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
The What Could Have Beens:
A number of teams were derailed by injuries.
Golden State Warriors – Couldn’t help but think that with a healthy David Lee and Andris Biedrins they would have at least been within striking distance of the 8th seed. Lee wasn’t the same after Wilson Chandler went all True Blood on him.
Cleveland Cavaliers – We knew after LeBron left they would be bad. But this was still a team that won over 120 games the last 2 seasons. How did they fall so hard? Well at one point in the season Danial Gibson, Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, and Anderson Varejao, you know, pretty much their starting lineup were all injured at once. They were pretty much a D-league team 3/4 of the way through the season. And not a good D-league team.
Milwaukee Bucks – Delfino, Jennings, Redd and Bogut missed a ton of time. Salmons also got that virus a lot of people get right after they sign a big contract. It usually lasts until about a year before the contract is up. Continue reading