Heat 102, Knicks 88
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 35 MIN | 7-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -15
Sometimes I wonder whether every time Melo climbs a ladder to replace a light bulb in his house, five guys just slap at his face and arms and knock the ladder out from under him and no one does anything about it. I’ve scarce seen another superstar get less respect down low than Anthony, who must’ve been outed as a subscriber to Amar’e Stoudemire’s How to Kill Pets Belonging to Referees and Have Them Find Out newsletter. Ol’ #7 looked noticeably more spry and aggressive, even if his shot was once again spotty. His late first half flurry kept us in the game, but the Heat’s interior D — to say nothing of the always handsome defensive presence of Shane Battier — kept Melo mostly at bay.
… So does anyone else think he should’ve thrown the Hero Mode switch sooner?
|Amare Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 4-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -14
Hey Amar’e, don’t worry about helping out on LeBron rolling off that pick for the lob. I’m sure Chandler’s got it.
Hey Amar’e, don’t worry about catching that pass. I’m sure Chandler’s got it.
Hey Amar’e, don’t worry about taking that 18-foot jumper. Just give the ball to Bosh. I’m sure Chandler will foul him.
Hey Amar’e, don’t worry about flushing that fast-break dunk. Just split your free throws instead. I’m sure Chandler will pay for dinner.
This all happened in the first six minutes, by the way. Yeah, that swat on Wade was incredible. And so was that blow-by on Bosh and subsequent two-handed rim-ravage a minute later. But that’s the thing with Amar’e: His brilliance has become something flashed in spurts. The rest of the time, he looks like a four-year-old who wandered away from his parents at the mall on Christmas Eve.
|Tyson Chandler, C 36 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -21
Jesus, I thought I had anger issues. I didn’t watch a whole hell of a lot of Dallas last season, but I’m fairly certain Tyson didn’t hit the requisite suspension threshold for technical fouls. Did Amar’e pull him into some kind of elaborate bet, where each had to think of new, creative ways to get T’d up?
Amar’e: “When I get called for blocking, I’mma punch the floor!”
Chandler: “Oh yeah!? When I dunk the ball on someone’s head and don’t get continuation, I’mma repeatedly slap my own forearm!”
Amar’e: “When I get called for traveling, I’mma rub the ball on my junk and and hand it back to the ref nonchalantly!”
As it stands, TC is four away from a one-game suspension. Let’s hope he takes the All-Star weekend to chill, look at some art, and stay away from red meat.
|Landry Fields, G 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6
They don’t play no Heat at Stanford. Miami does a funny thing to Fields: A lot of the time, he looks completely intimidated and trouser-soiled; the other 25%, he’s decisive and confident, carving through the lane and keeping with his shot. Who knows whether D’Antoni playing J.R. Smith down the stretch was a move based on psychology or sheer instinct. But it certainly looked like a wise decision from where this reporter sat, namely on a couch with significant sweat stains.
|Jeremy Lin, PG 34 MIN | 1-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -19
Yeesh…. Hey, next time Jeremy Lin wants to come to my joint, my friends and I are, like, totally not going to let him eat 10 Dorritos. To the Heat’s credit, they made scary good on their borderline-dickish promise to hold Lin below double digits in scoring. But make no mistake: Lin needed this game like a surgeon needs that one under-the-knife patient to not quite make it. Any paparazzi lucky enough to catch a window-washing scaffold up to whatever floor houses Lin’s plush new digs will likely be treated to hours upon hours of Lin — face two inches from the screen — watching this footage over and over and over again.
|Baron Davis, PG 14 MIN | 0-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | +5
You know you’re having a bad night when your most memorable moment was lining up for a jump ball against Shane Battier – not exactly this generation’s David Thompson – and basically sitting down on the floor. That was priceless. His contested bombs from somewhere near the Georgia border? That most definitely has a price. Namely my patience.
|Jared Jeffries, PF 17 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +5
Whenever human cloning becomes a thing, my first recommendation would be for the U.S. Army to print out a few billion Jared Jeffries. We would totally stave off any alien invasion with… great defensive rotations.
|Steve Novak, SF 19 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +2
I’m writing in Steve Novak for every eligible office on the 2012 election ballot. Particularly Sheriff, which you can never have enough of in these lawless times. Having accounted for four of our seven three pointers, Novak almost single-handedly kept us in the game in the first half. And, let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like watching Mike Miller and Steve Novak chase each other around like a couple of Siamese cats.
|J.R. Smith, SG 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | -7
There’s a reason D’Antoni rode Smith down the stretch: Nothing really phases the dude. His defense — while overaggressive at times — clearly bothered both LeBron and Wade on a handful of possessions.
Five Things We Saw
- Watching the Knicks try and navigate the terrifying forest of flailing limbs that is the Miami Heat defense was like watching a really violent Grimm fairy tale unfold on my television screen. Twelve of the Knicks’ 19 turnovers came off of steals — steals on the perimeter, steals on drives, steals in the paint, steals on offensive rebounds, steals on Jeremy Lin’s innocence. Come Playoff time, whoever has to face the Heat in the first round might as well book their summer vacation for the day after Game Four.
- MAAAAAAAARV! As always, it was great hearing the Knick legend belt out his timeless gravel, even if his sidekick is actively trying to channel his anti-Knick vitriol into some kind of patentable syrup. Presumably to drizzle on the bones of baby seals.
- Normally the standard-bearer of casual sideline demeanor, Mike D’Antoni went completely berserk on a few first half occasions, his hair a flailing piece of modern art suggesting he’d spent the previous 36 hours doing booger sugar face plants at Tony Montana’s.
- Remember when the points in the paint statistics were sponsored by Dutch Boy? Halcyon. Tonight, the Heat outscored the Knicks 48-32 in the Hubie area. Clearly Miami’s plan was to force the Knicks into late shot clock situations where they’d have to huck from distance. Strange, considering that’s largely how the Knicks managed to stay in the two’s previous meeting. I’ll just go ahead and chalk that up to the genius of Erik Spoelstra, he of the college football offensive philosophy which ABSOLUTELY WAS NOT INSPIRED BY THAT OTHER COACH STANDING NO MORE THAN 50 FEET AWAY FROM HIM.
- The Knick point guards were 1-18 from the floor tonight. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what I shot in my old man rec game. Here’s the thing though: I play in a league where half the dudes show up drunk, the floor is covered in a dust film of dead skin cells, and you have to pay $45 for every technical. Because, you know, it’s a family establishment. Hopefully our two-headed savior of a floor general learned something in this one, because as things stand, there’s a 50% chance we’ll be seeing this flailing limb forest in the first round of the Playoffs.
Beyond his work for KnickerBlogger, Jim is a contributor to the New York Times Off the Dribble NBA blog, ESPN.com, and The Classical. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, titled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.