The Knicks (33-45) were just one game out of a playoff spot when they arrived in Miami to play the Heat (53-23) and, at first, it looked like they could pull off the upset when they took an early 16-3 lead in the early moments of the game, but the Heat quickly recovered as they are wont to do and the dream of an upset disappeared in a flash.
It was similar to the UConn-Florida Final Four game on Saturday, when it looked like Florida was just going to embarrass UConn at first but then UConn went on a run, never looked back and won the game. The same thing happened yesterday in Miami. The Knicks hung in there long enough to make everyone think they had a chance but ultimately, the Heat were too much for them and when they left American Airlines Arena, their scant playoff hopes were made even more minuscule thanks to a combo of yesterday’s loss to the Heat and the Hawks embarrassing the Pacers in Indiana last night.
Oh well. It was a good run, I guess. They really made us think that they could somehow, some way make it into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth but alas, it was not meant to be. This just isn’t their year.
Of course, what would have been even better is if the Knicks could have played strong the entire season instead of being so damn streaky. Well, at least the torture is almost over for us.
Anyway, back to yesterday’s game. It was actually close to start the third quarter until the Heat woke up and remembered they were playing the 2013-14 New York Knicks and by the time that third quarter ended, the Knicks found themselves down 73-64.
I probably should give the Knicks some credit, they did make the game a bit interesting in the fourth. Iman Shumpert missed a three that would have gotten them to within four points but Miami ended up pulling away, picked up their 53rd victory of the season and won the season series against the Knicks, 3-1.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- J.R. Smith scored 32 points and hit a franchise-record 10 3-pointers eclipsing a record he had tied against the Kings on March 27. He also attempted 22 3-pointers. Smith has been with the Knicks two and a half years and he is now in first, second and third in single-game three point attempts. That’s kind of amazing.
- Raymond Felton actually had a “good” game. He was 6-12 from the floor, scored 15 and dished out five assists. He finished with a +10 on the day. The one negative for him was that he got into foul trouble early.
- Carmelo Anthony had six assists. That’s good right? It would have been better for the Knicks if he decided to pass the ball instead of shoot for most of the game… (See ‘what went wrong’)
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Melo’s dead arm + The Heat’s defense = 13 points on 4-17 shooting. To be honest, it was more of Melo’s shooting than the Heat’s defense. He was taking really awful shots and instead of running the offense through the hot hand (Smith), Woodson ran it through Melo who couldn’t the broad side of a barn. Anthony also didn’t attempt a shot in the fourth quarter. I guess when you can’t feel your arm it’s hard to shoot a basketball. The Knicks don’t play another game until Friday which will provide Melo with a nice amount of rest. For what I have no idea because their playoff chances are dead.
- The porous defense. There was a moment during the third quarter when both Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. seemed confused about who to guard which left LeBron James wide open under the basket. He was so wide open that he was jumping up and waving his arms, none of the Knicks noticed and he got an easy two. It was pathetic.
- The Heat shot 55 percent from the field and the Knicks shot 37 percent.
- The Knicks hit the 45-loss mark. Hooray? Ugh.
- Up next for the Knicks, a trip to Canada to play the Raptors on Friday night.