And the Bulls still lost, despite his 63 points.
Whether it's random happenstance, or the basketball gods trying to prove something, Carmelo Anthony also produced a memorable effort against the C's, just one day earlier than the anniversary of Jordan's historical performance.
But despite his 42 points and 17 rebounds, the Knicks also lost.
Jordan's team was riddled with injuries and lacked talent, and though they finished with a 30-52 record, they made the 1986 playoffs. The Celtics swept the Bulls, 3-0, en route to an NBA Championship. The Bulls were merely pushed aside, as if they had no business being there.
Although their record is not quite as heinous as the 1986 Bulls, the Knicks stumbled into the 2011 playoffs amidst a pack of mediocrity surrounding the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff barrel, earning the No. 6 seed with a 42-40 record.
Anthony and the Knicks now find themselves in a similar situation, down by two games and currently without Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups.
Perhaps the loss of Stoudemire and Billups caused Melo to caramelize under pressure, but one thing is certain – come playoff time, one-man teams can't compete against organized "we before me" defensive-minded teams.
The 1986 Celtics were considered by many to be one of the best teams of all time, and while the 2011 version of the team isn't worthy of that high praise, this group knows a thing or two about winning playoff games.
Game 3 of that 1986 series was decided by 18 points on the road, as the Celtics convincingly won 122-104. Jordan posted a near-triple-double, yet the Bulls got crushed.
So whatever Anthony does for the rest of the series will be a wash, as his supporting cast needs to step up and play some defense, and maybe even score some points, because no one man is greater than any one team.
Just ask Michael Jordan.
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