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Heat show Knicks how to run up-tempo offense and win

Jan 27, 2012, 11:34 PM EDT

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Miami Heat Getty Images

Dwyane Wade was back and so were the Heat.

After a few games of the LeBron James show with the pace slowed (while Wade recovered from a sprained ankle), the Miami Heat with Wade returned to their high-pressure, up-tempo style of play — you know, kind of like Mike D’Antoni was brought in to run in New York but never given the parts to execute. It wasn’t a perfect game from Miami, but when everything was on the line in the fourth the Heat overwhelmed the Knicks and ran away to a 99-89 win.

Wade looked rested and about as healthy as can be, with 28 points on 19 shots. The Heat were back to being a highlight reel for a night, with just a bunch of ridiculous dunks.

But that’s not won them the game. It was their defense.

The Heat were a pressure defense again and forced 19 Knicks turnovers — that was nearly one in five trips down the court for New York. And a lot of those turnovers became runouts for the Heat and big dunks. Miami is too good to give them a bunch of easy baskets and expect to win.

The other thing the Heat defense did was take away good looks going toward the basket for the Knicks — without Carmelo Anthony or a point guard who can create for others, the Knicks were relegated to launching threes.

Which they did with reckless abandon taking 43, but making 18 (41.9 percent). That is what kept them in the game.

But you live by the three, you die by it. In fourth, Heat focused on chasing everyone off the arc and make them put it on the floor or contesting the shot. The Knicks still hit 3 of the 8 they took that quarter, but they also turned the ball over and that led to runouts and… well, we’ve already covered that.

Give the Knicks credit, they gave a spirited effort. They hustled, they defended moderately well, they tried hard at what they thought would work. D’Antoni said he would stretch the floor with Carmelo out, and while this may have been the extreme of what he meant it kept New York in the game. Bill Walker was 7-10 from three for 21 points, Toney Douglas added 16.

But the Knicks don’t have the players to run D’Antoni’s system the way it was designed (that problem only gets worse with ‘Melo in the lineup). The Heat do. When the tempo gets up the more athletic team wins, and that was the Heat in this one. Handily.

And they put on a show in the process.

  1. khadeemw - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    In order to run up tempo offense you have to have playmakers. The Knicks have none. They have Billy Walker, Fields, Melo, and other players who can shot but dont create for others. This is a terribly constructed team. Sad to be a Knicks fan. SMH

    • khadeemw - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:08 AM

      i meant shoot in previous comment

    • damp1015 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:54 AM

      I’m a proud Knicks fan. Sometimes your team just doesn’t have it. Time will tell; if not make the moves needed. But never sad, just frustrated!

  2. david8726 - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    It was like the Knicks didn’t know that you’re allowed to shoot the ball from inside the 3 point line.

  3. 00maltliquor - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    Anyone else find it suspiciously odd that after dropping a bunch of games Melo got a rash of b.s. injuries and sat it out against the Heat out of all teams, leaving his troops out to fend for themselves rather then getting killed in the trenches with them? What a puss, Kobe sucks it up all the time, you mean to tell me he couldn’t just play this game and sit out the other two? I mean, this was the big bad Heat and he just left them to die.

    Melo reminds me of that guy at the sports park that talks all this ish when he’s on and super hot, then another game gets D’d up and and can’t hit a shot then suddenly develops a limp, and grimices and holds his wrist after every brick and comes up with every excuse in the book.

    I bet you everything in the bank if the Knicks were on a 7 game win streak he woulda been out there balling trying to best the Heat.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Carmelo: You just had to play for New York didn’t you? These are your fans now. Careful what you wish for.

  4. asublimeday - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    You can hear Kurt getting hard as he writes about the heat winning.

    • philtration - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      Kurt is the best one-handed typist on the Internet so give him some respect.
      Trying to write a blog while the fog of “man crush” covers your brain is not easy.

    • berbes - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      anyone who ‘thumbs down’ a comment referring to kurt’s repeated handjobs regarding the heat, obviously don’t know the level of love he holds in his heart for these clowns. so much for objectivity. if you think he’s lopsided now, wait until the playoffs — if they make it.

      • crafttractor1234 - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        AMEN Brother! I find every chance I can to rip Kurt for his ridiculous adoration of the Three Ah-Me-Gos and especially for that tool LeChoke. Hey Kurt, how does the manchowder taste from LeQuit?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        You’re all right on the money. No team has ever been less scrutinized than the Miami Heat.

  5. asublimeday - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:17 AM


    Has anybody ever accused melo of being a gamer or having half a heart? Absolutely not. He wants to score, play no defense, and win the lazy way. When the game isn’t going his way and he starts bricking, he gives up. I don’t care about the west (or the Knicks, they won’t be a threat for a long time), but I said the day of the trade denver got a deal.

  6. clifford84 - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    What’s your point? I’m fairly sure the Heat could run any offensive system ever devised.

    The Knicks have a glaring lack of competent PG play. Either Baron will come in and give them some or they’ll fix it in the offseason with their mid-level. Relax, people. It’s been less than 20 games.

  7. slowclyde86 - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Silly post. The heat did show ny how to play up tempo and win. Sign two of the three best players in the game. Then play up tempo and win.

  8. ihatetoneydouglas - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Knicks have had trouble getting back on defense for a long time.Team like the Heat is bound to expose that,hell the Heat can fast break on anyone.

  9. mannyfresh209 - Jan 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    the heat: best team in the nba.


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