Probably the only clip from Game 1 that Knicks fans were smiling/laughing about.
Man, that was ugly. For some reason or other, the Knicks decided to ignore my previous article and not adhere to any of my keys to victory. How do they expect to win by not following my expert opinion?!
1) The Heat played Melo perfectly, either by pushing him so far out of the paint that by the time he caught the ball, he was all the way near the 3 point line, or by fronting him so well that by the time the lob pass got to his hands, the help defender was already there for the double team. Goodness, Miami’s defense is fast. When Melo did get the ball though, he was ice cold, missing shots that he would normally make. I’m not too concerned about this as he followed a 5-18 shooting performance in Game 1 of last year’s playoffs against the Celtics with a 42 point performance in Game 2. My suggestion for tonight’s Game 2 would be off the ball screens to free up Melo and get him the ball easier and in more favorable areas so that he won’t have to expend so much energy just to get position against a stronger, faster Miami defense. The bright spot of his performance was he knew his offense wasn’t going for him so he worked hard in other aspects of the game (ie. 10 rebs) to help his struggling team.
2) Stoudemire and Chandler combined for 8 rebounds, which is less than Melo’s 10 rebounds. Furthermore, Stat and Chandler were a combined 2-10 from the field. Chandler had seven turnovers alone. Jared Jeffries is battling knee soreness and was limited to 8 minutes. It’s safe to say that the Knicks bigs failed this point miserably. Granted, Chandler is battling the flu so let’s hope that this game is just an anomaly. What’s Stoudemire’s excuse though?
3) Novak only took 2 shots… and made both! Someone tell me why Woodson doesn’t run more plays for him when he’s on the court.
4) JR Smith was one of the few players who was consistently aggressive on offense (not surprised) but at the same time, what is up with his boneheaded fouls? It’s almost as if he waits for the guy he’s defending to shoot just so that he can foul him in the act of shooting and give him the possibility of the And-1. Also, his dribbling should be limited to 1v1 play and he should not be allowed to handle the ball in traffic.
5) Shumpert’s injury is a critical blow to the Knicks defense. With their defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler, clearly not himself, the Knicks defense gave up 100 points when their 11th– best rated defense averaged 94.7 points in the regular season. Of course, some of this had to do with the foul disparity (20 first half fouls on the Knicks as opposed to 8 on the Heat) and the refs getting into the Knicks players’ heads but the Knicks need to develop some mental toughness and keep a playoff composure. My advice for the Knicks tonight is to try to keep Lebron out of the paint as much as possible and make him beat you through jump shots. Frustrating him through hard fouls could also help, since he clearly loves drawing flops, I mean fouls.
6) Probably the biggest failure of all my key points, the Knicks turned the ball over 27 times, allowing for 38 Heat points off of turnovers. This is the most turnovers committed by the Knicks out of any game in the 2011-2012 season. The closest they got was 24 turnovers in a January loss to the Bucks. In the 2nd quarter alone, the Knicks turned the ball over 12 times. If they continue to let Miami’s defense phase them and don’t take care of the ball, then I think it might be time to bring out the brooms.
Tonight’s game has historic implications as the Knicks’ current 11-game playoff losing streak is one shy of the NBA record for consecutive playoff losses, set by the Memphis Grizzlies from 2004-06. Sadly, the last time the Knicks won a playoff game was exactly 11 years ago Sunday, against the Toronto Raptors. With Baron Davis listed as day-to-day after re-tweaking his back, Jared Jeffries dealing with knee soreness, Shumpert out until next season, and Tyson Chandler and Toney Douglass battling illnesses, the situation does look bleak for the Knicks. However, does anyone remember this guy?