New York sports fans have certainly had better days.
All four New York teams in action -- the Knicks, Islanders, Yankees and Mets -- lost on Sunday, while the Nets announced they are not retaining interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
The Knicks were booed by the Madison Square Garden crowd in the second half of their 102-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 28 points, but needed 27 shots to get there. The Knicks, who trailed by as many as 16 points, now face what is essentially a must-win game Tuesday night at MSG.
The Islanders, fresh off a stunning victory in Pittsburgh, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, sending the raucous crowd at Nassau Coliseum into a frenzy.
But they couldn’t hold it.
The Penguins dominated on the power play, and Chris Kunitz delivered the game-winning goal on the man-advantage 8:44 into overtime, giving Pittsburgh a 5-4 victory. The Islanders, now down 2-1 in the series, will have a chance to bounce back in what is also essentially a must-win game Tuesday night on the Island.
Southpaws Andy Pettitte (5 IP, 4 R) and Jonathon Niese (4 IP, 7 R, 6 BB) struggled on the mound for the Yankees and Mets, who fell to the Oakland A’s and Atlanta Braves respectively. The Yankees (18-12, second place, AL East) dropped two of three to the A's, while the Mets (12-16, fourth place, NL East) saw their two-game winning streak come to a close.
The Nets let Carlesimo go after they were eliminated from the playoffs by the significantly shorthanded Bulls on Saturday night. GM Billy King said he’ll reach out to Phil Jackson to gauge his level of interest. Big names such as Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan and Larry Brown are out there. But King said his team isn’t necessarily looking for a big name. They’re looking for the right guy.
Yes, things have been much better for sports fans in the Big Apple.
Then again, there’s always tomorrow.