Tuesday, May 1, 2012
STAT Loses His Cool as Knicks Lose Game Two
The Knicks headed into game two of its first-round playoff series against the Heat minus the injured Iman Shumpert, but plus a relatively healthy Tyson Chandler.
How this would ultimately translate on the court was unknown, but one thing was certain; things couldn't get much worse than the 33 point loss the Knicks suffered to open up the series.
With Chandler rising above his flu-like symptoms, New York was hoping to take game two in Miami in order to prove they would no longer get pushed around.
The team certainly came to play, as Carmelo Anthony led five scorers in double-figures with 30 points. Amar'e Stoudemire added 18 points, aggressively getting to the basket, and even Baron Davis displayed some quickness as he dribbled inside for some easy buckets, pouring in 12 points of his own.
Though Davis was on the money in terms of scoring the basketball, he and his teammates struggled once again to produce some fluidity in the offense. The point guard did have six assists, but the Knicks' most success in the game came from featuring Anthony and J.R. Smith (13 points) in isolation. As proven in the regular season, riding both players down the stretch is often not enough to pace the team the whole way for a victory.
Anthony did keep the Knicks afloat somewhat, with New York narrowing the Heat's lead all the way down to five points in the third quarter. Unfortunately, that's as close as they would come.
Miami's "Big Three" continued to overwhelm the Knicks, with Dwyane Wade taking full advantage of Shumpert's absence, going to town for a team-leading 25 points. Chris Bosh added 21 points, and though LeBron James was limited to 19 points, his 9 assists helped orchestrate the Heat offense.
James successfully did what Anthony has failed to do over the last two games: get his teammates involved offensively. As much as the ball is in Anthony's hands, he should work towards creating opportunities for everyone else. Isolation does not always prove to be successful, and often can bunch up the offense. As a result, the Knicks have failed to get solid production out of the likes of Steve Novak and Landry Fields.
Anthony has the power to change things, but he'll have to wait until Thursday to attempt to do so. The Knicks ultimately fell to the Heat 104-94 last night, now facing a 2-0 series deficit.
As if things couldn't get any worse for the Knicks, the already hobbled team will be without Stoudemire for game three. Frustrations are clearing mounting with New York appearing inferior to Miami in every way. As the losing team headed into the locker room last night, STAT lost his cool, punching a fire extinguisher, resulting in a laceration on his hand.
Chandler, whose spirits were truly dampened following the innocent, revealed he figured his front court mate would be out of competition when the two teams resume things in New York.
ESPN New York reports that the incident will not only prevent STAT from taking part in game three, but will also make him questionable for the remainder of the series.