Sunday, April 15, 2012

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks Post Game Recap

Final Score: Miami Heat 93 New York Knicks 85 

In what could be a potential first round playoff match up in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Head defeated the Knicks 93-85. But with the loss tonight, the Knicks fell back into 8th place in the Eastern Conference, a half game behind the Philadelphia 76ers. This makes the playoff picture a little murkier as the Knicks are now four games behind the Boston Celtics for the Atlantic Division and 2 games ahead of the 9th place Milwaukee Bucks. The only thing being taken out of this game is that Carmelo Anthony could use a little help with carrying this team. 

-Carmelo Stays Hot 

Carmelo Anthony was once again unstoppable Sunday afternoon, leading the Knicks with 42 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. The 42 points were the most by an individual against the Heat this season. This afternoon was Anthony’s second 40 point effort this month alone, taking over the offensive slack left behind by injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. 

The problem is still persisting for the Knicks to find that capable and consistent scorer behind Anthony. Amar’e Stoudemire is expected to come back this week, and Knick fans can only hope he returns to the form he was showing before his back injury when he finally looked to be rounding into shape. The sooner Stoudemire is able to return the better for the Knicks because they are a more dangerous team with him in the lineup. 

Dwayne Wade offered his opinion of the Knicks after the game saying, “Amar’e is obviously a dynamic player. He's one of the best players in our game. He's always putting pressure on the defense and on the rim. No question they're a tougher team, they're a better team with him and I'm sure he'll be ready when the playoffs come.” 

He continued with, “We understand they are a man down, but they've been a man down all year and always found a way to pick it up, stay competitive and be a good team. This is a very good team that's playing a lot better no matter whose out on the court." 

-Gotta Get Going on Offense 

Outside of Carmelo Anthony there really was no other scoring option for the Knicks. J.R. Smith scored 16 points, but went only 6-15 from the field. No other Knick scored in double figures in the game. Multiple times throughout the game the Knicks became stagnant on offense. 

One example was in the 3rd quarter, when the Knicks went on a stretch lasting 5:20 without scoring a field goal. This streak included a Novak 3 pointer taken off the board because of a tacky offensive foul called against Shumpert. The Heat increased their lead from one to seven points in that time span. That means two things, one obviously being the Knicks couldn’t score but also that the Knicks defense was still on par. Defense is what the Knicks are going to have to rely on if they are going to make noise in the playoffs. 

-More Injury Concerns 

Tyson Chandler has been dealing with a number of injuries all season and Sunday afternoon was no easier. Chandler banged knees with Joel Anthony in the 3rd quarter, and was in obvious pain. He missed the subsequent free throws but was able to grab the offensive rebound. He sat for his normal rest after that and was able to return to the game at his normal time in the 4th quarter. The Knicks cannot afford Chandler to miss any time because their defense just does not respond in the same way without him on the court. 

Another thing to keep an eye on for the Knicks is Jared Jeffries. He has just returned from a knee injury and has been on a minute limit since his return. In addition to the knee, Jeffries suffered a cut on his chin courtesy of a collision with Lebron James. Jeffries needed to receive 3 stitches after the injury. 

The Knicks next game is Tuesday back at the Garden against division leading and rival Boston Celtics at 7:30 P.M. ET. If the Knicks want to keep dreams of winning the division alive this is a must win game as they currently sit 4 games behind the Celtics for the Atlantic Division title. 

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