It is finally over! The Knicks have finally won a playoff game. It took an NBA record 13 losses before they could get this victory, but that is now irrelevant. Sunday’s thrilling 89-87 Knicks victory over the Miami Heat was just awesome. There’s no other way to describe it. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire led the way, as the tandem scored 61 points. Did the Knicks play a great game? No way. Sure, Miami didn’t bring their A game, but I could care less. The Knicks won a playoff game for the first time since 2001 and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Here are my notes from the game:
- The Knicks were led by their two superstars today. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, 41 points and 20 points respectively, were fantastic today. Lets start with Anthony. The Knick small forward once again started the game with a cold jump shot. However, rather than just keep shooting them he did a really nice job of working his way into the paint. Anthony missed his first two shots, but then cut on his next two possessions and posted up on his fifth shot attempt. He scored on his 3rd and 5th attempts. I think it was nice to see Anthony, along with Mike Woodson, work to diversify his offensive game today. Amar’e Stoudemire was also very good today. Despite the fact that his left hand was wrapped in 700 layers of tape, he was very efficient scoring the basketball. Knowing that he wouldn’t be at full dribbling strength, not that he’s good at dribbling anyways, Stoudemire did well to operate around the rim. He grabbed 10 rebounds, 5 offensive, and even played good defense at the rim. I analyzed Stoudemire’s defensive rotation late in the 4th that proved to be the defensive play of the game for the Knicks. I think today was a really good sign for the Knicks. Obviously it is just one game, but the Knick stars showed that they do have the capability to play together. More impressively than the fact that they both played well was the fact that they played together. This wasn’t isolate one of them and move everyone out of the way. We saw glimpses of a two man game between the two stars today which was fun to see. I still stand by my idea that one of them, probably Melo, has to go, but if the Knicks can put together a performance like this in game 5 I may have to change my mind.
- I wish Baron Davis a speedy recovery. His dislocated knee cap was absolutely gruesome to watch and I wish him a speedy recovery. The Knicks are going to miss Davis, mainly because they’re incredibly thin at point guard. I guarantee that we see Jeremy Lin in game 5. I don’t support throwing him out there, but I think the Knicks are going to do it. Stay tuned…
- Here is video of Baron’s injury. Squeamish people, don’t watch
- Mike Bibby was captain clutch today. His three pointer with 1:23 left in the 4th was one of the biggest shots of the game. He’s not a great defender at his old age, but he has tried to defend. I thought he moved the ball well and gave the Knicks positive minutes in Baron Davis’ absence. Bibby has played relatively well this series (by Mike Bibby standards) and he came through in the clutch today.
- Jorts gave the Knicks solid minutes for the second straight game. I really like what Jorts did today. He played hard, tough and did the dirty work. Harrellson isn’t a perfect player and had a few defensive breakdowns, but overall I thought he was solid. Unfortunately Jared Jeffries’ knee is just not right, but Jorts has compensated somewhat for Jeffries’ defensive production. He even played solid defense on LeBron to close the second quarter and forced the Queen into a long jump shot.
- Weirdly, Tyson Chandler didn’t play very well. He didn’t really impact the game much at the rim and was in foul trouble for most the second half. He also had a horrid foul on LeBron in the waining minute of the game. If there has any Knick this season that has earned the right to have a bad game or two, it is Chandler. However, this is not the time for him to be struggling. He has been New York’s most consistent player this season and he has to get back to that level in game 5. If the Knicks are going to make this series interesting, they’re going to need more defensive dominance from Chandler.
- Sorry for the late recap, folks! I was so pumped up by Stoudemire’s defensive rotation that I wanted to write that first. Then I decided to go hit up the world famous Taco Shop in Tucson for a great Fiesta.