Well, at least they didn’t lose by 30…
The Knicks showed more life than they did on Saturday, but it still wasn’t enough. The Miami Heat defeated the Knicks Monday night, 104-94, to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference First Round series. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and nine rebounds. Dwayne Wade – who ran laps around Landry Fields – took over the leading role for the Heat, scoring 25 points while LeBron James just missed a triple double (19 points, nine assists, seven rebounds).
Two things outdid the Knicks: lack of interior defense and lack of closing out on shooters. Miami shot 52% for the game while making 9-of-21 treys (43%). They once again got to the free throw line more than the Knicks (19-for-27 compared to 13-for-19). A rebounding edge of 40-33 (12-7 on the offensive glass) plus the Heat’s eight missed free throws helped the Knicks stay in the game.
One moment that stands out from this game: with the Knicks down two with 2:19 remaining in the first half, the Heat go on a quick 6-0 spurt on three baskets from Wade and James, all in the lane, gave the Heat an eight point lead. In just about 40 seconds, the Knicks saw the deficit balloon from two to eight. The Heat would end the first half up 53-47.
In the second half, Miami would extend their lead to as much as 15, and by playing their usual brand of stifling defense, Miami wouldn’t let the Knicks cut into their lead. Nine points was as close as the Knicks would get after Miami built their double-digit lead.
Amar’e Stoudemire scored 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting but his lack of interior defense was a huge reason the Knicks couldn’t keep up with Miami. After the game, reports surfaced that Stoudemire had punched the glass enclosing of a fire extinguisher. His status for the rest of the series is unknown, yet it is hard to believe he’ll be back for the series. Game Three of the series is Thursday night at MSG. Miami did their job holding court at home. It’s time for the Knicks to do the same.