After taking care of the Boston Celtics in game 1 of their best of seven NBA Playoff series, Carmelo Anthony noted, “It’s going to be a battle. Although we won tonight we really didn’t do nothing.” Double negative aside, Anthony’s words should not be taken lightly.
It is very easy for a player to get excited and caught up in rather early postseason success, particularly for those that have not accomplished all that much outside of the regular season. The best example of this is Tracy McGrady, who was the 2003 and 2004 scoring champion. McGrady displayed great offensive ability while in Orlando, but never really could grasp what postseason success was like and showed his rather egregious immaturity during the 2003 playoffs.
After the Orlando Magic took a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Detroit Pistons back in ‘03, Tracy McGrady stated, “It feels good to get in the second round.” Yes, that’s right, the Magic were up in the series 3-1. Orlando had not clinched anything as they still needed to win one more game. Yet, Tracy not only felt as if his team had indeed won, he went so far as to state his opinion, one that rather truly defines someone with no knowledge of what it takes to advance in the playoffs and vie for a championship, to the entire basketball world.
The Magic went on to lose three straight games to the Pistons as Detroit, and not Orlando, advanced to the next round.
Looking back, McGrady was almost impossible to stop during the regular season, winning the scoring title in both 2003 and 2004. Unfortunately, his regular season offensive prowess could only be matched by the mental acuity, or lack thereof, he displayed in his postgame comments.
Carmelo, like McGrady, has also topped the league in scoring and been a dominant regular season player. However grammatically incorrect Carmelo’s words after game 1 may be, “Although we won tonight, we really didn’t do nothing,” it is the attitude behind what he says that shows he may just have what it takes to bring the New York Knicks past the first round and beyond.