The New York Knicks were due for a bad game -- one of those Murphy's Law nights when they don't bring it against a good opponent, when every loose ball slips out of their hands like it was covered in K-Y, when they miss every close shot. These things happen.
But why did it have to happen against the Miami Heat?
New York's eternal tormentors -- eager to prove that they are the superior club for like the 15th year in row -- ran the Knicks off the court in the second quarter. Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis tried to make a game of it late, but Miami's massive first-half lead was too much to overcome. Your final score: Heat 95, Knicks 78. Like mrknickcarter said, these Miami jackalopes never fail to give us reasons to hate.
- Even in defeat, Kristaps can't help but be Kristaps. The Baltic Goliath didn't have his most efficient shooting night, particularly in the first half, but he finished with 20 points (7-18 shooting), 14 rebounds and two blocks. With tonight's 3-5 mark from beyond the arc, Yung Zingy has raised his overall three-point shooting percentage to 33.5. Pretty damn sweet, especially when you consider where he was at the beginning of this road trip.
My one quibble with Porzingis tonight isn't even directed at the youngster. Derek Fisher cannot be loading 37:26 worth of playing time on Kristaps' narrow shoulders. The Knicks had practically no chance of winning this game toward the end, yet there was Kristaps, banging away. He actually seemed to get stronger as the game went on, probably because his skeleton is composed of indestructible latvium, but keeping him in was a poor decision from the coach.
- Carmelo Anthony played the quintessential 2015-16 Melo game, with poor shooting (6-16 shooting, 0-5 from three) to go along with some nifty passing (four of New York's 12 assists) and frisky defense (four steals). He made a concerted effort to get to the rim, even against a tough Miami frontcourt, and earned nine free throws in the process. Still, there were a few instances when he pulled up for a three at critical moments in the game, only to whiff.
- Fisher played eight reserves at least 3:00 apiece. Five of them failed to score a single point -- six if you count Langston Galloway, who chipped in a garbage bucket in the final minute. Believe it or not, a 4-17 second-half shooting performance was a step up for them.
NY bench was scoreless in first half. With their starting five on court, Knicks outscored MIA, 26-21. Other lineups: MIA outscored NY 31-4.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) November 24, 2015
- This was certainly Langston Galloway's worst game of the season. An unsightly 0-5 mark will drop him out of the league lead in three-point percentage.
- Fisher had been relying heavily on Lance Thomas this season. Not tonight. Lance play five minutes, bricking four jumpers in that particular Lance Thomas manner, where he tries to generate power solely from his waist, throwing his ass backwards and thrusting his legs and chest forward like as if he were using one of those sit-up machines from '90s infomercials.
- Quietly strong games from Jose Calderon (the only Knick to hit at least half his shots) and Robin Lopez. This game was yet another example of fine RoLo help D at the rim leading to offensive rebounds for the opposition. Some of these other dudes gotta learn to box out.
- Yet another weird early appearance from Sasha Vujacic. It's almost as if Fisher panics when a game starts to get away from him early, and he calms himself down by taking deep breaths and chanting "Sasha ... Sasha ... Sasha." A blowout like this -- especially one in which New York's reserve forwards were all useless -- would have been a nice time to give some run to Cleanthony Early. Alas, Cle didn't dress tonight, per usual. Sasha ... Sasha ... Sasha.
- Justise Winslow (game-high +28!) winding up in Miami should be investigated as a hate crime. Charlotte should be disqualified from the postseason for passing on him.
- Dwyane Wade's mouth is an anus. His belly button is an anus. Each ear and nostril is a tiny anus. The man is 78-percent composed of anus.
The Knicks will finish off their road trip Wednesday against a dangerous, energetic Magic squad. A win in Orlando would give them a 3-1 record on the trip, which would have been unfathomable three weeks ago. Perspective, people!