Monday, April 30, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Post Game Recap: Game 2

Final Score: New York Knicks 94 Miami Heat 104

The Knicks put on a better performance tonight than in game 1, but still came up short against a strong Heat team.  The Knicks fell to 0-2 in the series, in the process tying the NBA record for most consecutive losses in the playoffs at 12 games.  The Knicks will need to show a little more urgency and aggressiveness in game 3 if they hope to end the playoff losing streak.

-Offensive Flow Improvement

Carmelo Anthony led the charge tonight on offense, coming out of the gate strong and finishing with 30 points.  Anthony scored 14 of the first 24 points for the Knicks, setting the tone early and often.  Mike Woodson and the Knicks made the necessary adjustments so that they could still run their offense effectively.  Instead of keeping Anthony on the wings and the blocks on one side of the court, the offense was run more towards the top of the key.  It balanced out the court more and gave the Knicks more options.

With Anthony playing so well, the Knicks were able to run more of their conventional pick-and-roll offense, balancing out both sides of the court.  Starting Point Guard Baron Davis and back-ups J.R. Smith and Mike Bibby were able to make plays feeding off of Anthony’s great effort.  Davis finished with six assists, while Smith had five and Bibby added two.

Amar’e Stoudemire was also much more active tonight, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds.  Stoudemire was able to avoid foul trouble and looked much more comfortable tonight compared to Saturday afternoon.

-Tyson Chandler Shows Up

Battling the flu is not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re expected to be a vocal point of your team.  But that is exactly what Chandler did tonight, having a much better turnout tonight in game 2 than in game 1.  He was still not 100%, but he was much closer to his regular self, showing much more aggressiveness on offense, defense and the boards. 

Chandler led a pretty dominant performance for the Knicks on the glass tonight, especially on the offensive end.  Chandler had six offensive rebounds tonight and seven total.  In limited action, Jared Jeffries compiled three offensive rebounds of his own.  Anthony and Stoudemire did a good job of cleaning up the defensive glass, combining for 14 defensive rebounds and 16 total.

-Where is the aggressiveness?

Much like in Game 1, the Knicks were not aggressive enough in attacking the paint to get to the foul line.  They attempted only 19 free throws compared to 27 for the Heat.  The Knicks have to make a more concentrated effort in getting to the foul line.  Right now they are giving in to easily to the pressure from the Heat and letting it fly from the perimeter way too often.  It is okay to take perimeter shots when they are there, but many of these shots are contested and forced towards the end of the shot clock.  The Knicks need to get more flow and continuity to their offense and it will open things up for them.  Too often the Knicks are stagnant, standing around watching Anthony or Smith dribble and take pull up jumpers.

-Rotation Changes

It still perplexes me as to why Landry Fields gets so much run with the first unit.  Obviously, the injury to Iman Shumpert has caused changes to be made.  But Fields is not the answer in my opinion.

When Anthony is double teamed or Davis and Smith break down the defense off the pick-and-roll, passes are wasted to Fields.  Fields will position himself somewhere along the 3 point line and he is where they kick it to.  But Fields is hesitant to let fly from the perimeter and will usually just waste time dribbling and then kicking it back out to the top anyway.  It is wasted time and movement by the Knicks that results in nothing.

Smith and Steve Novak need to be in the game more in those situations because of the skills they offer.  Both Smith and Novak are more than capable 3 point shooters, and the Knicks need to take advantage.  The Heat are one of the worst teams at defending the 3 point shot, so it would be beneficial for the Knicks to work that into their offense more once they return home for Game 3.

-Injury List a Mile Long

The Knicks, for the second straight season, picked the worst time to start to have injuries mount.  Iman Shumpert is out for up to 8 months after tearing his ACL and lateral meniscus and will be missed.  In addition to him, the Knicks have two rotation players in Baron Davis and Jared Jeffries who cannot give you extended minutes you need in the playoffs.  I believe Mike Woodson needs to give a chance to other people on the bench like Josh Harrellson and see what they have.  Giving them a shot may give the team a spark they need.

You can also add another name to the injury list now.  Details are still coming out, but it is clear that Amar’e Stoudemire injured his hand.  He was seen coming out of the arena tonight in a sling with bandages covering his hand.  He supposedly punched the glass case that holds the fire extinguisher, shattering it.  It is believed that Stoudemire received stitches in his hand and his status for Game 3 and the remainder of the series are up in the air.

The Knicks return to action Wednesday for Game 3 in the series against the Heat.  It is do or die time for the Knicks now, who will be returning to what will surely be a raucous and loud Madison Square Garden crowd.  


  1. theres nothing wrong with giving a bench player some time and seeing what they can do. last year one of the best players the knicks had against the celtics was anthony carter, for woodson right now its all about job security and his best bet is to see if he can catch a spark from someone off the bench

  2. Fields is not that guy in my opinion. He does not possess the skill set the Knicks need to succeed against the Heat. The Knicks need to surround Anthony with knockdown shooters. Novak and Smith fit in perfectly and Harrellson would cause problems being a big man that can stretch the floor.