New York Knicks Lose Heart-Breaker Against Rival Boston Celtics

Jason RadowitzContributor IIIFebruary 3, 2012

In one of the biggest games of the year for coach Mike D'Antoni and the New York Knicks, the Knicks blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter and went on to lose by two points.

The Knicks gave it their all in Boston, but it ultimately wasn't enough against the talented starting lineup the Boston Celtics have.

Though the Knicks starters played pretty well, the Knicks received only nine points off their bench, something they should not be happy with.

The refs had a few lopsided calls, but also had a call with 16.1 seconds remaining that went the in the Knicks' favor. The call was that Paul Pierce didn't get his three-point shot off in time, sinking it right after the shot clock expired. That bucket would have made the deficit by four, instead it was one.

Landry Fields, who has been playing some very good ball as of late, missed a wide-open three and the Celtics tacked on two more points at the foul line. With under five seconds remaining, Steve Novak, who came in just for that play, took the ball from Fields, as no one else was open, and heaved up a Hail Mary that wasn't close to falling.

That was another loss to the Knicks' awful record, setting them seven games out of .500.

The Big Three on the Knicks combined for 72 of the 91 points, but Tyson Chandler could have added plenty more for the Knicks.

Every time down the floor, he was wide open, however, Iman Shumpert didn't see him most of the time. Yeah, a few passes found Chandler for the emphatic jam, but the ball didn't find him enough.

Because of the New York point guard struggles, Jeremy Lin saw seven minutes of action, scoring just two points and one assist.  He was ultimately a non-factor, but did show some signs of being a legitimate guard.

With Baron Davis not even making the trip to Boston, Lin might see even more minutes tomorrow when the Knicks play the New Jersey Nets in the last game of their back-to-back-to-back stretch.

This game hurt the Knicks. They wanted it badly, and D'Antoni needed this win to back up why he belongs to stay. Even though the Knicks lost their last two games, the Knicks have played much better and D'Antoni, I would assume, will continue to be the coach of the Knicks.

Fatigue was the real issue for the Knicks tonight, and coach D'Antoni needs to manage his players better then that. His rotation needs to be better, as he gave every starter at least 35 minutes in tonight's game.

They were tired, and at times weren't able to recover defensive rebounds, which led to more opportunities for the Celtics. And when you give more opportunities to the Celtics, they'll burn you, and the Knicks learned that tonight.

The Knicks also need to start playing like the Celtics. They need to be more aggressive on defense, and knock down their open shots. There's no better team then the Celtics when it comes to knocking down open shots. The Knicks had plenty, and they missed them.

Another obvious weakness for the Knicks tonight, and mostly every night, is that they move the ball around in the first half very well, but forget how to in the second half. That's mainly because the fourth quarter is "Melo Quarter" which means isolation.

Anyway, the Knicks are showing improvement and look to finally get another win against another struggling and injured team in the New Jersey Nets. D'Antoni isn't gone yet, but a loss to the Nets might be the trigger for owner James Dolan.