Citing the “Hostile crowd” that likely awaits Carmello Anthony as he and his New York Knicks take the court at Boston’s TD Garden tonight at 8:00pm, Anthony has brought along his own personal body guard.
TD Garden holds 17,565 fans. The Knicks have two full time security personnel with them at all times, add in 12 players 3 coaches, a couple of equipment guys, the odd traveling secretary, media, trainers and a few brave fans who have the guts to wear anything with the words “New York” on it, and the Knicks are outnumbered something like 170 to 1…
…so it’s doubtful that Anthony’s one bodyguard is going to make much of a difference if the crowd storms the court or even chases the Knicks down the tunnel to the locker rooms – but if it makes him feel better, why not?
Why not, indeed – for there hasn’t been much to make anyone in either city feel good about their beloved basketball teams lately.
The Knicks have lost 4 of their last 6 and their grip on the top spot in the Atlantic Divison of the NBA’s Eastern Conference has been whittled down to a transparent half-game over in-city rival Brooklyn Nets, while the Celtics haven’t won a game in four tries against mostly inferior competition – so somethings gotta give.
There is no sugar coating the importance of this game for either team. A Knicks loss would knock them out of sole possession of first place in the division, while a Boston loss would drop them a full seven games behind New York and extend their losing streak to a season high five straight games.
“I don’t want to put that much pressure on us because right now we’re still in a great spot in the East and (at the top) of our division,” said Anthony, “But to undermine these next two games, that would be the wrong thing to do. These games are big-time games.”
But pressure being what it is, both teams have to put the hostility of the rivalry behind them and just play ball. As for Anthony, he says that his fracas with Boston Center Kevin Garnett is behind him.
“We can’t get the game back that we lost to them on our home floor, so we want to go and return the favor and beat them on their home floor.” Anthony quipped, “On my end there’s nothing left over, it’s just another game on the schedule and we just happen to be playing Boston. As far as anything being left over, this is a new game.”
But he brought along extra security, just in case.