Opinion of the Game: Whew! We got a Win! We snapped the worst streak in NBA history for consecutive playoff losses and now we are one step closer to breaking another record – coming back from down 0-3 in a best of seven series. What a game.
This game was a back and forth battle from the start and in the end it was who could convert under pressure, who can knock down their free throws, and step up their defense. The Knicks caught some breaks in the end such as Carmelo’s long heave from the 3 -point line where Shane Battier gave him a love tap on his elbow and received three shots from the foul line. The next play with the Knicks up one after a ridiculous move by Lebron James that got him an “and-one”, Amare Stoudemire tried dribbling the ball to the basket with his left lacerated hand that had 8 lines of padding on it, and was about to lose the ball out of bounds when Joel Anthony comes along and bails him out with a foul.
I think Amare Stoudemire played better with a lacerated hand because without being able to use it, he needed to use his athleticism, his jumping skills and actually put a body on a guy to get the rebound. He finished with 10 rebounds, 5 of them coming on the offensive end and scored 20 points on an efficient 8-13 shooting. What were once boos at the beginning of the game due to his stupid injury, ended up being cheers for his great performance that he has lacked throughout the playoffs. He was the key to this game since we had a second scoring option that we haven’t really had in previous games.
The Knicks defense played a large role in this win especially closing out on the three point line – The Heat shot 3-19 from the the 3 point line due to the great perimeter defense by Landry Fields and J.R. Smith. When Wade shot that three at the end that could have been a game winner, it was Landry Fields who was right in his face and contested the shot.
Mike Bibby who played the rest of the game when Baron Davis went down hard and left the game, hit two clutch three pointers that extended the Knicks lead in the final minutes. It must feel so good for a crowd to be cheering for him in the playoffs against the Heat, the team he was with last year and was non-existent in the playoffs.
The player of the game was by far Carmelo Anthony erupted for 41 points on 15-29 shooting, with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and only 1 turnover. When he had the mid-range jumper on target, he was virtually unstoppable. He needs to hit this if we want to win any more games. Click here for box score.
What we need to see for Game 5:
Tyson Chandler finished with only 1 point and added 9 rebounds in Game. Two things he has to work on. The first is he has to finished around the rim, he is 7 feet and missing layups. The second thing is Tyson really needs to start making smarter decisions – he in frustration committed a cheap foul and then received a technical foul in anger, giving the heat 3 straight free throws. In game 3 he also made a mistake with an outlet pass and then committed a stupid foul resulting in an “and one” and a 5 point turnaround. He can’t make these mistakes if we want to win.
We also need J.R. Smith to shoot well. We cannot have him shoot 3-15 and 1-8 front he 3 point line – it’s just way too many waisted opportunities. He has to stop isolating himself and trying to create off the dribble – instead he needs to get his shots off when it is in the flow of the offense.