"You should never have problems getting up for a playoff game," Tyson Chandler said. "For whatever reason that's the way it looked. They got the best of us today."

The Knicks were in all sorts of trouble throughout the game, but maybe none more troubling than when Woodson had to make a decision just 4:12 into the second half.

Anthony was whistled for his fourth foul and Woodson decided with the Knicks down by six points, he would sit his star.

Anthony sat on the bench, already struggling with his left shoulder in a brace and now sulking with foul trouble. And he watched, just like the other 19,033 fans at Madison Square Garden, as the game slipped away. …

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