Felton, Knicks Torch the HEAT
By: Matt Pineda
Without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks came in and put another beat down on the HEAT, outscoring them by 20 points in the second half to take sole possession of the Eastern Conference.
The HEAT got off to a brief quick start with Haslem in the starting lineup but it quickly faded. New York led most of the quarter until LeBron took control at the end. James’ 11 quarter points and an assist to Mike Miller 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the HEAT a 3 point advantage after one. The second quarter started off dreadfully. Without James and Wade the game continued to stay close midway through the quarter.
From there, LeBron led an attack with assists that helped Miami get a six point lead but by the end of the half, it was all tied up again. The HEAT’s lack of defense, rotation, and the opponent’s hot shooting has sunk the HEAT. It has become more of a routine that the HEAT are simply not defending at a championship level. Without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks should be an relatively easy win, but they made Miami work.
The second half started off even worse. Raymond Felton started to look like a young Tim Hardaway out there. He was knocking down threes, blowing by the defense, and finding the open man. Novak and Smith jumped in on the action as well and it seemed like it was the Knicks home opener all over again. New York’s only chance against Miami was to hit those threes and stop the HEAT in transition and they did. The Knicks pushed their lead up to 18 points. New York just absolutely lit it up from downtown. Some were open, many were contested, it didn’t matter. The Knicks were up 90-80 heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter didn’t get any better. JR Smith, Steve Novak, Felton, Kidd, just everybody, even Rasheed Wallace playing as good as they could against Miami. The HEAT showed no effort on defense, and their offense became stagnant and one on one throughout the fourth. It was sad, pathetic and disappointing to watch.
The Knicks made the HEAT think twice about their chances against them. Miami showed no contention at the rim and their rotations were slow. LeBron James finished 1 assist shy of a second straight triple double. Dwyane Wade played a poor game with only 13 points.
Miami lost 112-92, and falls to 12-5 as New York improves to 14-4 with a second straight 20 point win against Miami.
Game MVP: Raymond Felton
He broke down Miami’s defense over and over. Not only was he able to get mis matches and all, but he was knocking down pretty much every shot he took. He was the catalyst to the Knicks’ win. He had 27 points with 6 three pointers and 7 assists.
Tough Game: Chris Bosh
Invisible, flat and a non factor. 12 points and 6 rebounds doesn’t sound bad, but he did very little to contribute.
Stat of the Game: 18-44 3PA
The Knicks slowed down later, but that kind of attack from downtown is tough to beat.
The HEAT take on the New Orleans
Pelicans Hornets on Saturday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The game starts at 7:30pm and can be seen on SunSports.