Knicks vs. Heat – 2-1-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee
With everyone counting down the hours, the minutes, on the eve of NFL Super Bowl XLVIII, the New York Super Bowl weekend included one huge basketball match-up in the metro area as well.
The Defending Champions Miami Heat came into town, showing that defense wins championships. The Heat made sure to not let Carmelo Anthony get into any offensive rhythm. Sending defensive stalwart Shane Battier to guard him, Battier made it tough for Anthony, constantly fronting him, forcing him to work very hard to even catch the ball. When Anthony was finally able to possess the ball, another Heat would swarm in Anthony’s direction to double team him, forcing him to take a bad shot, or pass the ball out. Anthony wasn’t making good decisions, turning the ball over seven times in a 106-91 defeat to the Miami Heat. Anthony finished the game with 26 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Shane Battier hounded Anthony into committing three turnovers and scoring only four points in the first quarter, whom normally would be closer to double figures as the Knicks’ primary option on offense. Battier wasn’t only getting it done of the defensive end, he also got it done on the offensive end, scoring 11 points in the first quarter, knocking down three three-pointers in the process. With all the attention paid to Carmelo Anthony, J.R Smith got loose for the Knicks early, scoring 11 points in the first quarter, and finishing the game with 20 points. Smith’s early contributions kept New York in the game, but the Heat went on a 10-2 run to end the first quarter to take a 29-22 lead.
The Heat led by as much as 14 points mid-way through the second quarter, propelled by Dwayne Wade’s nine points in the period. Wade was unstoppable, scoring on tough mid-range jumpers, as well as slashing to the rim for 22 points in the game. The Knicks though did not give up, going on an 11-2 run bridging from the end of the second quarter and into the opening minutes of the third, to get within a possession 53-51.
Miami would respond immediately, going on a 15-4, fueled by the Knicks turnovers. New York committed five turnovers in the third quarter, 17 in total for the game. New York was too careless with the ball Saturday night, making poor decisions. There were way too many cross court passes attempted by the Knicks, which was easily stolen by the Heat. And it wasn’t like New York didn’t know this was coming, Miami is first in the league in forcing opponents to turn over the ball at 17.4 per game, as well as top five in team steals at 8.9 per game. Simply put the Knicks needed to take care of the basketball against the Miami Heat, and they didn’t. New York didn’t help their own cause, when they just kept fouling (some of the calls were questionable) at the end of the third quarter, fouling on five consecutive possessions to end the period. Miami shot 11 free throws in the third quarter, converting on seven of them.
A three-pointer by Tim Hardaway Jr. cut the Miami lead to five to start the fourth quarter, the rookie followed up his career high 29 points, with 17 points Saturday night. New York was able to again cut the Miami lead to five again with nine minutes left in the game, but that would be as close as the Knicks would ever get, as Norris Cole was personally responsible for an 8-2 run, scoring six points and assisting on a Chris Bosh jumper. The run gave Miami a double digit led again, 92-81 with 5:45 remaining in the game. Cole’s play was the most pivotal part of the game, and completely changed the momentum in favor of Miami, he had the best +/- of any player in the game, with +17. Lebron James closed the door shut on the Knicks, extending the led to as much as 16 points, making a few tough fade away jumpers. James finished the game with 30 points 8 rebounds 7 assists, and 6 steals.
Tonight was the type of game where New York really missed the presence of Iman Shumpert. It is a given what Lebron is going to do, but New York really needed a defensive guard to slow down Dwyane Wade. Shumpert would have been given the assignment to guard him, yes he gambles a lot, and is overly aggressive at times, picking up too many ticky tack fouls, but it is still better than having Tim Hardaway Jr. guarding Wade. Hardaway Jr. at this point in his career is just a scorer, he hardly gets any rebounds, steals, or blocks. But defense isn’t just what you see on the stat sheet, he does not cover his own man well, nor does he rotate well on defense. Shumpert presence would have definitely changed the game, but you have to weigh out the positives and negatives, because for what Hardaway Jr. lacks in defense, Shumpert lacks in offense. New York didn’t help themselves either tonight, stabbing themselves in the foot, missing nine free throws, converting on only 60.9% of attempts. The most noteworthy one was when Carmelo Anthony got fouled on a three-point attempt, and proceeded to miss three straight free throws.
About these ads

Some Positivity After the Heat Game

Written by William Lee

Normally I would write recaps on games for New York Knicks Podcast, but for the Heat at Knicks game January 09, 2014 I would like to try something different. I want to point out some positives that came out of the victory over the two time defending Champions Miami Heat. Some positives that if it continues to hold, may offer Knicks fans a slim hope, if and when New York sees them in the playoffs this spring. Now I want to just preface that I am not a coach, or anyone that played for his school’s team, just someone that is a basketball fanatic that watches way WAY too much basketball… Also I am admittedly going to be a homer, so maybe I am seeing everything from orange and blue goggle glasses. With all that said, here are some positives I take from Thursday night’s game, and situations that have to occur if you have any chance of beating the Heat once, let alone four times in a series.

Stretch Four  - One of Miami’s strength is their ability to overload the strong side on defense, yet have quick enough players to recover on the weak side. It helps when you have Lebron James and Dwyane Wade when using this defensive philosophy. Though we have seen stretch fours, give the Heat troubles, when the four is able to shoot the ball well from deep along with a good shooting backcourt. The most notable example of this was when the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship in 2011, with arguably the best stretch four, Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. The Knicks seemly always have a stretch four on the court at all times, be it Carmelo Anthony or Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani had a great shooting night Thursday night, and highlighted this theory when he was able to knock down open shots, or attacked the rim when the defense was stretched too far. Of course Carmelo Anthony is going to be Carmelo Anthony, and we saw what he can do when he was put in the stretch four position last season (2012-2013). Side note, this was the biggest disappointment of last season when New York was eliminated and New York fans could not have seen what would have played out if the 2012-2013 Knicks team played against the Heat, and see what they could have done. Continue reading

A Scoring Comparison

A big thanks to Patrick for making these charts. So we’ve been talking about how the Knicks offense is predictable when Melo and/or JR is on the floor and stagnant when they are off.  And this chart would be even more skewed if you consider Amare missed 53 games last season.  This breakout of team scoring pretty much sums that up:

992519_10153207875400693_927637732_n

Now lets take a look at that when compared to the two teams that made the finals last year.  First the Miami Heat: Continue reading

Episode 125: What the hell just happened?

Chandler had the flu, Barons back tightened up, Shumpert tore his ACL, the refs went WWE on us and didn’t even call the game fairly and the Knicks were doubled up.  This was all before halftime.  We try to figure out what happened.  Download Episode 125

Eddie Curry: Final Piece to NBA Championship for the Heat???

http://allucanheat.com/2011/03/02/signing-eddy-curry-is-a-no-brainer/

For some reason Heat are considering actually signing and playing Eddy Curry. I understand the Heat are undersized and Curry has size (a whole lot of size) but is this a joke. The only way Curry would help the Heat is by producing fewer leftovers after team dinners.  As a Knick, I would like to advise the Heat that this would be a fantastic move for them. He was really an invaluable paperweight on our bench.

Episode 37: Interview with Mike Kurylo

We recap the Hawks/Knicks game, talk about Cleveland beating the Lakers and then spend the rest of the episode talking to Mike Kurylo from Knickerblogger.net.  We talk about how Mike got started, some of the moves from the Isiah era, misleading stats, Carmelo Anthony and other potential trades, Donnie Walsh, favorite all-time Knicks and favorite current Knick, Mike D’antoni, and hating the Heat.  Download Episode 37