Sunday, May 06, 2012 3:30 P.M. ET
Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
Game 4 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals 3-0 Heat Series Lead
It’s do or die time for the Knicks. Facing elimination, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks come out tonight. The Knicks are looking to end a number of records including consecutive losses in the playoffs and playoff games scoring under 100 points. It will not be an easy task to overcome, but the team should come out with a lot of energy and intensity with this possibly being the last home game of the season.
The Knicks will be starting their fourth different lineup in as many games. With so many injuries, the inconsistent rotation has led to problems for the Knicks on both offense and defense. They have not been able to put together a full game yet in this series, part of the reason they are down 3-0.
Steve Novak got the call in Game 3 to start, but Mike Woodson will probably look somewhere else in Game 4. J.R. Smith is being given heavy consideration by Woodson. He would add more offensive firepower to a Knicks team that has been lacking scoring throughout the series. Moving him into the starting lineup would leave a huge hole in the second unit.
In my opinion, the best option would be starting Josh Harrellson. He would give the Knicks a bigger edge on the boards and offers great defensive effort. In his limited minutes in Game 3, Harrellson was very active, creating second opportunities and providing a spark that the Knicks desperately needed.
**UPDATE Amar’e Stoudemire is active and starting this afternoon for the Knicks.
-Get Novak Involved
The Knicks have to make it a point to get Steve Novak more involved in the game plan. Novak was outstanding shooting the ball all season, something the Knicks need to take advantage of.
The Heat are one of the worst teams at guarding the 3 point shot and the Knicks have yet to take advantage of that in the series. They are in a deep hole right now, but they need to start somewhere if they want to mount a comeback. Getting Novak going from deep would be a good start.
-Get Carmelo Anthony Going
If the Knicks have any shot of winning this afternoon and attempting a comeback in the series, they will need to get Carmelo Anthony going. Anthony has not been very efficient in the series so far because of the outstanding defensive game plan the Heat have put forth in stopping him.
The Knicks need an offensive explosion from Anthony, but it has to be an efficient one. Anthony scored 22 points in Game 3, but he needed 23 shots to get there. The low efficiency cannot all be blamed on Anthony as the Heat have done a great job containing him. It is up to Mike Woodson and his staff to get Anthony in better positions to score for himself and create for his teammates.