Miami Heat Confidence Meter: 9.8 (Bring on the Brooms)
• Madison Square Garden. The Mecca. Also the place where LeBron James and Dwyane Wade rank 3rd and 4th all-time in scoring for opposing players. A hostile environment is only hostile when your team is good. The New York Knicks are not good. At least not against the Miami Heat. Their injuries are making them easier to defend, and resorting the Knicks to a chuck and pray offense. In the end, the Knicks cannot win any matchup except Tyson Chandler’s on the boards. Doesn’t matter when he can’t effect the game on the offensive end. It is a wasted effort when he is the only front court player that works on the defensive end. In the back court, I felt that JR Smith played very well in the half court, defensively. Yeah, I just typed that.
• The Miami Heat threatened to blow open the game early, but a substitution of Norris Cole and Joel Anthony for Chris Bosh/Mario Chalmers changed the game. The Heat’s offense stagnated, and they could not find the offense that built an early 9-point lead. Defensively, the Heat kept touch with the Knicks, namely because New York played as rudimentary and as simple as they could. You can draw up the Knicks offense on a napkin. If they can’t break you down off the dribble, find open 3-point shooters, and hit a high percentage, they have no offense. Trying to get it to a 6-8 volume shooter, is not an offense. It is a prayer, and stage play for gullible New York basketball fans. If you can tell, I have an edge when talking about that franchise (NY Knicks), because never has such a worthless franchise gotten so much attention. The arrogance of the Knick fan makes this total domination that much more worth while.
• Yes, the Knicks are limited. But their troubles begin with their “superstar”. Carmelo Anthony, for lack of a better word, is a loser. He does not recognize coverages, and is as selfish a basketball player as we have seen in quiet some time. There were three instances in the first half, when the Knicks ran a double curl, to set up a back pick to free up Steve Novak in the corner. The Heat was caught in the wash two of the three times. In all three instances, Carmelo Anthony broke off the play (after it worked) and called for a high screen and a Isolation play. This is something that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do at times, but those two are efficient players. Melo is not. Carmelo Anthony is a volume scorer that has a hard time playing within a team framework. He can eventually be effective as an Isolation player among a team filled with specialists with a great defensive system. He does not co-exist with other players with offensive games that originate from the same spots on the floor. The verdict is pretty close to being in on Carmelo Anthony, but as long as Knicks fans still think that he is a “savior” and an actual “superstar” they get what they deserve.
• The morning began with word that Chris Bosh might miss the game due to the birth of his first child with his lovely wife Adrienne Bosh. Baby Jackson was born around 3 am Miami Time and Chris Bosh spent the day with his wife, child and family before attempting to rejoin his team before tipoff. He arrived in New York almost a full two hours before tipoff and due to New York traffic could only reach the lockeroom 40 minutes before tipoff. Word is that he walked into the lockeroom during Coach Erik Spoelstra’s pregame speech, and got his only warmup before tipoff in the layup line. I think there was a direct correlation to these circumstances and Coach Spo’s lack of play calls for Bosh. Nonetheless, he played well in a support role with his efficient 9 points and 10 rebounds. I had my doubts that the Heat could sweep this series, but the Knicks have that look of a team ready to quit and ready for the offseason. The Heat has to give them a reason to quit early in Game 4 and it is a wrap. I would be lying if I said that a sweep over this Knicks team didn’t matter.
It has now been 4,022 days since the New York Knicks last won a playoff game. The number will be at 4,025 by gametime Sunday. The New York Knicks set a NBA record for consecutive playoff losses at 13.
The Heat go for the sweep of the Knicks Sunday. Tipoff is at 3:30 pm.