For the first time in the new Big Three era, Boston brought out the playoff brooms.
This series between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks was expected to be highly competitive, aggressive, a bit chippy and even able to re-ignite an old rivalry. And while tempers flared a few times, the series ended up being more of a formality for the battle tested Celtics.
It may have taken the C’s two postseason games to turn off the late-season cruise control, but once they did the Knicks had no chance to recover.
The frustration showed in Game 4, especially for Amare Stoudemire. He only knows how to play one way: all-out.
Even with a nagging back injury he tried to will his team to a victory, and when his efforts were clearly going to fall short, you could see his obvious disappointment.
But give these new-look Knicks credit. They brought the franchise to their first winning record in nine seasons, and their first shot at the postseason since 2004. They have given their fans something to cheer for and a reason to be optimistic for their future.
When the final horn blew, I was proud of both teams. They hugged and shook hands respectfully and acknowledged a hard-fought series by both teams.
I love a good rivalry; heck I am a Yankees fan living in the heart of Red Sox Nation. So I do hope this series, and the Knicks being relevant again, brings this old rivalry back to life. It is good for the league, both cities, both franchises and most importantly the fans!