Tonight, the New York Knicks lost to the Miami Heat by 17, 87-70. For three quarters, the Knicks kept up with the Heat, but in the fourth quarter, Lebron James went super-human and Mario Chalmers stepped up to hit a few big threes, and eventually sunk the Knicks by 17.
The first quarter saw the Heat jump out to an early 9-point lead, 19-10, before the Knicks went on a run of their own: The Knicks finished the quarter on a 9-0 run, tying the game at 19. Over the first eight minutes of the game, the Knicks lacked any ball movement or consistency, but right as the clock struck four-minutes, it all changed. The Knicks were playing defense, moving the ball on offense.. They did everything that they should’ve.
The Knicks’ late first quarter success rolled right into the second period, despite sporting a lineup that no one could have expected to see in a playoff basketball game. Behind Mike Bibby, Landry Fields, JR Smith, Josh Harrellson and Jared Jeffries, the Knicks extended their 9-0 run into an 18-1 run. JR Smith impressed everyone with hounding defense on Dwayne Wade – pressuring him into bad shots that resulted in new possessions for the Knicks; Jorts continued to prove that he’s a pretty good defender, helping JR on Wade on several occasions, and grabbed several offensive boards; Jeffries did what Jeffries does; Fields played with confidence, on offense and defense, which resulted in one of his best games in some time.
The Knicks were up eight just a couple minutes from halftime, but faltered and let the Heat pull within two at half. Despite playing fantastic basketball, the Knicks let the Heat squeak back into striking distance.
To start the third quarter, Lebron James picked up his fourth quarter, which led him to sit for most of the period. Despite playing against just two of the Heat’s big three, the Knicks were unable to build a surmountable lead.
Despite sitting out for most of the third quarter, due to picking up an early fourth foul, Lebron James finished with 32 points – 17 of which came in the fourth quarter, on 9-21 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists. After sitting on the bench for the last 10 minutes in the third, Lebron came out ready to kill. He scored the quarter’s first eight points, ballooning a two-point lead into a 10-point lead. Then, Mario Chalmers canned a few threes and the Knicks found themselves behind double-digits. Game. Over.
- In a game that the Knicks’ needed Melo to carry them, Anthony had a rough game going off for 22 points, on 7-23 shooting, 8 rebounds and 5 turnovers , in 43 minutes. To his credit, Battier played superb defense on Carmelo, but unfortunately, for the Knicks to have had any chance in this game, they needed Melo to be superhuman, which he was not tonight.
- Steve Novak, who started in place of Amare Stoudemire, played 22 silent minutes. He had just two shot attempts, only one of which was from behind the line, because the Heat were able to rotate around the perimiter lighting quick. The Knicks were a bit sluggish tonight, so they were behind a second or two finding the open passes. The second allowed the Heat time to get right up in Novak’s face, not allowing him to put up a shot. Tonight, more than ever, Novak was exposed as a one-trick-pony.
- JR Smith played fabulous defense, but his dunk stole the show. If you take one thing away from the game, take the dunk. At least you won’t have nightmares…