One-man Show on Broadway
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發表於今日（1/27）New York Daily News的文章
One-man Show on Broadway
By LISA OLSON
Published : January 27th, 2007
There sat Jamal Crawford on the bench, munching on a towel. He looked so stoic, like he was trying hard to hide whatever emotions were bubbling inside. More than six minutes remained on the clock, and soon the Garden faithful would head for the aisles, mumbling about what they had just witnessed.
Observers from another planet might've thought it was just another final scene, authored by the same ol' Knicks.
Oh, how wrong they would be.
The Knicks trounced Miami, 116-96, last night, but their domination over the defending champions was hardly the main event. It began so inauspiciously, with the ball slipping out of Crawford's hands on his first chance to score. His next three attempts went awry, hardly what coach Isiah Thomas hoped to see from a player trying to squeeze his way into a permanent starting spot.
And then magic made an entrance. Stephon Marbury was the first to call it, to turn to his teammates and declare this was a night when the ball simply had to go through Crawford. After that depressing 0-for-4 start, after he had turned the ball over and been on the bitter side of a Shaq block, Crawford began sliding deftly behind screens like a thief in the night.
He nailed jumpers from every angle, drove through the paint as if the Heat defenders were figures in a wax museum, created baskets off shake-and-bakes and pure hustle. By the end of the first half, Crawford had scored 23 points on 11 consecutive field goals, many of them set up by Marbury.
The basket, Crawford would say later, when his 52 points and a much-needed win against the Heat were in the books, looked "huge." He didn't know how else to describe this extraordinary night at the Garden, except to say it would not have happened without "my teammates who kept giving me the ball and my coaches who called some great plays."
The Knicks were without Eddy Curry, their big bodyguard in the paint. They had been humiliated four nights earlier by the Heat, a loss that had Thomas accusing his team of barely bothering to compete. And O'Neal and Dwyane Wade were back in the Heat lineup, eager to test their injured bodies against a Knick team that hasn't won any medals for its defense.
Yes, it figured to be a long, weary evening at the Garden, and it was, for the multiple defenders the Heat put on Crawford. James Posey, Udonis Haslem, even Wade took turns, only to find themselves blinking as Crawford finger-rolled over them, or squirted around screens in perfect synchronicity with Marbury's passes.
Crawford's three-pointer, his eighth straight from beyond the arc, made it 84-64. He scored 38 points in 30 minutes, 16 baskets in a row, a roll that was so contagious, so fun, so unique for this blah Knicks season. Fans were on their feet for much of the third quarter, capturing the action with their cell phones, calling friends to say, "Are you watching this?" Crawford was in a zone, but not alone. He was aware of everything but his point total: the fans going berserk and "my teammates standing up for like five or six minutes straight."
It didn't end until Crawford gave a foul, with 6:51 still to play. He left to another standing ovation, with the Knicks up 110-85. "(Thomas) did it very classy," Crawford said of his final exit. "You want to be respectful of the game. We were up like 20 points."
Soon he would walk a gauntlet of greats, slapping hands with Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston and entering a locker room to playful taunts from teammates. Nate Robinson screamed, "Make way for the human torch," and others yelled at reporters to keep their distance from Crawford, a man still smokin'.
"That might been the greatest I've ever seen," said David Lee, comparing Crawford's performance to those of Gilbert Arenas, Kobe Bryant and Wade. "We were just so happy for him, jumping up and down as he kept getting hotter. There was a play in the second half when he did a step-back move and shot the ball over Shaq. I knew then he was really on fire."
Crawford moved slowly to his corner of the room. Malik Rose graciously cleared his adjoining locker space for the hordes of cameras and microphones, but Crawford wasn't inclined to replay his brilliance. He has a photographic recall of most every game he's ever played, and admitted he dropped 60 points in a summer league called, he said somewhat sheepishly, the "Jamal Crawford summer league."
"My teammates are the ones who got me the ball tonight," Crawford said. "They could be selfish guys and say, 'We're not going to let him score' or whatever, but they were right there with me."
A few minutes earlier, as his 52-point - and one-assist - night was only beginning to cool, Crawford pulled a wool sweater over a silk shirt, adjusted the collar, and turned to a reporter. "Is it straight?" he asked. The answer, of course, was "just perfect."