Last night in Miami, the Knicks lost to the Heat 104-94 in a game that wasn’t as one-sided as Game 1, but was still considered a loss because the Knicks scored less points than their opponents. This time around the Knicks trailed by “only” nine points heading into the fourth quarters, so it wasn’t really a blowout. Plus, New York shot 49.4% from the field and grabbed 31.6% of available offensive rebounds in a pretty competent offensive effort. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 30 points and nine rebounds on 12 for 26 shooting, while Amar’e Stoudemire dropped in 18 points and seven rebounds while going 6 of 9 from the field.
Unfortunately, the Knicks were still lacking on the defensive end and they allowed Miami to shoot 52.1% from the field, including 9 for 21 from three-point range. LeBron James made “only” 8 of 18 field goals and had 19 points with nine assists and seven rebounds. Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade each shot over 50% and score 20-plus points.
Here’s Seth Rosenthal, who knows much more about NBA basketball than I do, on New York’s offense:
On one end, the Knicks pounded the ball into the floor (usually only one side of it) until time was up and somebody had to shoot. Miami’s defense– even against smart movement– revealed gaps only for vanishing moments, and New York just didn’t appear to have the personnel (passers, ball-handlers, shooters) to exploit those gaps.
And the defense:
The defensive end presented the most problems. New York’s switching D was at it’s switchingest, with defenders scurrying wildly around the perimeter (or, on many occasions, just chilled) while the Heat zipped the ball to a scorer, then poked a hole to draw help and find somebody wide open in a comfortable spot.
The story everyone is talking about happened after the game, when Stoudemire reportedly punched the glass case of a fire extinguisher and cut open his left hand. David Aldridge reported on TNT that Stoudemire had to get stitches and left the arena with his arm in a sling.
Amar’e last night apologized to fans and teammates on Twitter, saying, “I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start.”
The Knicks don’t practice today, so we probably won’t get to see if Stoudemire tests his hand, but Ian Begley of ESPN New York says that we may not see him in action again this season.
New York has now lost 12 consecutive playoff games dating back to 2001, when it lost the last two games of a first round series to Toronto. That 12-game streak is tied with Memphis for worst all time. The Knicks look to avoid making history when they host the Heat at MSG for Game 3 on Thursday night.