Mike D'Antoni took exception to two plays that went against his team in the final 21 seconds of Sunday's 87-85 loss to the Celtics in Game 1 of this first round series. The first was the offensive foul call that went against Carmelo Anthony, who was fighting for position with Paul Pierce in the left corner with 21 seconds left. The second one came on the ensuing possession, when it appeared Kevin Garnett set an illegal screen on Toney Douglas which freed up Ray Allen for the game-winning three-pointer.
"Well, in my eyes, I'm obviously biased," said D'Antoni, who looked furious. "I thought [the offensive foul] was a tough call and I thought the call that Toney went flying trying to chase Ray Allen was a tough no-call. Those things happen. I'm not happy about it, but it happens."
D'Antoni was in an ornery mood after the game and showed a much more defiant side of him we rarely, if ever, saw during the regular season. For instance, while he would normally downplay trash talking and things said by opposing players, D'Antoni unsolicited made reference to Glen Davis' shot at Amar'e Stoudemire -- Davis said "It's really not that hard" to defend Stoudemire -- when he talked about the monster game Stoudemire had.
"Amar'e was dominant," D'Antoni said. "Somebody said something that he's not as good as he was. I don't remember somebody saying something like that, but anyway, he's pretty good."
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* - Doc Rivers was equally defiant after the game. While the Knicks will point to questionable calls and a poor shooting night by Carmelo Anthony as reasons for the loss, the Celtics prefer to credit their stifiling defense, which Rivers said "joined the playoffs in the second half." But when the question was posed to Rivers about the Knicks offense and how, at times, it'll be too good to stop, such as in the first half, he halted at giving any credit to his opponent.
"Yeah, at times, but I don't know if that was their offense or our defense, to be honest," Rivers said. "I'm not giving that up. So we can be better defensively."
* - Chauncey Billups limped to his post-game press conference and had to take the short staircase to the stage one step at a time. It's a strained left knee, a problem area since the March 1 injury in Orlando and reaggravated last Tuesday against the Bulls. Though no decision has been made, right now it seems hard to believe Billups could play by Tuesday night. Even if he did, it's hard to believe he could be effective, especially against Rajon Rondo.
It would be a major blow, obviously, to the Knicks' chances in this series.