One-man Show on Broadway

January 27, 2007


記得昨天早上看到New York Daily News的體育版頭條新聞時

我忍不住笑了出來

並不是因為Clemens終於宣佈願意重溫紐約球迷的熱情

也不是因為Yankees突然決定再給Bernie Williams一年的時間

(這兩則新聞應該在短期之內都不會成真...)

而是因為以下這個標題



Who Made This Schedule ?

Still suffering from Sunstroke, Knicks welcome Shaq & Heat into MSG



才在前一天晚上成為Suns 15連勝的祭品

尚未從烈日灼身的二級燒傷中復原的Knicks

竟然又要面對四天前才剛剛在Miami主場徹底羞辱Knicks的衛冕冠軍

看到這個標題...你可以輕易地想像

就連當地記者都不認為Knicks有任何勝算

只好在比賽當天的報紙頭版對聯盟安排賽程的"不公"提出控訴...

(不公?恩恩...連續幾場讓你對上票房保證的球隊...還有兩場是在MSG主場舉行...怎麼看都覺得是聯盟偏袒Knicks啊...)



在1/22晚上的比賽中...比賽才剛開始不到1分鐘...雙方比數Suns 2:3 Knicks

陣中兩員大將Dwayne Wade和Shaquille O'Neal都因傷缺陣的Heats

打出了一波創下雙方隊史記錄的27-0攻勢...

距離第一節結束還有3分26秒時...計分板上高掛著Heats 29:3 Knicks的比數



"There is no strategy for being down 29-3"

Isiah Thomas說道



而一度點燃Knicks反攻火炬...拿下23分的Jamal Crawford也說

"We were in quicksand the whole game "



不過在昨晚MSG主場的比賽結束後...

低著頭離開球場的不是這群已經習慣在主場“享受“噓聲的年輕Knicks

而是歡慶大將回歸...準備拿戰績同樣不佳的Knicks作為找回其衛冕軍尊嚴的Heats



"I'm getting sick and tired of this xxx (手動馬賽克). I've never been five games under .500 in my career "

Shaquille O'Neal說道

"It's embarrassing"



在Knicks陣中唯一重型武器Eddy Curry無法上場對抗人間兇器O'Neal的狀況下

到底是誰讓O'Neal感到如此不堪?...

是誰幾乎隻手擊沈了急欲重整旗鼓的Heats?



以下是報導一向頗具小說風格的女性體育專欄作家Lisa Olson

發表於今日(1/27)New York Daily News的文章



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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."









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