For the second time in just 11 days, the Miami Heat have defeated the New York Knicks (18-13). The Knicks fell to the Heat 106-98 in Miami as Guard Dwayne Wade put up the first 40 point performance of a Heat player this season.
The game started with tons of intensity by both teams, the Miami Heat offense was clicking and their defense was unparalled. The Heat had a lead as great as 22 points in the first half, and then 17 points in the third quarter, the Knicks battled back and cut the lead to three with 2 mins left. Then player-o-the game Wade came down and hit a dagger three pointer to extend the lead to 100-94. The Knicks Landry Fields then came down the court and was fouled while shooting behind the arc, but missed two of the three free throws. The heat scored extending the lead to 102-95, before Knicks Guard Raymond Felton was fouled in the lane with just a minute remaining. He though, made just one of the two free throws. After the agony was dragged out by fouls, the Knicks lost by 8, 106-98.
The Heat not only played with more intensity on Defense, but they dominated the glass. LeBron James, and Chris Bosh both had 10 rebounds, and Dwayne Wade had 9. LeBron and Bosh had fairly identical statistics, with both scoring 18, and LeBron also had 8 assists, two short of a triple double.
The Knicks proved today they are not yet at the top of the NBA. They have showed though that they can play with a team like the Boston Celtics, and the Heat, for halves. They played a great first half at the Garden 11 days ago, and a great second half in Miami tonight. They need to play more consistant against these great teams, but as Mike D’Antoni said in his post game press conference, “Its December, not April, we still has some time to develop, its good to be in games like this, it was a learning experience, and we played well.”
Point Guard Toney Douglous may be slowly becoming the Knicks best three point shooter as he had 11 points, 3/5 from downtown. Danilo Gallinari though, who is expected to be the Knicks best 3point shooter was just 1/4 from beyond the 3-pointline. Danilo also only reached the charity stripe once, going 2/2.
…Amare(who had 30 points tonight) and Raymond Felton(15-5) can not get it done every night, especially when Wade and Bosh are guarding them. But they did show up and play, but against a team like Miami, they need more than just the co-captains to show up to play. The Knicks need players like Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari to step up and have a game! Both were non factors….
…The Knicks came out soft tonight, on the road, especially in a place like Miami, it will be tough to start out strong, but good teams can do it, and right now the Knicks are not at that level…
The Knicks will try it again Thursday against the Orlando Magic, another great team in the Eastern Conference. Amare will be challenged to guard Magic Center Dwight Howard, lets see how he responds to this challenge.