Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Melo Wants to Reverse Unpleasant Memories of Boston
BOSTON — The last time Carmelo Anthony was here for a playoff series, the Knicks lost the first two games en route to being swept by the Celtics in a first-round series in 2011.
Now, two years later, the shoe is on the other foot and the Knicks could return the favor by winning Games 3 and 4 before what is expected to be an emotional crowd that will take in the Celtics’ first home playoff game since the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Well, the sweep, anytime you get swept, that leaves a bitter taste. It’s a bad memory knowing the situation we was in as a team at that particular time,” Anthony said here after shootaround on Friday.
“Nobody wants to get swept and getting swept leaves a bitter taste, bad feeling. We remember that, I remember that.”
In that 2011 series, Amar’e Stoudemire injured his back on a dunk attempt during warm-ups prior to Game 2 and was never the same, while Chauncey Billups went down with a knee injury in Game 1.
Two years later and Stoudemire is again injured, this time with a right knee ailment, while Billups is with the L.A. Clippers.
Anthony has a much stronger supporting cast around him than he did then.
The Knicks went 23-18 on the road this season, and have won 18 of their last 20 games heading into Game 3 Friday night.
Anthony said he and his teammates will do their best to block out the emotions of the crowd and the external issues surrounding the game.
“I’ll be zoning that out, blocking that out,” he said. “Just really focusing in on trying to win the basketball game.”
And if the Knicks can pull the victory, they will be one game from paying the Celtics back with a sweep of their own.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.