Knicks Fall to Heat

Jonah Ballow



How it happened:
Entering the second quarter of action, the Knicks faced a six-point deficit despite Carmelo Anthony struggling from the floor (0-7), only four points from Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler suffering from flu-like symptoms. Baron Davis carried the offensive load early with 10 points in the first quarter on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.

The Heat’s top notch defensive unit double-teamed Anthony early and often, forcing the NBA’s Player of the Month into difficult perimeter shots or cross court passes to teammates. Miami also fronted Anthony on the post while brining a second defender from the back side, which created some of the disjointed play from New York. Anthony registered his first field goal on an 18-foot jumper with two minutes left in the first half.

At the 1:34 mark of the second quarter; Chandler was called for a flagrant foul on a blind side pick on James. Following the call, the expected MVP drained a deep jumper off the glass to extend the Heat’s lead to 19 points. James connected on a driving layup past J.R. Smith to conclude the period and put an exclamation point on the 23-point second half.

Miami exploded on a 22-2 run while outscoring New York 30-13 in the second quarter to take a commanding 54-31 lead at halftime. 16 Knicks turnovers in the first 24 minutes of the contest plagued the squad in their attempt to steal a game in a hostile environment.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, the situation got worse in the third quarter. Rookie Iman Shumpert crumpled to the ground after trying to make a quick cut near the halfcourt line. Shumpert grabbed his left knee and had to be carried off of the floor by his teammates with 6:04 left in the period and New York trailing by 24 points. The versatile guard went to a local hospital for additional tests.

James sat the fourth quarter after a masterful 32-point outing on 10-for-14 shooting from the floor. For New York, Anthony scored 11 points and connected on all five of his free throws while Stoudemire chipped in nine points and five boards. Davis only played 17 minutes, posting 10 points in the 100-67 defeat.

Top Knick:
Smith tallied 17 points, hit 7-of-17 from the field and three shots from downtown. When Mike Bibby tweaked his ankle and Davis’ back tightened up, Smith was called on to play some minutes at the point guard position. Smith also snatched two steals on Saturday afternoon.

Statistically Speaking:
Miami made 33 trips to the charity stripe as opposed to New York’s 11 attempts. Another key statistic was the 20 second chance points for the Heat even though the Knicks won the rebounding battle 41-38.

State of the Series:
The Heat lead the best of seven series 1-0 with one more home contest before traveling to New York for Games 3 and 4.

Looking Ahead:
The Knicks will remain in Miami until Monday night after Game 2. On Sunday, the squad will hold a practice session in preparation for the second contest of the series.

For more news and notes on the team follow the New York Knicks and Jonah on Twitter.