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New York fights harder, plays better, but Heat still win, up 2-0

Apr 30, 2012, 11:56 PM EDT

Miami Heat forward James reacts after his second quarter dunk against the New York Knicks during Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff in Miami Reuters

Carmelo Anthony played better, dropping 30 in Game 2. Tyson Chandler was back to being himself after having the flu and was far more aggressive at both ends. He had a real impact on the game.

It didn’t matter. The Miami Heat led most of the game, took charge when LeBron James went on a personal run in the third quarter, and went on to win 104-94. The Heat are now up 2-0 in the first-round playoff series as it heads back to New York.

The Knicks need to treat Game 3 Thursday as a must win because if they go down 3-0 it’s all but over.

And it may be tough to win Game 3 without Amare Stoudemire, who hurt his left hand punching a glass-encased fire extinguisher after the game. Not smart. But it kind of fits in with how this series has gone for the Knicks. Stoudemire’s status for Game 3 is unknown.

The Heat led from the start. With Iman Shumpert out due to a torn ACL, Dwyane Wade was able to establish him self early and attack in the paint. He helped get the Heat off early and finished with 25.

But these Knicks were more aggressive than in Game 1 — they ran more pick-and-roll so the defense couldn’t focus on just Anthony. Chandler had a monster putback in the second. Anthony seemed to have his way with Shane Battier on him, they ran other sets to counter the Heat’s fronting of Anthony. ‘Melo tried to shoot the Knicks to a win.

The problem is that is not going to work. Maybe once in a seven game series, but the Heat’s defense is too quick, too athletic, you can’t just rely on one guy against them. The Knicks are not sharing the ball enough, they are taking a lot of jumpers while the Heat get points in the paint. Right now, the Knicks are strictly the ‘Melo show.

The Heat have other guys. LeBron had 19 points but was key in the third quarter when the Heat pulled away. After Game 1 the Knicks brought double teams and tried to take the ball out of his hands, and it sort of worked. Well, until the third quarter when he just attacked anyway and couldn’t be stopped.

Chris Bosh also had a better game as well, including the dagger. He had 21 points but just three rebounds.

The Knicks need more from everyone else. They need better and more consistent defense. They need J.R. Smith to make plays on the pick and roll and get hot shooting. They need Steve Novak to score and Landry Fields to stop hesitating when the ball gets swung to him. They need everything to go right — their margin for error against the Heat is small.

They need it all to come together back home Thursday night for Game 3. It’s must win for them.

  1. mungman69 - May 1, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Miami played poorly and still won. The Knicks have to bring their A game and they won’t.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      The Heat played as well as they could. Don’t discount the Knicks’ defense. The Knicks still played poorly.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        That’s a joke right? Couse if it’s a joke, I totally get it. I like you, you’re funny.

        But if it wasn’t a joke, and you really think the Heat played as well as they could, you’ve got issues. Heat missed a ton of free throws and were badly out rebounded, giving the Knicks a ton of second chance points.

        I’d actually say the Knicks played as well as they could. The score should have could have been much worse than it was.

  2. sndvl99 - May 1, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Another first rd exit for Melo…

    • trueballs - May 1, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Right. It still baffles me how LBJ is so much more despised than Carmelo. Melo demanded a sign&trade and forced his way out of a great situation in Denver with a deep talented team (Nene, Afflalo, Chauncey, Lawson, J.R,etc), and a great coach. I wish LBJ stayed in Cleveland, but he didn’t have either of those luxuries. Yes, it was awful the way LeBron left, and he regrets it too, but at least he had good reasons.

      • iknowzeroaboutsports - May 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        “Yes, it was awful the way LeBron left.” This.

      • 4thquartermagic - May 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Denver fan here and I can say that Melo and LBJ are basically the same guy.

        -Both are self centered
        -Both think winning is important, but comes third after money and fame.
        -Both are great individual players that need help to win a ring.

        Only diff is that Melo gets a pass while LBJ gets hated on.(Even though LBJ actually makes players around him better)

        That being said I believe both should be disliked equally.

  3. edweird0 - May 1, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    This was over before it even started

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 1, 2012 at 6:57 AM


  5. scoregasmic - May 1, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    The funny part is that the Knicks were better without Amar’e

  6. canehouse - May 1, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    The Knicks are going down!!!

  7. lameasish - May 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Ya, it was also 2 years ago, time for everybody to let go. If this was about a girl and not a guy leaving a team then a restraining order would be served.

  8. dysraw1 - May 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    yeah but once you have the stink of a dishonorable scum its hard to wash off,the thing that makes Melo’s move acceptable is he let the nuggets know i wont sign. unlike LBJ’s who kept saying that Cleveland had a chance when he knew all along he was going to southbeach.

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