BOSTON — The final score read Celtics 109, Knicks 97, but if ever a 12-point win was actually a 30-point drubbing, it was last night. Leading by 27 points midway through the third quarter, the C's eased up against the overmatched New Yorkers in a St. Patrick's Day massacre at the TD Garden.
How many years have they sacrificed to get LeBron James? This is their ninth straight losing season and this club is 24-44. If the New Yorkers continue to play like last night, they could run the table and go 24-58.
I'll defer to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys and assume New York is the World's Greatest City. But LeBron is going to leave Cleveland for this train wreck? Or Dwyane Wade? Or Chris Bosh?
The Knicks have cleared cap room for two blockbuster contracts, but that's a major risk for an elite player looking for anything more than a massive payday.
There are 82 games in a season and the Lakers and Cavaliers will have a handful of stinkers, too, but the Knicks would be a 12th seed in the NIT.
David Lee is a worker and puts up good numbers, but he's no franchise player. After him, which Knick would you want? Maybe soft second-year forward Danilo Gallinari or undersized forward Wilson Chandler.
The rest of the roster is enough to make Spike Lee's stomach turn: gimpy Jonathan Bender, obese Eddy Curry (3.7 points a game and owed $11.3 million next year!), Toney Douglas, Chris Duhon, J.R. Giddens, the aging selfish twins Al Harrington and Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez and Bill Walker.
I'm not so sure Central Catholic's Carson Desrosiers isn't a better defensive center today than anybody with the Knicks. They had Al Harrington playing the pivot ... 6-9, 250, cranky kneed and indifferent hardly the next Bill Russell makes.
They are so off-Broadway they'd be laughed out of the Yonkers Theater in the Round.
Paul Pierce had 29 points in 24 minutes and Kevin Garnett had 22 in 24 minutes against the lay-up line known as the Knicks defense. Coach Mike D'Antoni could go with the hyper-speed offense in Phoenix but last time I looked Toney Douglas isn't Steve Nash, Danilo Gallinari isn't Amar'e Stoudemire and Bill Walker isn't Shawn Marion.
Ron Howard nearly made the team. Opie Cunningham would be an improvement, but apparently this was a 26-year-old rookie out of Valparaiso not the director.
These Knicks have far too few Angels and far too many Demons to even think about turning the corner.
D'Antoni's no dummy. He knows how horrible this team is.
"There were a lot of toos out there,'' he said. "They were too big, too quick, too good and the road trip a little too long (5 games in 8 days,
but they were off Tuesday).''This is one horrible team with only cash and the draft to make them better.
Um, just the cash.
With all those millions, the Knicks can't even afford a lottery ticket. The great Isiah Thomas dealt for Stephon Marbury in 2005 and the chickens have come home to roost. Utah now owns the Knicks' top pick this summer. LeBron knows all this, too. That will be one painful slap in the face when New York is left with a couple of overpriced borderline All-Stars who might not even get them to .500.
E-mail Michael Muldoon at email@example.com
CELTICS 109, KNICKS 97
High scorers: Boston's Paul Pierce 29, Kevin Garnett 22; N.Y. David Lee 29 (most in garbage time)
Mr. Unselfish: Rajon Rondo 12 assists, 3 shot attempts
Perk is a beast: Kendrick Perkins game-high 12 boards in 22 minutes
Mini-streak: Boston has won 3 of 4 albeit the wins over teams with a combined 61-132 record
Tough road ahead: The C's are at Houston Friday, Dallas Saturday and Utah Monday