Thursday, February 23, 2012

LeBron-a-mania & Heat shut down Linsanity

HEAT 102

For the past two weeks the Knicks have stood up to the challenge of playing the big teams with solid performances from Jeremy Lin and the Knicks' bench. Victories over Dallas and Los Angeles helped make "Linsanity" a reality for the Knicks, but on Thursday night, New York ran into a buzz-saw in the Miami Heat, who are arguably the best team in the NBA.

Lin had his worst game of the season: eight points and seven turnovers. He was 1-for-11 from the floor, and his back-up, Baron Davis, was no better, going 0-for-7. Lin was double and triple teamed all night long as the Heat threw a combination of Dwayne Wade and Mario Chalmers to guard the flustered the young point guard in Miami's 102-88 victory.

The Knicks did the best they could to stay competitive in this game. To ask a team that has had so many moving pieces like the Knicks to win THIS game against THIS team on the road, on a back-to-back was asking a lot.

New York did grab a 25-24 lead on a Steve Novak three pointer, and regained that lead 28-26 on Novak's second three of the day. A Jared Jeffries layup to make it 32-28 was the last time New York was out in front in this game.

While Lin struggled, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony played very well, especially in the first half. Stoudemire contributed 11 of his 13 points in the first half, while Anthony had nine of team leading 19 points in the first half. Anthony hit the opening jump shot to start the game. Hit a three pointer to give the Knicks a brief lead and nailed a buzzer beater jumper to cut the Knicks deficit to four.

However, the Heat proved to be too much for the Knicks, as the Big Three of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh were all over the Knicks. They blocked shots, forced turnovers, and scored at will. Wade and his 22 points, and Bosh with 25 points, were the leaders in the clubhouse for Miami.

The Knicks head into the break under .500 at 17-18. After a rocky first half, and an incredible month of February, the Knicks are still treading water. While the loss to Miami is not at all surprising, the fact that this team has losses against the Nets and Hornets this year is appalling. The Knicks need to develop some cohesion among everyone on this team.

The Knicks welcomed Stoudemire, Anthony and Davis back to the lineup for the first time in weeks, and they will be expecting Iman Shumpert and Bill Walker back soon too. The Knicks have to get on the same page with every player on this team if they hope to be taken seriously down the stretch.

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