Carmelo Anthony’s 42 points weren’t enough today, as the Knicks lost to the Heat at MSG, 93-85. In the end, the Knicks missed Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire as they didn’t have the fire power to trump the Heat today. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade killed the Knicks today, combining for 57 points and 19 rebounds.
In my opinion, the Knicks played a pretty poor game today. Give Miami credit, but the Knicks did a lot of bad things today. They didn’t rebound well, shoot well and had instances of spotty defense. However, I don’t feel as bad about New York possibly facing Miami in the playoffs as I once did. I think the Knicks showed today that they can hang with the Heat, mainly due to the fact that they’re a much improved defensive team. If Amar’e Stoudemire is back for the playoffs, which he is expected to be, New York’s offense should receive a much needed lift. I think the biggest problem today is that the Knicks just couldn’t score. Melo was cooking, but apart from him, the Knicks didn’t get much from anyone else. JR Smith wasn’t very good, Fields was horrible, Shumpert was mediocre and Baron was… well, Baron. I don’t feel as bad about potentially playing Miami in the playoffs, but I’m still bitter about today’s game. I hate losing to the Heat.
Here are my notes from the game:
- The Knicks couldn’t rebound. Miami is a very middle of the road rebounding team, ranking 19th in offensive rebound rate and 18th in defensive rebounding rate, but they schooled New York on the boards tonight. The Knicks got out-rebounded 47-33 overall, 11-7 on the offensive boards. Tyson Chandler was only able to grab 5 boards on the afternoon, while his counterpart, Chris Bosh, was able to grab 14. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade also combined to grab 19 rebounds. The Knicks had to scrap offensively to try and win this game, and their inability to create second chance opportunities hurt them. Miami also had some key offensive rebounds in the 4th quarter that helped them put away the Knicks.
- Thanks for nothing, Baron. The Knick point guard was absolutely invisible in the game today. His stat line is pretty indicative of how horrible he was today. He shot 1/6 from the field, 0/3 from downtown, -13 and 3 points. He was absolute garbage in a game where the Knicks needed him to play well. Baron has been nothing short of horrible since joining the Knicks and today was pretty hard to watch.
- Mike Bibby bricked a wide open 3. That is why we get stuck having to watch Baron.
- Landry Fields was pretty bad today too. Late in the 2nd quarter, the Knicks led 44-41 thanks to Melo cooking the Heat defense. New York was about to have all the momentum going into the half. With about a minute left in the 2nd, Anthony found Fields for a wide open 15 footer, in which he completely bricked off the side of the rim. His brick was symbolic of a day full of Knick bricks, and it totally killed New York’s momentum. Miami went on to lead 46-44 at halftime. I love Fields, but he was absolutely awful today. His lack of an offensive game really hurt the Knicks today. Fields dented the rim with some wide open shots today and finished with a measly 4 points. The Knicks needed scoring today, and Fields gave them none.
- Tyson Chandler hurt his knee, but isn’t expected to miss any games.
- BAD JR! BAD! To his credit, JR Smith was the only Knick not named “Melo” to contribute offensively. However, his shot selection in the 4th quarter made my eyes hurt. In my opinion, he contributed to shooting the Knicks right out of the game. Between the turn around 3’s and the forced bricks, Smith was pretty bad in the 4th. I do like the way he’s shooting the ball from downtown, 4/9 today, but his inconsistency and inability to take good shots just drives me insane.
- Shumpert’s defense wasn’t great today. Admittedly, I have said in the past that I believe Shumpert can hang with Wade defensively. I still think he has the tools to do that, but he did a horrible job today. Shump is a great on-ball defender, but his off-ball defense needs work. Miami killed Shumpert today when they ran Wade through screens. Shumpert was unable to fight through them and as a result, Wade dominated the Knicks. The Knick rookie did have some nice moments of on-ball defense, such as his pick pocket steal of Wade in the 4th, but he did not play a great all-around defensive game.
- Steve Novak is a Jedi. Multiple times, Novak was stuck guarding LeBron James on a switch. Novak used his Jedi mind-tricks to force James into shooting low percentage jump shots, rather than taking the unathletic Knick Jedi to the rim. Good work, Master Novak.
- Melo was the man today. 42 points on 14/27 shooting. He was absolutely dominant today. He got to the rim, he hit the mid-range and he defended well. Neither James or Wade had any clue on how to guard Anthony today. James tried to play up on him, and Anthony ran right by him. Wade gave it a shot, and Melo’s quickness gave him problems. I still believe Anthony is the most versatile scorer in the league, and today showed why. He scored in all facets of the offense and was dominant. My only criticism of Melo today is that he seemed to run out of gas a bit late in the 4th quarter. I don’t totally blame him though. He was a one man show today. I’d run out of gas too if I had to carry a team for 42 minutes. Bad game for the Knicks. Great game for Anthony.