Heat 99, Knicks 89: "At least the threes are falling."

Indeed they were! As commenter KnightandDaye (a Pistons fan?) said in the game thread, a Knicks team without Carmelo Anthony or a point guard ran just about the most reckless, headless, gimmicky offense imaginable...but at least the threes were falling. New York couldn't get anything going inside-- Amar'e Stoudemire got triple-teamed every time he put the ball on the floor and Tyson Chandler could have hopping on a trampoline and the guards still wouldn't have been able to find him-- so they went outside. Bill Walker came alive from behind the arc and Toney Douglas became...undead, and the Knicks as a team hit 18 of 43 threes while hitting 12 of 41 two-pointers. Read those numbers again. That's RIDICULOUS.

Anyway, I've gotta be honest: Knowing full well that the Knicks didn't have much of a shot of winning, I kind of loved this game. Some of those threes, including the makes, were preposterous (Walker's turnaround elbow three falling to his left comes to mind), but a lot of them came off crisp ball movement and good, open looks, particularly in the first half. The best part by far was Walker's personal run in the third quarter: nine points in a little over a minute, including the aforementioned turnaround fall-away and a banker from the top of the arc. They just kept pulling and pulling and I kept on cackling like a madman the whole night long.

And really, it was the only option. Amar'e Stoudemire, per usual, wasn't getting easy touches rolling to the rim, and struggled to score off the dribble because of that aggressive help defense. To his credit, he managed a few nice elbow jumpers and tough inside makes in the second half, but this wasn't going to be his night. Miami was dead-set on making other Knicks do the scoring.

New York did a halfway decent job of defending, too. It was hard to tell with all the highlight alley-oops and transition tomahawks LeBron James and company put down, but New York stifled a number of Heat possessions with solid help defense and limited their second opportunities by crashing the glass. There were obviously plenty of breakdowns, but fewer than you'd expect given the circumstances.

I don't know. I'm not too bent out of shape about this one. The Knicks kept the game close and did so in the most delightfully batshit way possible. Steve Novak took six threes in nine minutes! I just can't get mad with numbers like that. Hell, it even gave us a bit of encouragement that some Knicks might actually be able to hit open looks sometimes once Melo's back and Baron Davis is there to distribute the ball a bit. This team has a terrible record and some grave issues, but I was laughing way too hard to worry about those tonight.

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