Found April 19, 2013 on Fox Sports:
There is only one relevant question to be asked about the Eastern Conference now that the playoffs are before us: Is there a single team in that conference capable of beating the Miami Heat in a seven-game series? There are two legitimate answers to that question. The sexy answer is the sexy team, the New York Knicks. They have Carmelo Anthony, who claimed the league's scoring title this week to cap a season that again thrusts him into the conversation as a top-three superstar. They also have the third-best offense in the NBA, the bright lights of the Big Apple and a No. 2 seed that says they're a very real threat. The other answer - the boring one, fashionable six weeks ago but now passe - is the Indiana Pacers. They are everything the Knicks are not: A defensive machine that rebounds, a team in a city as far removed in style points and big-city buzz as you can find from New York City, and a club whose star, Paul George, is as under-heralded as Melo is over-hyped. So can anyone beat LeBron James and a Heat team playing with more confidence and swagger than anyone has since Jordan roamed the hardwood? Probably not, but if I have to pick one give me the stoic, boring choice every time. The New York Knicks are an over-valued, big-city team that will falter in a postseason based on shortened rotations, half-court offenses, gritty defense and the tendency for the rim to look smaller and further away for all but the greatest basketball players on earth. The Knicks are built for New York and its bright, bright lights - not the playoffs. They are all flash and fashion without the depth and blue-collar habits that make a champion. They score a third of their points from behind the three-point line, boast a mediocre defense and rely on a star with a history of being more interested in his own future than his team's. The Knicks open the playoffs against a depleted Boston team, and while there's every indication they should and will take care of the Celtics it remains to be seen if this New York team has the stomach to finally win a playoff series. The Pacers are a different animal and the Knicks' likely second-round opponent. The Pacers are the best defensive and rebounding team in the league, and their playoff exit against the Heat last year offered the kind of gut-wrenching, scar-inducing basketball lesson that usually translates into a more formidable effort the next time around. In February, over dinner with Pacers star Paul George and now-injured veteran Danny Granger, both players turned taciturn when that series came up. They remember. They grew angry. They looked away. And they'll use that burn as fuel to take care of the Knicks in that likely second-round playoff series so they can have a shot at revenge against Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks? They were more concerned last season with ousting Mike D'Antoni and squashing Linsanity than worrying about the fact they got manhandled in five games against the Heat in the first round. And while both D'Antoni and Jeremy Lin's subsequent departures opened the way for 'Melo to make this his team in his image, and to score a lot of points, and to get the Knicks a two-seed, it's hard to see them doing much damage, even if they prove me wrong and get past the Pacers and onto the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Their 3-1 record against Miami this season came with better than 50-percent shooting from the 3-point line in two of those games and better than 40-percent shooting from the 3-point line in the other two. Anyone who thinks they can maintain that rate over a seven-game series against the Heat's perimeter defenses might be interested in my offer to sell them exclusive rights to own the Brooklyn Bridge. There's a reason, in the playoffs, why it's better to rely on defense, points in the paint and a multitude of stars rather than just one go-to-guy, 3-point shooting and mediocre D. Because come those seven-game series guys suddenly start closing out and rotating better, those threes you've lived or died on all year become much harder to come by and stars rise up as everyone else seems even more mortal. The playoffs have a way of making offense harder to come by and stars a more selective category. So can anyone beat Miami? The Chicago Bulls don't have Derrick Rose. The Brooklyn Nets are very good but not in any way great. The Atlanta Hawks aren't nearly capable of unseating LeBron Jamers and his teammates. Boston doesn't have Rajon Rondo or the youth it once had, and Milwaukee stands absolutely no chance. That leaves a Pacers team built on defense, rebounding and a young star willing to share the limelight, or a Knicks team that lives and dies on the three, plays middling defense and has as its key player a guy who hasn't shared much of anything - especially the limelight - since he joined the league. The answer, then, is this: Probably not, and if anyone can do it, it's the Indiana Pacers. You can follow Bill Reiter on Twitter or email him at .

Lakers make playoffs, Anthony wins scoring title

The Los Angeles Lakers secured a playoff spot even before taking the court, while the race for home-court advantage went into the final set of games. The Lakers learned their turbulent season would continue when Memphis beat the Utah Jazz 86-70 on Wednesday night. That guaranteed Los Angeles a postseason spot, and the Lakers could even move up to the No. 7 seed by beating Houston...

Knicks: Melo and Hakeem in Training Camp 2012

In the pre-season Carmelo Anthony had the chance to work with Hakeem Olajuwon. I am posting this because it was really interesting watching this training session without commentary. Part 1 and 2 of 5. ENJOY! Peter A – Knickswag The post Knicks: Melo and Hakeem in Training Camp 2012 appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.

The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry are named players of the month.

Two of the leagues best scorers are primed for the playoffs

Hawks rest regulars, settle for No. 6 seed

NEW YORK (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony won the scoring title without playing, and the Atlanta Hawks lost their chance to move up in the East standings. Chris Copeland scored 33 points on a night that belonged to the benches, and the New York Knicks wrapped up their winningest season in 16 years by beating the Hawks 98-92 on Wednesday. With Anthony and just about every important player...

The Wins Produced NBA Award Winners

Advanced statistics have made quite a bit of headway in the basketball world over the past couple of years.  However, the general public, NBA pundits, and NBA front offices still tend to fawn over players that score a lot of points, regardless of how efficient they are.  Which is why a player like Carmelo Anthony, who the advanced stat Wins Produced ranks as the seventh (!!) top...

TOK Game Recap- Knicks Take Game 1 Over Celtics

Down by a score of 53-49 at the end of the first half, and defense a concern, the Knicks came out in the second half and gave up a total of 25 points, including just 8 in the 4th quarter. It was the lowest point total in a second half ever in the much storied Celtics playoff history, and the Knicks went on to win game 1 of the series by a final score of 85-78. It wasn’t pretty...

Durant concedes NBA scoring title

Kevin Durant has conceded the NBA scoring title. Carmelo Anthony has won it. Durant would need to score 70 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's final game of the season to pass the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (who is likely sitting out his final game), and Durant on Wednesday alerted the world he wasn't planning on going for it. "SITTING OUT TONIGHT'S GAME,...

NBA Playoffs Breakdown: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

Top 5 Players 1. Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) 2. Paul Pierce (Celtics) 3. J.R. Smith (Knicks) 4. Kevin Garnett (Celtics) 5. Jeff Green (Celtics) 3 X-Factors 1. Jason Terry (Celtics) 2. Chris Copeland (Knicks) 3. Steve Novak (Knicks) Best scorer : Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) Best passer: Raymond Felton (Knicks) Best shooter: Steve Novak (Knicks) Best low-post scorer: Kevin Garnett (Celtics...

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks 2013 Playoff Preview: Celtics Will Win 4-2

The immense intriguing and tremendous rivalry between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks will take the 2013 NBA playoff stage on Saturday at 3 p.m. That being said, this matchup consists of high expectations and many distinct clashes between a star and uprising star, the guard play and Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence. Jeff Green vs. Scoring champion Carmelo Anthony Photo by...

Perimeter Projections: 2013 NBA Playoffs

[caption id="attachment_200" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Miami is poised for another title run, finishing with a 66-16 record and earning home court throughout the playoffs.[/caption] In what has been a thrilling NBA season filled with emotion, now is the time where greatness shines brighter than ever before. Players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant...

Knicks Recap Before the Playoffs

By Andrew C. Sutton After winning on Sunday, the Knicks found out their first round opponent for this year’s playoffs: The Boston Celtics. Knicks fans will surely remember the last time the Knicks faced the C’s in the playoffs in 2011, the first year the Knicks made the playoffs since the 03′-04′ season, they lost to the Celtics in four games! To the delight of all New York...

In The Scrum With Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers talked with the media about Carmelo Anthony having an MPV-calibre season, the bombings at the Boston Marathon and Rasheed Wallace's retirement.
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.