Friday, December 7, 2012

No Melo, No Problem

Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: New York Knicks: 112 Miami Heat: 92
No Melo, No Problem as Knicks Blow out Heat

No Melo, no problem for the Knicks tonight in Miami as they blew out the Heat 112-92.  It is the second time this season the Knicks beat the Heat by 20 points.  The win by the Knicks gives the Heat their first home loss this season and biggest loss at Miami since Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in South Beach; leaving the Knicks as the last team in the NBA without a home loss.

Just like the first time around, the Knicks beat the Heat by putting on a show from the three point line, knocking down 18 of their 44 attempts.  This is the second time they made 18+ three pointers in a game, with the other time being the first defeat of the Heat; this time around they did it without the help of Carmelo Anthony, who was sitting out with a laceration on his left middle finger that required five stitches.

In his place, Raymond Felton picked up the slack as the go-to scorer.  Felton played by far his best game of the season given the circumstances.  Knowing Anthony would sit, Felton took it upon himself to carry the Knicks and responded with a monster game.

Felton did everything tonight, running the pick-and-roll to perfection with Tyson Chandler and even taking over some of Anthony’s isolation sets; on one occasion Felton cooked Udonis Haslem with a crossover reminiscent of Allen Iverson, taking it to the rack for a layup. 

Felton attacked the basket with fearless abandon and precision tonight, always making the right move to counter whatever the Heat were doing on offense.  Felton actually shot the ball better from deep, going six of 10 from the three point line and four of 10 inside of it.  He finished the game with a season high 27 points in addition to seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.  The Knicks needed him to step up tonight in Anthony’s absence and he did that and more.

Chandler continued his great play tonight, finishing around the basket and controlling the paint on both sides of the court.  Chandler’s stats are not as eye popping as some of his recent performances with 13 points and nine rebounds tonight, but his presence alone made a difference.  The Heat shooting 42.1 percent from the field shows just how tough the defense was tonight, led by Chandler in the middle.

The Knicks defense was on point tonight and was the driving force behind the building of the big lead.  The perimeter rotations were crisp and came out strong in the second half, limiting the Heat to only one basket the first six minutes of the third quarter.  Without that effort on the defensive end, the Knicks would have gotten hammered tonight.  They allowed only 39 points in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter.

With Anthony injured, the Knicks were in need of people stepping up and that is exactly what they got; under the bright lights of a nationally televised game the whole team shined in picking up the slack left by Anthony’s absence. 

The bench played outstanding, as they outscored the Heat’s bench 57-19.  Steve Novak led the way on the bench, with 18 points.  Rasheed Wallace chipped in 12 of his own and the same good defensive effort he has been giving all season to go along with seven rebounds.  J.R. Smith struggled with his shot again, going four of 15, but he made timely baskets and made contributions in other parts of the game, grabbing six rebounds, handing out four assists and getting one steal. 

Pablo Prigioni did his thing as the backup point guard, chipping in seven points of his own and grabbing a career high six rebounds.  James White was forced into duty because of injuries and responded as well as Mike Woodson could have hoped for, not missing a shot en route to scoring seven points. 

The Knicks came into the game with supreme focus and an understanding of what they had to do to get the victory without their star player.  Not only were they on point with the defense, they put in a concerted effort to protect the ball, turning the ball over a season-low tying seven times. 

Next up for the Knicks is a visit to Chicago to end a three game road trip Saturday night, the third game in a stretch of four games in five nights for the Knicks. 

1 comment:

  1. I think, Melo can also miss Sunday's game and Knicks can still win.