Thursday, May 10, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat Game 5 Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks 94 Miami Heat 106

The roller coaster ride of a season has officially come to an end for the Knicks after losing Game 5 in Miami to the Heat 106-94. It was not the best of ways to end the season, as the Knicks trailed by as many as 19 and did not seem to have the intensity and energy of a team that had their backs up against the wall facing elimination. Even when the game was close, it had the feeling of a blow out. Even with that, they did not at any point look like they were giving up, which was a positive. The Knicks became the 103rd out of 103 teams to go down 3-0 and lose the series.

-2 Superstars not better than 3

The Knicks big players Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire were unable to have a repeat performance of Game 4, falling short against the Big 3 that
Miami employs in Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Stoudemire struggled tonight, not having the same impact he had on Game 4. He was in foul trouble throughout the game, picking up his fifth foul with
6:41 remaining in the 3rd quarter and sixth and final foul with 4:48 remaining in the game. He finished with 14 points on 4-7 shooting, adding only four rebounds.

Stoudemire was unable to get into a rhythm in part because of the foul trouble but also because of the defensive strategy the Heat employed. Unlike in Game 4, the Heat forced Stoudemire to dribble and move more in Game 5, making it hard for Stoudemire to gain control and score. They were not allowing Stoudemire to take jump shots, instead forcing him to use his injured hand more than he had wanted.

Anthony started the game slow, but finished with a flurry, not going down without a fight. He played right to the final buzzer, giving the Knicks everything he had. Anthony finished with 35 points on 15-31 shooting, adding eight rebounds. He did everything he could to keep the Knicks in this game, but in the end it was not enough as no one stepped up enough around him.

After a rough start to the series, Anthony responded pretty well in the last few games. He did not provide the Knicks with the series win like fans and teammates had hoped for, but they did end the 13 game playoff losing streak; something to build off of for next season.

-Punchless Bench

The Knicks bench was basically nonexistent tonight. The Knicks bench was outscored by the Heat bench 22-16, something that can not happen if the Knicks wanted to come away with a win.

J.R. Smith struggled mightily tonight from the field, shooting 3-15 for 12 points.  He did not add anything else to the Knicks tonight as he had in the other games in the series, not grabbing a rebound or handing out another assist.  Outside of the point column, Smith put up zeroes across the board.

No one else on the Knicks bench got very many minutes, as Mike Woodson rode the starters heavily.  The other bench players outside of Smith did not really get a chance to make an impact, as Steve Novak, Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson and Jared Jeffries combined for only about 28 minutes played.  The bench was one of the strengths for the Knicks heading into the playoffs, but was pretty much neutralized by the Heat throughout the series. 

-Defense and Closing out Quarters

The Knicks held the Heat to a low shooting percentage, holding the Heat to 43.6% shooting for the game, but struggled at defending the 3 point line.  The Heat shot 9-19 from the 3 point line, good for 47.4%.  They also allowed the Heat to take 34 free throws, and the Heat knocked them down, hitting 29 of the 34 attempts.
 The closing out of quarters and halves has been a problem for the Knicks all season long, and it reared its ugly head again in Game 5.  With the Knicks closing the gap to three with 2:42 to go, the Knicks crumbled heading into the half.  They were outscored 11-3 the rest of the way, leading to an 11 point Heat lead at the half which was insurmountable for the Knicks this time around.

-Shining Star

Mike Bibby showed up for the Knicks tonight, giving them everything they could ask for a more.  He scored eight quick points in the 1st quarter, knocking down his first two 3 point attempts and another jumper in the corner.  In total, Bibby ended the game with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.  The Knicks could not have asked for a better performance from Bibby.

Tonight was the end of the Knicks season and the future for the team is murky at best.  This off-season holds a lot of question marks for the future of the staff and roster.  Who will the head coach be? Will the front office be able to resign players like Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith? It will be an interesting off-season for the Knicks and their fans.

It was a roller coaster season and I hope you all enjoyed the ride like I did.  Keep checking back throughout the off-season for stories regarding free agency, the NBA Draft and everything else New York Knicks. 

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