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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Here once again, ready for the Knicks' death knell to toll

Instead of enjoying Easter dinner and chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs and Peeps with my peeps (honestly, I really hate peeps), I'm back at Madison Square Garden to witness the final blow delivered to the already bruised and battered carcass of the New York Knicks.

The Knicks are down 0-3 to the Celtics in the series. More than likely, the Celtics will deliver the final blow this afternoon.

People inside the Garden already have the funereal feel to them. Employees are hugging each other, saying ''see you next year.'' A sign outside the press room dining quarters featured another ''Thanks, see you next year'' written note.

Everyone seems to know that this is pretty much it. The Garden, a place that had so much life before tipoff Friday night, is virtually dead Easter Sunday _ with no resurrection in sight.

The only excitement will come from the 18,000 orange T-shirts that are being distributed. Everyone seems to love the T-shirts, although they're going up to the ushers giving them away and asking for different sizes.

"What sizes do you have?" the women are asking.

"Extra large,'' the usher says.

"Anything smaller?" the woman responded.

"Extra large,'' he said.

I guess that means they have extra large.

The Knicks are holding on to hope that All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire will give them some sort of emotional lift. Stoudemire announced about 20 minutes ago that he will start and give it a try, despite the bad back that kept him out of the second half of Game 2, made him virtually invisible in Game 3 and left him out of practice all week.

Is it a moot point? Who knows? But things don't look good. The Knicks can save a little face with a win today and extend the season a few more days going back to Boston. It's the best that they can do for their fans, who have been starving for a home playoff win for an entire decade. That's true. The Knicks have not won a single playoff game in the Garden since 2001.

In any case, the game begins in 25 minutes. It should be interesting if anything. But there's definitely not the same buzz and excitement as there was Friday night.

There's also a lot less media people here today. I have a conventional seat at a big boy table. I'm not relegated to the kids' table, a folding collapsable coffee table, like I was Friday night.

Adam Horowitz of the Beastie Boys is slated to do the National Anthem. That won't exactly pump up the crowd. Actors Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifiniakis are in attendance, as is Matthew Modine, who had the lead in Vision Quest with Linda Fiorentino, which makes him my hero. He played a high school wrestler who had sex with Fiorentino. Funny, I don't remember any of my wrestling buddies getting that sort of takedown.

I could report that Star Jones is also here, but who really cares? She drinks beer through a straw and there's just something wrong with that.

The sports celebrities include Giants defensive end Osi Yumeniora (whose name I know I misspelled for the 2,315th time in my career), D'Brickashaw Ferguson of the Jets and Brandon Dubinsky of the Rangers, who with his teammates began their own private golf tour yesterday.

Steve Schrippa, namely Bobby Baccala from "The Sopranos," is also here. I like him.

So there it is, my pre-game report from The Garden on Easter Sunday. I'd much rather be eating jelly beans at home right now.
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