Already going into the game with news that defensive stalwart Tyson Chandler might not be at 100% due to the flu, the Knicks were completely massacred by the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their Easter Conference Round 1 series, 100-67. LeFlop James led the Heat with 32 points and four steals. New York was “led” by J.R. Smith’s 17 points off the bench.
Despite Tyson Chandler playing with the flu, the Knicks actually got off to a good start. Despite shooting just 6-for-21 in the opening period, the Knicks were still in the game. Baron Davis drank some youth potion and came out firing, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, knocking down two treys. Led by James’ 12 points, Miami took a 24-18 lead after the first 12 minutes.
Then, the second quarter came.
In what could possibly have been the worst single quarter performance by a team in NBA Playoff history, the Knicks (with help from the refs) were absolutely blitzed by Miami. The numbers for the Knicks: five field goals, one free throw, 12 turnovers, 15 fouls, 13 points. After a J.R. Smith trey with 7:02 left in the quarter brought the Knicks to within one point, Miami went on a 32-2 run. 32-2. Let that sink in for a moment. The Knicks were outscored by 30 from the 7:02 mark in the quarter until 9:11 left in the third quarter.
The refs didn’t help matters. The number of questionable calls that went against the Knicks can’t be listed here because you’d be reading this until the start of next season. So we’ll just used numbers. Miami attempted 28 free throws in the first half, 20 in the second quarter alone. They made 21 of those free throws. In contrast, the Knicks went 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the first half, getting just one attempt in the second quarter.
The second half felt like an exhibition game, with the Heat in full control and the Knicks never making a serious run. More bad news hit the Knicks in the second half though, when “The Rook” Iman Shumpert went down in the third quarter with a left knee injury. After the game, it was revealed that he suffered a torn ACL and is out for the rest of the playoffs. Baron Davis also suffered a stiff back and didn’t return after playing 17 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony had a dismal shooting game (3-for15, 11 points) but did have 10 rebounds. Amar’e Stoudemire, who seemed primed to have a huge game after dunking over Chris Bosh for his first two points, finished with just nine points on 2-for7 shooting. Meanwhile, Dwayne Wade added 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to help James lead Miami to the win.
The Knicks will try to rebound for Game 2, slated for Monday night at 7pm. There is no way the Knicks win this series unless they win Game 2. They can’t comeback to MSG down 0-2, with the prospect of having to beat Miami four times in five games to advance. The loss of Shumpert will hurt. Here’s hoping Chandler and Davis are at full strength Monday night.