The Knicks need to play the rest of their games with a sense of urgency, as they have dug themselves a big hole. Coming into Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat, they were doing just that. The Knicks had won three of their last four, but they faced a tough task against the defending champions.
The game would start out as a battle, as both teams were making plays early. Norris Cole was a nice surprise for Miami, and he started out hitting his first five shots. The Heat were without Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem, and they looked sluggish overall as a team. They were making sloppy passes, missing defensive assignments, and they allowed the Knicks to get open looks when they moved the ball. It sure looked like the Heat were taking the night off.
For the Knicks, they looked like the team that won 54 games last season. They moved the ball well, and had 19 assists compared to just 10 turnovers in the win. Raymond Felton looked good–especially in the pick and roll–and he finished with 19 points and 14 assists. New York trailed by five at the half, but they really turned it on after the break. The Knicks outscored the Heat 32-23 in the third, and they wouldn’t look back.
They rode a lead that reached double figures to win the game, and it was a nice performance on both ends. Carmelo Anthony had 29, and he led the Knicks, who had five players in double figures. J.R. Smith was benched for the entire game, and that is likely a punishment for the shoe debacle that he was fined for(it’s not like his play was warranting much time anyways). The offense looked much better with him off the court, and Mike Woodson could decide to play him less as the season goes on.
LeBron James had 32 points, 6 assists, and five rebounds on the night, but the Heat just got out-executed for the entire game. You could chalk this up to one of those games where they don’t care, but that isn’t something you can say every time they lose.
Don’t look now, but the Knicks may have figured some things out. They got the big win over Miami, 102-92.