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Cursed? A Quick Knicks Rant Following Game 2


Disclaimer: The following post is another rant on the headache in my existence known as the New York Knicks. All thoughts, comments, and statements are completely in response to the recent 2012 NBA Playoff situation. All happy, enthused, and overly satisfied individuals with their sports teams are hereby forewarned, this emotional pain is not comprehensible to you.

Unbelievable.  

After Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs, that is the only dry emotion I can have. That is until somewhere in this post the authentic, raw, and true ones come rushing out.

But here we are, after two games, down two games to nada, with less hope of winning a game than if the Washington Generals played.

Jeremy Lin, out after a magical run.

Iman Shumpert. Gone. A ravaged knee.

Jared Jeffries - who is so vital to this team - hurt with a balky knee.

Tyson Chandler, this team's MVP, suffering from the flu.

And now we're tied for the longest losing streak in NBA playoff history...and soon to be sole owner of the record.

It just seems like there is a curse that looms over Knicks nation. I don't believe in curses, and if I did, the 2004 ALCS surely debunked that.

But when does this stop? How long are we to suffer? 

After a decade of futility, Isiah-ness, and Jim Dolan, we finally are respectable. But once again, when things look on the up, we run straight into the wall, instead of hurdling it.

Guys get hurt. Players suddenly get sick. And, oh you know, the common "I busted up my hand punching the glass door of a fire extinguisher unit" situation.

And for some reason it all comes falling apart at the most crucial time - Playoffs.

Which brings me to Amar'e Stoudemire. 

The man that I respect a lot for being the first to come here. The man that signified this franchise's resurgence to respectability when he proclaimed in front of the Garden, "The Knicks Are Back!" I know its been a tough season for him personally, dealing with the death of his brother; and professionally, dealing with injuries and the always constant "can he play with Carmelo Anthony" question. 

However, Stoudemire, our once knight in shining armor is on the front burner. And it is slowly warming.

For the second straight year he has disappeared in the playoffs, and has done so after suffering a self inflicted injury. Last year, it was performing a trick dunk during warm-ups which aggravated his back, and now a battle with a fire extinguisher. A battle we now know he lost.

And seriously, punching a fire extinguisher?

Well played NY Daily News, well played

There is only so long his fortitude - and signature on a $100M contract - can offer immunity. 

Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher don championship rings in this town and have felt the wrath of this city because of their playoff woes.

Yet there is no other way to say it. Stoudemire's MVP-like beginning to his Knicks tenure and his first-to-come aura is now down the toilet. He's now the guy that can't stay healthy, can't defend, can't rebound, can't show up in the playoffs, and ultimately, is an albatross of a contract.

And there is Carmelo Anthony. I've said it over, and over, and over, and over again. I believe Carmelo Anthony is overrated.

He's a tremendous player, don't get me wrong. Just not the player his reputation preceded.

He has more to prove than anyone on this roster. And quite honestly, I'm still waiting for the "superstar" we've all heard about here in New York City. You know, the one that would take us from very good to title contender?

Since acquiring Melo, I've witnessed his offensive prowess. And yes, it is downright impressive. However, at what expense? Team ball movement? Sacrificing team play? Constant isolation?

Hey Mr. Stoudemire, this is my team now!

I'll give him credit as his defense has improved, and he is showing signs of effort which has been absent for most of his career until now.

Yet, somehow, Anthony leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT.

Voice of the Knicks and the NBA, Mike Breen, agrees with this sentiment on Carmelo with his recent comments on ESPN radio. In the seven minute interview, Breen stated the very damning comment:

"You hope eventually it becomes more important to him to win a championship than to be a star player and right now its starting to go into where its, lets do it my way regardless if that's the best way."

I always believed the Knicks had a special group with Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and Stoudemire, and were a few pieces away from being that much better. Many called me crazy at the time. Half the fan base agreed with this thinking. And as the games go by, and the struggles and doubts of chemistry continue, more are beginning to point back to that trade and agree with my opinion. Mike Lupica agreed stating the following in his column today:

What we do know is that the Knicks were unwatchable before Stoudemire got to town and then weren’t so unwatchable. For 50 or so games, the Knicks were fun to watch again. This was before ‘Melo or Linsanity or any of that. This was when it was Amar’e and the Italian kid, Gallinari, and Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler and Landry Fields. Was this a world-beating future NBA champion? Nope.

But they were fun to watch and seemed to be an ascendant team and, really, who knows what happens if they wait on Anthony, or maybe even don’t sign him at all, who knows what happens if they don’t trade half the team for Anthony when they do and THEN Deron Williams becomes available?

Everything the Knicks are, everything they will be, is now built around Carmelo Anthony. Maybe you think you can build a championship team around him. They thought the same thing in Denver and they were wrong, and I believe they are going to be wrong here.

Yet, there is no point in dwelling on the past, because here we are. With Anthony and Stoudemire - a bad mix.

Two guys who want to be the man.

Two guys that need the ball in the same spot. 

Two guys that need each other in the worst way - for their careers, for their legacy, for the here and now.

Two guys who just don't get it right now. 

A bad mix that somehow has no solution in sight.

And even though things are going well and much better than they have been in recent years, it seems that somehow, someway, there is a dark cloud that still hovers over Knicks nation.

Cursed? Maybe. Maybe not.

Whatever it is, 1973 is getting further and further away.

And this is beginning to look like a lifelong headache for this fan. 

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