New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Game 21: December 6, 2016
Knicks 114, Heat 103
4 in a row down in South Beach:
The Knicks took their talents to South Beach to take on the injury riddled Miami Heat, where they beat the Heat at the American Airlines Center, 114-103. After a sluggish first half that saw the Knicks trailing by 1, they came out of the locker room ready to take care of business against Miami. Carmelo Anthony finished this one with a game high 35 points, and he absolutely caught fire in the third quarter. Kristaps Porzingis had his third straight poor shooting game, but had 14 points and 12 boards. Joakim Noah had a double-double, and Kyle O’Quinn continued to impress with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Derrick Rose had to leave the game early due to back spasms, which could be an issue, since the Knicks play again tomorrow night. Hassan Whiteside finished the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Goran Dragic paced the Heat with 29 points.
Takeaways from this game:
Knicks show grit.
Mike Breen said it late in the fourth quarter, the Knicks have become a gritty team. The Knicks were struggling in the first half of the game, being outplayed by an undermanned Miami Heat squad, but they came out and took it to the Heat right out of the locker room. Carmelo Anthony catching fire for a vintage Melo game definitely helped, and the continuing success of Kyle O’Quinn and Brandon Jennings off the bench kept the Knicks ahead. Lance Thomas, who I ripped apart in my last recap, had a solid bounce back game as well with 11 points, most coming in the second half. In addition to the offense, the Knicks dug in on the defense, and continued to block shots and come up with offensive rebounds. They’re going to need that grit to beat the Cavaliers tomorrow night.
When this guy gets hot, you remember just how good he is. He may not have had the type of heat check Klay Thompson had against the Pacers the other night, but Carmelo Anthony showed he can still be one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA when he’s at the top of his game. When KP is struggling, it pays to have another top scorer on your team. In years prior, when Anthony had a bad game, the Knicks would almost certainly lose, but now with the talent around him, the Knicks can afford a poor shooting game from Anthony or one of his teammates.
Cause for concern?
I’m probably (definitely) overreacting, but Derrick Rose left the game because of back spasms tonight. Really hoping this isn’t the start of the Derrick Rose injury train, because he has been excellent so far this season. Brandon Jennings filled in nicely, but the Knicks will need a healthy Rose going forward.
The New York Knicks are tied for the 3rd playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Let that sink in for a second. This team has really hit their stride, winning 9 of their last 12 games, and 4 straight. If the Knicks can keep this momentum and take care of the Cavaliers tomorrow night, then other NBA teams and reporters might take this team seriously. See you tomorrow, LeBron. 12-9.