Knicks Face Insurmountable Odds

Published on: 4th May, 2012

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New York – And then there was only one game left….unless the Knicks can pull off four wins in a row against the superior Miami Heat.

The Miami Heat defeated the Knicks tonight and the New York season has come down to this. They are staring at an 0-3 deficit in this best of four series with Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden their last remaining chance to win a playoff game in front of their home fans.

LeBron James scored 32 points, including eight straight to start the fourth quarter and break open the game, sending the Knicks to an NBA postseason-record 13th straight loss, 87-70 on Thursday night.

James had 17 points in the final period, who held the short-handed Knicks to eight field goals in the second half and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon.

The Knicks losing streak in playoff games goes back to the 2001 series against Toronto. The franchise has not won a playoff game in 11 years.

After a strong first half, in which the Knicks led 40-36, they took the second half off, offensively, shooting only 21% while scoring only 30 points the entire half. It was an embarrassing display, in front of their home fans.

This series has shown, if nothing else, the Heat either play the best defense ever seen in NBA annals or the Knicks roster is simply a mish mosh of misplaced talents who can’t get a shot off against a team as focused, defensively-talented and just better than the New Yorkers, as Miami clearly is.

Carmelo Anthony, who had to have one of his monster games for the Knicks to have a chance tonight and in the series, instead spit the bit by shooting 7 of 23 from the field.

J.R. Smith, who had to have one of his monster games, also came up small, shooting just 5 of 18 from the field.

Steve Novak, who started in place of the injured Amar’e Stoudemire and who had to be a three-point shooting machine for the Knicks to have a chance, was unable to even get shots off against the tough Heat defense. He ended up shooting an abysmal 0-2 from the field, for zero points.

It seems like we can’t score the ball right now,” said Anthony. “That is the toughest part right now. We played phenomenal defense for most of the game but D-Wade came out in the fourth quarter and hit a couple of shots that seemed to open the game up. LeBron came in with fresh legs, hit a couple of shots and they opened it up from there.”

“I think they just try to make it hard for me,” Anthony added. “They make my catches hard out there. They beat me up as much as they can. They throw everything at you…Shane Battier, LeBron. You drive the lane and they make it hard for you.

The first half was played out exactly how the Knicks would have hoped. They held a halftime lead, 40-36, and were controlling the pace of the game. James and Wade couldn’t get out and run the home team out of the gym and the two superstars found it difficult even getting good shots because of the Knicks scrappy defense in the first 24 minutes.

“We got back in transition and played great defense in the first half,” said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. “We moved the ball side to side, and found the open man.”

Woodson was right. Everything went according to plan in that half, holding Dwyane Wade to six points and James to just 12 points on 2 of 7 shooting from the field.

But, it all changed in the second half, when Miami outscored the Knicks, 51-30 and James, as usual, was the catalyst.

LeBron, who finished with eight turnovers, took over as soon as the fourth quarter began. After sitting most of the third in foul trouble, he quickly provided the best offensive stretch in the game. He nailed a 3-pointer, followed his own miss, then hit again from behind the arc, turning the Heat’s two-point lead into a 66-56 cushion with 10:36 remaining.

“He was in foul trouble,” Bosh said. “He was struggling a little bit and he had pretty much the whole third quarter to think about what was going on. I think that was good for him. I think it really built a desire in him a little bit and then he made sure we got off to a great start in the fourth quarter which was very important for us.”

The Heat put it away midway through the period, when Wade made a jumper before Chalmers hit twice in a row from behind the arc to make it 77-62 with 5:40 to play.

Fans started leaving, realizing there was little hope of the Knicks making up 15 points on anybody with the lineup they have.

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