Talking about the 104-94 loss to the Miami Heat in the second game of their playoff series is meaningless right now. Besides being down 0-2 in the series, the New York Knicks have lost more than that: Amar'e Stoudemire is out for the rest of the series and it's all of his own doing. He blew his cool after the game, punched a glass cabinet holding a fire extinguisher, and in doing so doused the flame of hope for all Knicks fans.
I know some people have been calling into the sports radio shows and are trying to downplay this, like it doesn't matter in the big picture. The gist of what they are saying is that Stoudemire has not been much of a factor up until now anyway, so why should we miss his anemic contribution? We will do fine without him.
Well, I hate to break it to the Knicks faithful, but with or without Amar'e, the season is almost finished. The playoffs are going to be over for the Knicks (mercifully) soon. Everyone knew that finishing seventh meant a horror show for the Knicks. It was hanging over the team and fans; it was like knowing you were jumping into a pool with a Great White Shark. No matter what you do, the ending is not going to be pretty.
The problem is that Stoudemire is just another selfish athlete, a basketball brat who didn't get his way, so he smashes something, cuts up his hand, and puts himself out of the lineup. This is another example of players who are paid too much to do too little and then, when they do not perform or get what is expected, they take it out on a water cooler, a dugout step, or (as in this case) a fire extinguisher. The heck with the fans, my teammates, and moving on to the next round. I know Stoudemire has apologized to the fans and his mates, but "sorry" means nothing to us now.
Even though Knicks fans knew this was going to be an almost impossible series to win, there was some hope in that Carmelo Anthony was playing for Mike Woodson now. With Amar'e back in the lineup, things seemed to be moving in the right direction, and the team was in the playoffs after all. Now Anthony knows, Woodson knows, and everyone else does too that it is over before it's over. My apologies to Yogi Berra, but it's true.
Photo Credit: Reuters