MIAMI, FL - APRIL 28: Center Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks reacs against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Well, I did not expect to be starting my recap midway through the fourth quarter, but here we are. This game is over, and it's been over since well before halftime. Game One went about as poorly as it could have gone, like Wilson Chandler's Voicebox said in the thread.
It started poorly, but not THAT poorly. Carmelo Anthony was ice cold from the field, but passed nicely out of double teams and got a big boost from Baron Davis hitting jumpers. That and good, active, turnover-forcing hands on defense helped New York keep pace with Miami through most of the first quarter. After that, though, things went Chinua Achebe as hard as things have ever gone Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe may have actually been in attendance.
Miami gradually evolved into a hyper-aggressive defense that fronted Anthony with abandon off the ball. The Knicks responded miserably to that strategy and ended up forcing bad shots and ended up pretty much punting a dozen or so consecutive possessions. Some tough breaks and a couple genuinely bad calls swung the momentum, then LeBron James started to catch fire, and in what felt like a matter of seconds, New York's chances were plummeting downhill with unprecedented rapidity. Miami just kept getting calls and making shots, and the Knicks looked utterly, humiliatingly helpless against the aggressive defense. They had twelve turnovers in the second quarter alone and were behind by 23 at the break. I have seen some horrible stretches of New York basketball, but I'm not sure I've ever seen them get dominated quite like that. The whistles-- some weird early technicals and questionable fouls/non-fouls-- didn't help, but the Heat hardly needed assistance from the referees to dismantle the Knicks.
We saw Mike Woodson attempt a few workarounds to get Melo decent looks and generate some offense in the second half, but nothing produced. Melo stayed cold, Amar'e Stoudemire was silent after a decent start, and nobody else stepped up to provide offense whilst the Heat kept styling on the other end. Pretty much the entire second half was garbage time.
So, it was a brutal, hideously lopsided game, but that's not even the end of it. Some flu-addled Tyson Chandler impostor mustered minimal defensive effort, committed egregious fouls, and couldn't finish anything around the basket. Baron, after a really hot start, tweaked his back and sat most of the second half. And then there was Shump. I haven't heard anything specific yet-- I'll obviously post when there's news-- but I'm almost certain Iman Shumpert is done for the season. He was dribbling up the court when-- without contact-- he seemed to step wrong and just recoil with pain. He had to be carried off the floor and I'd be really surprised to hear a diagnosis of anything other than a seriously injured knee ligament. Shit was sickening to watch. I can handle a blowout loss, but yet another Game One tainted by injury is just cruel.
I'm trying to talk myself into that being just one loss and stuff, but it felt like a whole lot more. Take the jump for something we all need very badly.