(Editors Note: Check out last night's LBE to get a true sense of the frustration which accompanied the dubious distinction of our playoff losing streak record. Fanatics welcome our new reporter Y. Scott who will provide us recap commentary. I htink he has one more game to comment on this season.)
After being shellacked by the Heat at home, the Knicks are now distinctively known as the team which has lost thirteen straight playoff games, an NBA record, after losing to Miami in Game 3. Last night the Heat took firm grip of the playoff series with an 87 – 70 victory in Game 3, to lead the series 3 – 0 and will be looking for the sweep on Sunday.
The Knicks were without three starters but were still able to bring a stern defense that was lacking in the previous games. The Knicks were playing their best basketball of the series but only led by as much as four points going into halftime and by as much as eleven points the entire game.
What made the victory more impressive for the Heat was the fact that LeBron had to sit on the bench early in the 3rd quarter due to foul trouble. This led to the emergence of Dwayne Wade to take control of the game, giving Miami the lead and they never looked back. The Knicks were limited to eight field goals the entire second half and James ended the 4th quarter with 17 points. The entire game was a dogfight, full of physicality and lack of offense from both sides.
The Knicks played some commendable basketball; when Carmelo Anthony is jumping for loose balls you know the Knicks gave it their all. Carmelo shot 7 of 23 for 22 points in a losing effort. The Knicks were simple outclassed by a much better team last night and for the entire series. I am a fan of the Knicks but the same storyline is expected come Sunday.
With the injuries to Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire, it appears the Knicks are in need of a “Mission Linpossible” at the moment. After an exhausting full-court game of three-on-three Lin told reporters he hoped to be back in the line-up by game 4 on Sunday.
If Lin can cut and penetrate, he will bring an added dimension and weapon to the team even if he is not at full strength and speed. However, memories of the Heat's last defensive clamp down on Lin -- he was doubled early and often and forced to his left -- should figure prominently in how the Knicks would prepare to incorporate Lin into the series. Lin is in a difficult spot returning at this point from a knee injury and might do better just to sit this one out. There is no way he can match the speed of the Heat on defense, although he might be much better than his teammates at controlling the tempo with the ball in his hand.
Some believe it is worth a try for JLin to give it a go in what has been a tough series for the Knicks thus far. They wonder aloud how things can get much worse for the beloved NY Knicks, but if Lin is hurt, they can get much worse.
Still the likelihood of seeing Lin before the playoff series is over is highly unlikely. Although, the medical staff seemed encouraged by his progress in warm-ups but he then complained of soreness in the knee.
It's been a year of ups and downs for the Knicks, which really hasn't been all bad considering that when Tyson Chandler jumps up and down it often ends in a excellent defensive play. According to the Associated Press, Tyson Chandler was rewarded for his defensive activity when he was selected for the 2012 Defensive Player Of The Year award.
A hot and frustrated Amare Stoudemire lacerated his hand, after jamming it through a glass casing for a fire extinguisher, following a second loss to the dominant Miami squad. The Knicks lost 104-94 to the Heat before Stat lost his cool on the wrong collapsable surface. While the Knicks tried to stick with the Heat much of the game, the combination of Bosh, Wade and LeBron was too much for our heroes. With Stat definitely out for game three, now the question is "Are we too wounded to fight back?"
According to a soure, when Amare hit the glass with a closed fist out of frustration, he actually thought it was plastic. The source said "Half of his hand was just hanging off. It was really bad. Blood was just squirting out. That's why they had the paramedics come in, because they thought he might have punctured an artery because of how much blood was coming out." Stoudemire may be out for the entire series which,without Shumpert, is not likely to be long. (Source ESPN)
We are only one game into the NBA plyaoffs, and after all they did in April, the Knicks are back to their old ways.
For a team that pays so much to three star players, they need to step up if we're going to win this first round series. Going for a combined 20 points is not acceptable.
I know Tyson Chandler is suffering from the flu right now, but we need his defense right now, not in a game or two's time.
And Stoudemire, even coming so recently off an injury, needs to do a lot more than he did last time round. At first he looked aggressive, getting into Haslem's grill and looking like a 90's Knickerbocker when this rivalry was at it's best, but he needs to do that for the full 48 minutes (or however many he plays).
Of all these stars, though, this is Carmelo Anthony's stage right here and right now.
He's the guy who's completely healthy and who should still be hot after coming off one of the best months of his career.
He's the guy whose direct match-up outscored the entire starting line-up.
He's the guy who we were told would clash with LeBron in a rivalry for the ages.
If Carmelo Anthony is a superstar - and I believe he is - he needs to step up tonight and grab this series by the horns.
We cannot go back to New York 2-0 down.