The Knicks did something unusual last night-- something they hadn't done in over a decade. They finished the game with more points than their opponent, the Heat. I didn't even know that was allowed in the playoffs, but upon consulting the rule book, confirmed that this qualifies as a "playoff win". Who knew!? Imagine if the Knicks had been aware of that rule for the last ten or eleven years!
Anyway, there were a few items from the "playoff wim"-- What? Oh, sorry, "win"-- that didn't get fully addressed in last night's recap. Take the jump to look back on last night.
- Here's something crucial to New York's "playoff wiv" or whatever it was, via Tom Haberstroh:
Carmelo Anthony earned 9 buckets at the rim on Sunday -- the most he's gotten in one game all season.
As we discussed last night, some of those baskets came from Melo simply driving more, even when matched up with a bigger defender like LeBron James. A lot of them, though, resulted from the decision to trust Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire, and the guards (who, to my eye, hung back even more than usual) to rebound and leak out in transition himself. Melo got himself plenty of quick buckets on the break and a couple more cutting in half-court sets (perhaps we'll look at this with some video today or tomorrow).
- How about Stoudemire's defense in the Knicks' two huge stops in the final minute? Did you catch that? His work on the final play of the game was solid and pretty obvious.
That's just a beautifully executed switch (and switch back) with Landry Fields, who finished the defensive play. Amar'e played an important role in a previous stop, though, that I didn't even notice until Taylor Armosino of Meloship of the Ring pointed it ou. Check out Amar'e's rotation on this play that ended in a Miami backcourt violation:
The Heat got Chris Bosh cutting open down the lane, but Amar'e arrived just in time to barricade the rim and force Bosh to pass (to a camera man on the opposite baseline). 'Twas a splendid, vigilant rotation, and you can check out Taylor's post for a full breakdown of the play. (And yes, this is the kind of shit that other big men accomplish without generating nearly as much excitement. Whatever.)
- Much was made of Melo and J.R. Smith apparently bickering after Melo's tie-breaking three. It just looked to me like they were sorting out the miscommunication that led to Melo being unable to get the ball on the wing and forced him up top for that shot. Cool "J.R.'S MAD THAT MELO DIDN'T GIVE HIM THE BALL" jokes, though (I'm talking to Twitter, not y'all. Sorry to take this out on you guys. You're wonderful and wouldn't speak ill of the unassailable Earl Smith).
- I don't think we're going to get a good update on Jeremy Lin's availability for Game Five today because the Knicks aren't practicing. Or maybe we will. If we do, I'll post something, but there definitely isn't any suggestion one way or the other right now. There's quite a bit of time between now and Wednesday night. In the meantime, I am scared.
- In a similar vein, I won't post the video of Baron Davis's injury, but it can be found at TBJ. Note the utter repulsion of the Heat. Those guys all came by to wish well to Baron before he was carted off the court, too. This was a gruesome injury to an exceedingly well-liked player.
- The Knicks ran some pretty lovely inbound plays yesterday, didn't they? There was one for a Stoudemire jumper, I think, that one with (a generous) .9 seconds remaining that ended in the Melo lay-in, and another one that ended in Melo getting a dunk attempt (that got swatted by Wade, but still...)
- I'm pretty sure Amar'e's third foul was an attempted Malik Rose Memorial Chair Pull, but he didn't pull the chair out far enough and ended up just karate chopping Chris Bosh in the Adam's melon. Worth it? Worth it.
- J.R. Smith started the third quarter ahead of Landry Fields. Knowing Mike Woodson, Fields will be back in the first unit to begin Wednesday's game.
- Howard Megdal's article on being at the Garden during the win is wonderful and gave me four to six goosebumps. How many of y'all were in attendance?
- Update: Forgot to include this gem.
More later. For now, what other little things from New York's first playoff wib did I miss?