Final Score: NYK 94 MIA 106
1st quarter: NYK 24 MIA
2nd quarter: NYK 23 MIA
3rd quarter: NYK 20 MIA
4th quarter: NYK 27 MIA
Opinion of the game: This game clearly represented the Knicks poor performance throughout the playoffs. There was a lack of desire to win, no hustle on defense, and just no extra intensity that is required in the playoffs. When you are playing against arguably the best team in the NBA, you have to make the little adjustments to close someone out, commit yourself to taking a charge, making the extra effort to reach the help position, jump a little higher for the rebound. But there was none of this. These were the most selfish games of the year for the Knicks – no passing just a one man game – this could definitely be attributed to a lack of a point guard due to injuries in Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis, but these guys are professional basketball players. They should know how and when to move the ball around to create the easier shot. The offense was stagnant as ever – one pass, one shot while the Heat had easy basket after easy basket due to their superb ball movement. That is how your supposed to play the game of basketball.
Instead of giving a recap of this game, let me give you a recap of the playoffs:
JR Smith and Landry Fields. With Iman Shumpert tearing his ACL in game 1 we had to rely on JR Smith and Landry Fields at the shooting guard position. They not only did not carry out there job, but they probably made the Knicks worse than better. I honestly can not understand how JR Smith plays the game of basketball,. He shoots 5-18 in game 3, 3-15 in game 4 and 3-15 in game 5 (combined 11-48 -23%) and from the 3 point line, he goes 5-28 through the whole series. He can’t dribble, takes the most wild shots and plays the word perimeter defense. My question is when a person is playing so badly, why does (what I thought to be smart guy) Mike Woodson play him for 30 minutes a game. I know there aren’t may other options with Novak not even contributing due to the constant defensive pressure by the Heat, but if Smith is playing that badly there is no point of having him in. Then Landry Fields who had his up and down moments in the playoffs, looked embarrassing to watch late in the fourth quarter tonight. He could not convert on a play that I learned when I was 7 years old called a 3 on 2 fast break and just threw the ball away.
Tyson Chandler was also a huge disappointment in the playoffs. All his numbers were down from the regular season and last year playoffs. I don’t care that he only averaged only 6 points a game or that his field goal percentage was 20 poitns lower (he’s taking under 5 attempts a game so it doesn’t make a difference) – what bugged me was what he came to the Knicks for – to play defense. He did not show any of his Defensive Player of the Year skills, did not move over to the help position, committed stupid fouls and technical foul, and turned the ball over over 3 times a game. He was supposed to intimidate James and Wade when they attacked the paint but most of time you saw Chandler just backing off from any challenge. I don’t know if he still had flu like symptoms, but this was not the Tyson Chandler that we saw in the regular season.
Injuries- I don’t even need to explain how this hurt the Knicks team not only in the playoffs, but throughout the whole season and this made it impossible for the Knicks to develop any team chemistry. Jeremy Lin – was out for the whole playoffs due to recovering from torn meniscus surgery. Jared Jeffries was limited to 5 minutes a game due to a sore knee. Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in the first game. Baron Davis torn his MCL, ACL in the 4th game, and Amare Stoudmrie punched the glass of a fire extinguisher and was out for game 3. How can we even think about winning a series when half our team was inactive?
Now this brings me to my last point about Carmelo Anthony. He went through a stretch in the regular season where he did not look like a superstar but once these injuries plagued the whole team, he stepped up his game on offense and to everyone surprise no the defensive end too. He truly looked like a superstar and in the playoffs, he was unstoppable. He had to virtually carry the whole team on his back. There is only so much one player could do – scoring 35 points a game is great but we need a second scorer and I just felt really bad for him. He worked his tail off this whole playoffs and it comes to another first round exit. When Carmelo came to the Knicks, he wanted a new start and a chance to go far in the playoffs with Amare and a solid role team, but in the past 2 years we have seen so many problems that have prevented this. Click here for box score.
The Knicks have a lot of work to do and hopefully with a full summer camp and the return of all the injured players, we could come back strong next year.
This is Sam Taubenfeld signing out.