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Can New York salvage one game? Or is it time to focus on Knicks future?

May 6, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

Heat's James drives past  Knicks' Anthony in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York Reuters

The theory going into this series was that the Knicks would win a game or two simply because Carmelo Anthony and maybe J.R. Smith or Steve Novak would just get hot.

But the Heat’s defense this series has doused any spark before it could catch fire. The result is the Heat have cruised to a 3-0 series lead and look likely to close it out in a sweep at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

The Knicks are suffering plenty of indignities — they now have lost an NBA record 13 straight playoff games. Three losses to the Heat, all by double digits. And it hasn’t been that close. Knicks fans are making Amare Stoudemire the scapegoat for a playoff collapse but the Knicks problems are in a roster built of names and stars with little thought to chemistry and fit.

The Heat had some of those problems last year, but they have overcome them. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have figured out how to compliment each other, Erik Spoelstra came up with a system that fits what the Heat want to do.

New York has no idea how to make Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony work together. Mike D’Antoni couldn’t do get them to do it; Mike Woodson has made this ‘Melo’s team and left Stoudemire on the periphery. It may be moot today as Stoudemire is a game-time decision due to the left hand he smashed into a fire extinguisher case in frustration…

Actually, it’s moot either way.

The only question left in this series is if Sunday can be the Knicks can have that one insanely hot shooting day. Probably not, the Heat have proven they can take ‘Melo out of his comfort zone.

Then New York can start to focus on how to make this thing actually work.

  1. jmclarkent - May 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    To win with Melo, you are going to have to do something similar to what Larry Brown did with A.I. Surround him with defenders and shooters and let him dominate the ball.

    Stat needs to be moved – Even if it is just to free up salary I think you have to pull the trigger (though I can’t imagine too many teams are looking for a fragile, nearly 30 power forward who makes big dough and has no interest in D).

    • diabloryno - May 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      I could not agree more with you! I think Melo needs to really work this season on his conditioning and defense this summer. He’s going to NEED to be able to guard LeBron. I’m assuming ‘Melo isn’t going anywhere in New York and LeBron isn’t going anywhere in Miami so for NYK to get out of the East they’ll more likely than not have not go through Miami for years to come. When it’s crunch time or when ‘Melo is hot, the Heat have the ability to throw LeBron on ‘Melo to try to stop him. When LeBron is hot, ‘Melo is going to have to step and be the guy to say “Let me get him”.

      • Kurt Helin - May 7, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        You expect to see some kind of fundamental change in who ‘Melo is as a player between his 9th and 10th year in the league?

    • gmen4life33 - May 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Knicks are winning this series. Tough this gam out, Lin helps steal game 5, game 6 in Garden inspries Knicks, MIA chokes in 7.

      • drewzducks - May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        Hilarious.

      • gmen4life33 - May 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Im pretty sure you would have said “hilarious” to the ame thing when Red Sox were down 0-3 to Yankees, or the other 5-6 times it has happened in pro sports.

      • slowclyde86 - May 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        Wait, you WERE actually being serious? Knicks fans can be so cute. This team is a mess. Be lucky to win one today.

      • cmehustle - May 6, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        Wow! yea i also thought this guy was being sarcastic. Oh well nothing wrong with being a homer and having a unshaken belief in your squad. Even if it is ridicoulus.

      • gmen4life33 - May 6, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Knicks fans are loyal

      • slowclyde86 - May 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        Loyalty is following your team and rooting for them to win when the chips are down, through both winning and losing. Stupidity is publicly shouting how your team will win with fantasy-land scenarios. What would you think if a loyal Bobcat’s fan came on here bragging how they were going to win the title next year? Would you say “my what a loyal fan” or “that poor person has no clue”?

      • gmen4life33 - May 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        you are comparing a team that was the second hottest coming into the playoffs (last 20 games) to the Bobcats? And we won yesterday, and if we win the next in MIA, the series is back on track going into game 6 at MSG. How is that even close to thinking the Bobcats win win it all next year?

        You are just a hater bandwagon fan. You remind me of the fake Giants fans who said the season was over after we lost to WAS and had to win the last 2 just to get into playoffs. You got to believe. If I sat there and said “we have to beat the Jets, the Cowboys, Falcons, Packers @home, and 49ers @ home, just to play the Patriots, YEA this season is over…” I would have been a fake fan.

        Knicks are down 3-1, Lin could be back for game 5, LBJ said after the game “Ofcourse I want the ball in my hands to close the game but it didnt happen”. MIA is one loss away from turning on each other. Gotta believe.

    • trueballs - May 6, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      @jmclarkent – I agree that not many teams will be biting for Amare, but don’t you think might be a few franchises that would take him to boost ticket sales. And like you said, he’ll be affordable. The question is how the Knicks will treat Amare…he was the first big 2010 free agent to make a move and he came to the Knicks. He was the beginning of hope for that franchise. Would they actually trade him to a small-market losing team?

      • cmehustle - May 6, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        Actually he is the exact opposite of affordable. 3 years and 70 millions dollars left on that contract?? No one in the league will pay that for someone whos already going downhill.

      • jmclarkent - May 6, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        I could see that, but I’m curious to see if NYK is willing to take on garbage in return. .

        I also wouldn’t be shocked to see a team unloading flotsam and jetsam for Amare as a “Plan B.” Best case scenario, maybe one of the teams looking to land Dwight or Deron fails and becomes interested.

        This could be a interesting off-season. Unless they bring in a coach who they deem to be a fix-all with the current roster (*cough Phil cough*) I think the Knicks will have a few tough personnel decisions to make.

      • abchome - May 7, 2012 at 7:36 AM

        Good luck dumbing Amare. The new team would have to sell at least 3000 extra tickets per game to cover his $20 million plus salary…

  2. thomaskouns - May 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Carmelo has only made it to the second round of the playoffs once in eight seasons.

    Horrible defensive player, comes in overweight, and blackmails his last team to trade him then asks to be traded out of New York when he can’t handle the pressure. Always puts blame on the coach for his failings instead of taking responsibility.

    Look at scouting reports by NBA scouts and they all echo the same themes

    Franchise player in the name only.

  3. test2402 - May 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    So funny watching the Knicks fail, again.

  4. morgan420 - May 6, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Its to late I wouldn’t be suprised to see miamis bench more then the starting line up, I mean it makes since

  5. cmehustle - May 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Knicks will try and trade Amare however NO ONE wants him or his salary! Therefore I think it would be wise to try and trade Carmelo. Yea he’s a great player but frankly I just dont see any team featuring him competing for a chip. Look at how Lebron is dominating this series. There is no way anyone can put Lebron and Carmelo in the same league.

  6. dirtyjerseysports - May 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Elimination Day >>———

  7. ihateclevelandandphillyandbaltimore - May 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    No!!!

  8. geraldthecat - May 6, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    It seems like only yesterday when the had a roster full of bloated contracts…..

  9. ocgunslinger - May 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Knicks = new Old Clippers. Management sucks

  10. scalfor3 - May 6, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    melo is the guy that has to go. they were at their best as a running, ball movement team. lin pushing the pace, running pick and rolls with amare and chandler, and surrounding them with shooters (novak, jr smith etc). melos the one piece that doesn’t fit the rest of the roster, yet they seem insistent on building around him.

  11. mungman69 - May 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Game over

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