During the telecast, off the stage, the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was palpable Monday night. The Knicks played the Celtics, and it was an emotional affair for the past quarter century.
"It's a game!" Clyde Frazier scored more as the Knicks beat the Celtics in front of one of the loudest, most hyped crowds of the year.
It was, and Flume or not, the Knicks definitely played with more pep in their step. The Celtics — undefeated and safely atop the conference — may not be hot, but they were coming off their own playoff-caliber effort two nights ago in Philadelphia.
It was a wonderful evening.
As well as depression.
Because it exposed the biggest problem facing the NBA right now. In reality, nights like this are the rest of the regular season, and 82 games is a long time. In the era of "load management," where star players are seen on the bench in civilian clothes like a healthy scratch, it's becoming a phenomenon where teams treat actual NBA games as spectacle.
Knicks fans celebrate after Emmanuelle Crich hit a shot in the second half as the Knicks beat the Celtics. Robert Sabo for the NY Post
And it's a reminder that the difference between the regular season and the playoffs in basketball isn't as close as it is in other sports.
The NBA playoffs are less than two months away, partly because of the high probability, but mostly because there is no rest, figuratively or literally. So after six months of heat, when the NBA playoffs finally begin, you get to watch the world's best players maximize their talent and effort two or three times a night, depending on the size of the TV schedule.
See more There is no doubt that the Knicks' Celtics retreat is indeed this.
This point really started to make sense a few years ago during the NBA bubble during the pandemic. Part of that may have been a three-month layoff, but night after night, game after game, especially the Jazz-Nuggets series, were the performances of Jamal Murray (31.6 points per game) and Donovan Mitchell (36.3). Trade hay for seven games.
If you like basketball, you will enjoy watching the game especially at this level. And we find it in the games every night. Thank you for the nights we get during the regular season.
It is a hollow underground.
It is different in other sports. Hockey is a good example. NHL fans believe with all their might that there is nothing better than playoff hockey, and even if you're an occasional save fan, this theory should be enough to convince you.
The truth is that hockey players are different from all other athletes. Even if they were superstars, they'd be more than happy to find a frozen pond somewhere in Saskatoon and spend a few hours together with a few barrels between them.
While there is playoff hockey – and there is, it can cost you money in January and June.
Saquon Barkley watches the Knicks beat the Celtics. Getty Images
Football? Look, the regular season was already in trouble, and adding a Game 17 just made it worse. Still, while NFL games can be major sources of stress — a bad penalty, a bad turnover and a season that could end — you won't feel cheated during the regular season. Now, your team may not be the best – and playing against a wild NFL team is probably the toughest of all sports – but never doubt the effort.
This leaves baseball in its own category. That's some exciting postseason ball that won't be repeated in 162 games. However, even with 14 teams in the playoffs, they are a day-to-day affair. If you are a true believer, the strength of May and August will make the rewards of September and October special. But what if you are a regular fan? You know the difference between Game 5 of the World Series and Game 73 of the regular season. The difference isn't as big as in the NBA. But it makes a good rivalry series like Yankees-Red Sox or Mets-Braves more interesting.
Man, the summer sure looks closer than ever seeing Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso back on TV.
If you think the Giants are spending money on Daniel Jones, ask yourself: How many of the NFL's 32 teams have quarterbacks? fifteen? sixteen? If you think you have it, how do you stop it?
It's hard to believe it's been seven years since we lost Mets PR dynamo Shannon Ford. At Queen's and Port St. The mind on top will always be an important part of Lucy's football field.
If the Celtics had played Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Milwaukee instead of Boston, how do you think the Nets would have blown a 28-point lead Friday night?
Back to Vac
Jim Moon : Does the NBA have a rule that the Knicks and Nets can't be good at the same time? It's funny how a dime can keep turning on without competition. My fondest memory is the Ewing-Derrick Coleman series in the 90s.
Wake Up : I think the rivalry started 30 years ago when John Stark broke Kenny Anderson's arm. It's incredible.
John Kobert : The clock seems to do a good job of erasing all "dead" time, but I don't think beer vendors appreciate short games and low sales. Check price increases.
Field time shortens MLB regular-season games, but could raise beer prices at stadiums. America Today Sports
Wake: I expect the price of beer to triple while I'm still in the game, which wouldn't surprise me too much.
@Kishboy: I am inviting Julius Randle to be the guest rabbi at my children's Bar Mitzvah.
@Mikevac: I'd say the Julius launch tour is over, right?
Howie Siegel: I think I see the potential for Steven Adams with the Grizzlies. Could it be something about his life and times?
Walking: Gavi and I thank you if you got to hear that joke.