Welp, those dreams of a .500 season are officially dashed. The Knicks looked like world-beaters out of the gate, building a lead of 14 at one point in the second quarter, but the Heat (led by Chris Bosh and his 13 second quarter points) quickly went to work. A 7-0 run just prior to halftime cut New York's lead to 3, and the Knicks would go into the break up just 4.
In the third quarter, Miami took a small lead of their own, but the 'Bockers kept it close until midway through the fourth. Then, disaster struck when Carmelo Anthony came up lame after canning a jumper. He asked out of the game almost immediately, and though he was determined to return at first, he was unable to do so. Without Melo to prop up the offense, the Knicks fell apart. After Chris Bosh hit a 3 to beat the shot clock with about 5 minutes remaining to put the Heat up 12, the game was effectively over. Derek Fisher waved the white flag of surrender (AKA "he put in Cole Aldrich and Quincy Acy") a minute later, and Miami would go on to win by 14. This loss dropped the Knicks' record to 10-42 and made them the first team to be guaranteed a losing season. Congrats, Knicks!
However, I think we can all agree the most important news is about Carmelo's injury. It took until game 52 for the Knicks to have all 15 players on the roster healthy at once, so of course that good news couldn't even last a full 48 minutes. Melo seemed to exacerbate his mysterious left knee injury, and this may have been the straw that convinced the camel to finally get the damn surgery. In the post-game locker room, Anthony indicated to reporters that he may no longer have a choice. Specifically, he said: "I'm not getting that pop or that bounce [anymore]. So I'm getting close to that point." (h/t to Chris Herring for tweeting out that quote)
Yeah. Even though Melo refused to rule out playing on Wednesday or even in the All-Star Game, it sounds to me like he's seriously contemplating shutting it down. The overriding opinion of fans and media has been that Melo would go under the knife soon after the All-Star Game (which is this Sunday!), and I feel badly for the guy if that was his goal but the decision was made for him less than a week before the game. That said, if Carmelo needs surgery (and he's admitted that he does), he really should get it, like, yesterday. As BAGGY EYES DIET COKE ALONZO'S LEG put it in the post game thread, "sit down, Melo." No offense, but hopefully we don't see you on the court again until October.
- Like I said, the Knicks built a first half lead that was at one point as large as 14. The first quarter, especially, was pretty awesome, propped up by a 13-0 run. The team hit 52% of their shots in the opening 12 minutes, including 57% of their threes. The interior defense was solid as well; New York held Miami to just under 39% shooting in the quarter. However, the Heat hit 4/5 from behind the arc to keep it fairly close, and the Knicks led by only 9 going into the second.
- Tina Cervasio reported before tip-off that Melo had been fighting a cold since last Friday (and a knee injury since who knows when), but he started the game regardless after sitting out Saturday's contest against the Warriors. As soon as I heard that, I wrote down a dumb joke about how the best way to beat common cold is knee surgery, but Carmelo shut me up right away. He came out cooking one of the biggest pots of soup I've ever seen, draining each of his first 5 shots, including two that had to be from 27 or 28 feet. Coincidentally, he went ice cold as soon as Andrea Bargnani checked in, and though he finished with 26 points, he went only 4/15 from then on.
- Oh, did I forget to mention that Andrea Bargnani played tonight? Because yeah, Andrea Bargnani played tonight. He racked up 3 fouls in 4 minutes in his first stint on the floor, but committed only one foul in the other 10 minutes he played. So, progress? 4 points on 1/2 from the field and 2 rebounds, by the way.
- Back to Melo: he played some nice defense at the beginning of the game, which was cool. He also tossed some weird-ass passes, the best of which was this one:
Normally, I'd remind you not to confuse "weird-ass passes" with "weird ass-passes" but I'm honestly not sure which one this was.
- After scoring the first points of the game by hitting a nice 15 footer, Langston Galloway completely whiffed on a floater the next time down the floor. Langston giveth and Langston taketh away.
- I've seriously come around on Lou Amundson. That guy plays really hard, boxes out, etc. It's really endearing. Here's a scorching hot take for you: he does a lot of stuff that doesn't show up in the box score, and every team needs a lunch pail guy like that. If you can't handle my takes, there's the door.
- Lance Thomas left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury of his own, because of course he did. Feel better, Lance.
- Chris Bosh had 32 points on 12-23 shooting. Jason Smith has definitely been playing better lately, and Bosh's outburst wasn't all on him, but the majority of it was on him. Wayyyyyy too many open shots, especially in the second quarter, and especially considering Dwyane Wade sat this one out.
- Those jerseys the Heat wore are revolting, by the way.
- Fun moments in Clyde: first, when Chris Andersen checked in for the first time, his response to Mike Breen's announcement of that fact was "the BIRDman, they call him." Second, this is presented without comment:
Clyde: yayyyyy https://t.co/orCJBMbEto— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) February 10, 2015
That's all I have. The Knicks head to Orlando on Wednesday. If Melo's status is updated in any way, we'll let you know.