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Bet on the NBAWas the New York Knicks' trade for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups the right decision for the team? Or were they better off without All-Star Melo? As the Knicks have fallen to .500, many New York fans must be asking themselves that question.

The team has accumulated a 7-9 record since Anthony put on a Knicks uniform, and have lost six of their last seven games total. Last night's loss to the Boston Celtics was just the latest indication that the team may have been quite overrated when the blockbuster trade was announced.

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Monday night, the Knicks had a 9 point lead on the Celtics in the fourth quarter with fewer than 8 minutes left on the game clock. They they proceeded to blow that lead and Boston walked away with a win as they were outscored 23-4 in those final minutes.

This was a potential first-round playoff preview, and New York came up empty-handed down the stretch. Anthony scored 17 points in the first half, then went cold in the second. He ended the game with 22 points total, but did not connect on a field goal the entire second half, going 0-for-5.

Amare Stoudemire also had a difficult fourth quarter. He scored 16 points in the game, but went the entire final quarter without a field goal. His dunk attempt was blocked by Boston's Glen Davis, though the call could just as easily have been a foul.

The Knicks obviously still have a lot of work to do. The story of their collapse could be told in two words: bricked shots. When the Celtics went on their fourth quarter run, New York missed five shots, four of them jumpers.

Boston is a defensive team, and they do not allow very many uncontested jumpers. New York was a victim of that outstanding defense. No team playing the Celtics can settle for jump shots every trip down the floor, because they will almost always be contested and made more difficult.


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