It’s back to sugar plum fairies and gum drop dreams. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire have once again found their happy places.
No, it’s surely not Boston, but it is a dreamscape similar to the one both superstars resided in less than two months ago when Carmelo landed in New York with naive hopes of a happily ever after.
Not even a quick four-game sweep by the Celtics and a 10-year postseason victory drought could keep the Knicks’ All-Stars from gushing with optimism.
“I’m excited,” said Stoudemire, who pulled a muscle in his back during warm-up drills before Game 2. “This is the first step of something great that’s here to come in the next couple years.”
That first step toward greatness was a giant leap backward, as the Knicks were embarrassed over the weekend in their first two home playoff games since 2004. It’s as if Mike D’Antoni’s defense was toggled to rookie mode before the series.
The Celtics posted a playoff-best 8.5-point scoring margin, Ray Allen shot a career-best 65.4 percent from beyond the arc and Rajon Rondo recorded consecutive double-doubles to close out the sweep. Heck, even the pedestrian Indiana Pacers managed to steal a game from the Chicago Bulls.
Still, the Knicks seem too busy patting themselves on the back to see the reality. They may not just be one season away. Or one point guard away. Or one coach away.
“We came a long way since I first got here,” Anthony said. “You have to take your hat off to Mike for being able to handle a situation like that.”
The oblivious smiles, though, tell another story. Like maybe D’Antoni, and his team, are spinning this situation.