Yeah, I guess that was gonna happen. The Knicks actually managed for a while to get their points against the Heat, even with Carmelo Anthony playing what must have been his worst, turnover-est game of the season against Shane Battier and his creeping friends. J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. hit their threes to keep New York around despite habitually loathsome defense. And that, to me, was the big theme. The Knicks had been playing pretty poor help all streak long, but a particularly bad night of it against the mechanical passing of the Heat spelled doom. Every time the Knicks over-helped on a Heat star-- which they did often-- Miami found Shane Battier or someone else hanging out in the corner. Had they shot better on open threes, I guess it could have been a blowout. And on top of that, guards kept on getting beat and Tyson Chandler looked totally overmatched, and sometimes outright flaky goalkeeping around the rim.
New York threatened for real late in the game, but the Heat just got ridiculous. First it was drawing some close calls, then it was Norris Cole hitting some bullshit, then it was LeBron James going absolutely wild from the field in the final minutes.
Honestly, part of me feels encouraged that the Knicks managed to make this a game for a while despite Melo's rough night and despite Raymond Felton playing like smoldering swamp trash (so bad that Mike Woodson actually sent Pablo Prigioni in there down the stretch) and despite short-handedness and some yucky lineups and despite the fouls and the bad defense all that. Most of me remembers that the Knicks still have a lot to improve if they're going to get away with the type of basketball they've been playing against very good teams. At least Hardaway and J.R. stayed hot. Tim played some piss-poor defense but the kid was tons of fun with the ball.
That's gonna be the extent of the recap tonight, I'm afraid. 4-4 on the home stand. Could've been worse. Seemed like it'd be much worse at the beginning there. I'll put up a Super Bowl thread for y'all tomorrow. <3