Remember how great it used to be? When the Knicks and Heat despised each other with a ferociousness so unyielding that punches were thrown more often than bounce passes? When enforcers tee’d off on superstars and everyone on both sides were ripping with muscles, ready to brawl (even if they didn’t know how to fight) with each passing whistle? It looks like we’re now witness to a resurrection 10 years later. However, this time around, basketball seems to be more of the focal point, which is good considering you have four All-Star starters on both teams—and Chris Bosh—turning the court into an overflowing volcano of supreme talent. Last night’s game began as most expected it would: the Heat ran out to an early lead and were on pace to eclipse 149 points by halftime. But then the Knicks fought back, Chauncey Billups (already) put a significant performance on his Knicks resume, and New York stole one on the road by keeping both teams under 100. Thoughts? Comments?
* The most important Knicks victory in 10 years? Once again, thank the defense.
* Embarrassed. And they should be.
* A very significant play. Not just because of its crunch time context, but watching Carmelo and Amar’e combine for a key defensive stop is huge in the big picture.
* “Sunday’s game was also the first that featured four of that season’s All-Star starters (James and Dwyane Wade, Anthony and Stoudemire) in a regular-season game since the Seattle SuperSonics (Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton) played the Chicago Bulls.” href=”http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/chicagobulls/index.html?inline=nyt-org”>Chicago Bulls (Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen) in March 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.”
* How do they go from giving up 2487 points in Cleveland to 86 in Miami?
* Wade’s least favorite rapper was in attendance.
* Who’s Ray Felton, again?
* The win feels nice, but pressure is mounting on D’Antoni’s shoulders.
* The renewed rivalry feels extra funny, for some.