Under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden the big boys came to play. Carmelo hit the big game winner in OT with 8.2 seconds left in OT to top the East-leading Chicago Bulls - spoiling the return of last season's MVP Derrick Rose - winning 100-99 in NY.
"This was one of the top. Overtime, Easter Sunday, everybody's watching, everybody's in the Garden, so this ranks as one of the top." Carmelo said after the game.With only 10 games to go in the regular season and currently sitting 7th in the Eastern conference, the Knicks are starting to make their push in a tight finish to make the playoffs. After winning seven games out of the last ten, the Knicks are starting to roll at the right time, even with two of their starters out. Much of this falls on star Carmelo Anthony with Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudamire expected to return sometime during the playoffs, if at all. Anthony showed why he is an All-Star and wanted to play on the games biggest stage and boy oh boy did the Knicks faithful love it. Melo led the Knicks with 42 points including the go ahead three pointer to send the game into overtime over Taj Gibson, after being covered so well by Ronnie Brewer with just over 8 seconds on the clock in OT.
"This was a playoff game. We have a chance, we might play these guys in the playoffs if we keep doing what we're doing and get that seed, so this was a big statement game for us and we willed this one tonight," Anthony saidRose, on his return to the court after 12 games with a groin injury scored 29 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a nail biter. He showed why he was last seasons MVP by constantly attacking the rim and getting the rest of the team open looks that they haven't been so used to seeing, particuarly with the 20 games that Rose has missed out of a possible 57.
"It's tough. It was definitely tough," Rose said. "When you lose a game, especially for us, it's tough. It's going to hurt us no matter who we lose to, but that team played great, man. They were knocking down shots. Didn't give up when we went up that big lead. They kept fighting."The Bulls currently lead the Knicks 2-1 in head to head matches and get a chance for revenge Wednesday our time when the two sides match up again in a game sure to get the Chicago faithful hyped up again. The Knicks now have a one game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8 seed in the playoffs with a much hyped game against Chicago scheduled for Wednesday our time, a seemingly easy game Saturday our time vs the struggling Wizards before the big one, the Miami Heat on Monday. If the Knicks can win at least two of the next three games they will feel much more confident going into the playoffs, knocking off some of their bigger competition in the lead up to the big show, the NBA playoffs. Will Carmelo join the greats with a big finish to join Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier, Patrick Ewing and co as the Knicks greatest players? Time will tell but we know the New York crowd will be going crazy if the Knicks can get out of round one and show what they are made of.