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Knicks return to iso ‘Melo, get knocked out of playoffs by Heat

May 9, 2012, 10:51 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony is guarded by Miami Heat's James during the fourth quarter in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference first round basketball playoff series in Miami Reuters

This year was supposed to be different for New York, and it certainly was unlike any season you can remember — Linsanity, injuries, Mike D’Antoni out and Mike Woodson in, a return to ‘Melo ball not seen since Denver.

But it ended like every Knicks playoff series since 2000 — without the team advancing past the first round.

In Game 5 on Wednesday, New York returned to an isolation-heavy, Carmelo Anthony-focused offense against a Heat team that had proven three previous times they could beat that pretty easily. Anthony and J.R. Smith combined to take 60 percent of the Knicks’ shots, while LeBron James had seven assists to go with his 29 points, got teammates involved and the Miami Heat cruised to a 106-94 win and a 4-1 series win.

The Heat will face the Indiana Pacers in the next round.

The Heat were favored to win this series because they had too many athletes and too much talent for the Knicks to handle. When Iman Shumpert was lost with a knee injury and Amare Stoudemire had to miss a game after smashing his hand through a fire extinguisher glass case in frustration after Game 2, the Knicks’ fate was sealed.

Still, this Game 5 loss has to be frustrating for Knicks fans because the team went away from the formula that worked in Game 4. In that game Anthony and Stoudemire played off each other, all of the Knicks players got involved and they played smart defense.

But back in Miami for Game 5, it was like ‘Melo put on blinders and jacked up 31 shots and had just one assist. But at least he made 15 of his shots and scored 35 points — Smith was 3-for-15 but would not stop shooting or taking bad, selfish shots. Stoudemire fouled out with just seven shots and 14 points. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN points out that for the series Anthony and Smith took 200 shots, the rest of the Knicks combined for 121.

LeBron was the anti-Carmelo — he got teammates involved and racked up seven dimes. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh played well and each had 19 points. Miami took away good looks for the Knicks from three (4-for-13) and after a close opening 18 minutes pulled away for an easy win.

The Knicks now face some offseason questions, starting with how serious an overhaul do they think they need? If they bring back a starting four of Shumpert, Anthony, Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, then add a veteran point guard like Steve Nash (or Jason Kidd as a fallback) is that enough? Is it with Mike Woodson returning as coach? Or do the Knicks need to think bigger overhaul, like trying to move Stoudemire and bring in a different big name that meshes better with Anthony?

There are no easy answers, although my guess is next year’s Knicks look a lot like the Knicks we just saw with just a few additions. But now Knicks fans and management can debate the issue, they have time.

The Heat have bigger issues to focus on, starting with Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger.

  1. soflasfinest - May 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Seeee yaaaaa!!

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      We’ll be saying the same to you fake fans in about 10 days.

      • soflasfinest - May 9, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        Mr. Wrong, youre a funny guy. Keep hating homie, we love it.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM


    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      Without ref help you won’t beat the Pacers.

      • datkiidjc - May 10, 2012 at 2:25 AM

        back to crying on the site lol got nothing better to do hop off the heat

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 10, 2012 at 7:13 AM

        How does it feel knowing that beating your team in a playoff series meant nothing to the Heat or to any Heat fan; nor does it mean anything to NBA fans. It’s like your team doesn’t exist. Enjoy.


      • blueintown - May 10, 2012 at 7:45 AM

        Good God, Wright. Has your team ever lost a game or series just because they were worse then the other team, and not because of the refs? You’re like a broken record. This is very simple: LeBron James + Dwayne Wade > Carmello Anthony + Amare Stoudemire. I’m a Bulls fan, and I’ve accepted it.

  3. bigzant82 - May 9, 2012 at 11:01 PM


    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      I agree. And it’s actually not going to be difficult to pull off.

      • drunkenjunk - May 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

        i’m curious, who do yall think you’ll pass him off to? I would think you’d have to take back an albatross to get rid of stat.

      • southbeachtalent - May 10, 2012 at 9:35 AM

        Yea everyone is dying to be burdened by that huge contract for a sub-par player. Should be a piece of cake! Hahahaha

      • deadeyedesign23 - May 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        It’s not? What valuable player do you get back for Stat?

      • bigzant82 - May 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM


    • alfiemonstaa - May 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM



      • heat256 - May 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        So you’ll trade an injury prone star for one who shrinks faster than a weiner in ice cold water come playoff time? Win-win!!!

  4. nygrwy - May 9, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Tonight is a perfect example of why woodson should not be brought back

    Need someone who can get Melo to change his game or we will forever be the NY nuggets. 31 shots tonight 1 assist. AWFUL

  5. mr9teen - May 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    This story is so stupid and inaccurate. They had to go heavy to Melo because of what reason? Oh yeah A’mare picked up some fouls early which sort of rendered him ineffective. The Miami Heat have too many athletes? Who? Wade and Lebron that’s it. I’ll throw in Haslem. You guys need to really stop giving Miami so much. I wish they could have been decimated by injuries like we have this season and see how well they do. That team is only two guys. Everyone else is merely complementary. It’s going to be fun watching them lose…again. The one thing they are not is a team. The Knicks have won without our stars and with our stars. We are going to see what Miami does.

    • bils293 - May 9, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      Hahahahaha knicks suck. I’m pretty sure new York finished the season barely above .500 which means they lost with and without their star. Melo sucks, never make it out of the first round unless he learns to pass

    • blueintown - May 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      “That team is only two guys. Everyone else is merely complementary.”

      That’s what nearly every great team is! You think the rest of the league is clamoring for a shot at the complementary pieces of the Knicks roster? I thought my fellow Bulls fans were whiny, but you guys take the cake.

  6. rodgersmvp - May 9, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Lotsa bitter Knicks fans in here. To summarize:
    1) Ref help wasn’t that big of a deal, and in fact Wade and Lebron almost fouled out in Game 4.
    2) Melo shot the ball the whole series way to much – it didn’t matter who was on the floor. Look at Kurt’s stats – Melo and Smith doomed the Knicks.
    3) You lost one guy to a legitimate injury, and you lost Stoudemire for a game because he was a dumbass.
    4) Heat’s athletes include just about everyone. They move fast and are the best transitioners in the NBA. The main problem they have is when they get locked down by good defense and can’t use those athletic abilities.
    5) I love the guy above me who says the Heat aren’t a team – have you seen the Knicks lately? It’s all about Melo, and the Knicks have been dysfunctional and selfish from the beginning of the season.
    6) The Nuggets are better off without Melo, and the Knicks should get rid of him. He can score – but he takes too many shots and ruins team chemistry.
    7) I think the Pacers matchup will be a good one, and I’m excited. Big Pacers fan who can’t wait to see them beat the Heat. I don’t think we can pull it off, but I do think we can win a game or two.

  7. lameasish - May 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    The Miami haters are getting pathetic, you spend so much time talking about a team you hate that it makes me wonder…enjoy the time off losers. I also have to say something about the blogger saying something about the heat needing to worry about a few of the pacers…..hahahahaha, it was 3-1 during the year for the heat, pacers will be lucky if it goes six

  8. marlin1894 - May 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM


    Well said, I’d be pissed if I was one of the other 29 teams that didn’t get LeBron. Oh well, enjoy your offseason New York fans, maybe that Melo guy you gutted your team for can learn to play with a great player like Stoudamire, or he can keep on taking over 30 shots a game, because isolation basketball wins championships, right?

  9. phillynac - May 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    What about iguadala for stoudemire? Iggy give NY a defensive presence who doesn’t need the ball and Stoudemire gives the Sixers a scorer. I think the salaries are close. That seems like a good match.

    • southbeachtalent - May 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Keep dreaming.

    • drunkenjunk - May 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      lol why would anyone give up iggy for stat?

  10. dirtyjerseysports - May 10, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Mike D’Antoni and George Karl are smiling.

  11. lemfax - May 10, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I like Carmelo than amare. But if they need to change next season, they better to start with Carmelo. Trade him anywhere for two(2) or more average players. It’s hard to find a trade for amare coz of his value that’s why the best thing is to keep him along with Lin & chandler

  12. lemfax - May 10, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I like Carmelo than amare. But if they need to change next season, they better to start with Carmelo. Trade him anywhere for two(2) or more average players. It’s hard to find a trade for amare coz of his value that’s why the best thing is to keep him along with Lin & chandler.

  13. Justin - May 10, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    LeBron and Melo both scored 139 points in the series. Only one big issue here though. LeBron did on 90 shots and Melo had to take 124. Also, in 3 out of their 5 games he took more shots than the rest of the starting lineup combined.

    • 20dollardinners - May 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      You didn’t just throw out an opinion with no stats. I like that.

  14. jonirocit - May 10, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Not a heat hater or a nickerbasher but carmelo is what is wrong with this league . A loser! Selfish and will never win anything. He came back and changed the entire team .. Team get it ! Not the melo show . Too bad Knicks can’t amnesty him and try to build a team.

    • 24thesho - May 10, 2012 at 3:05 AM

      But didn’t he win a NCAA title with Syracuse in 2003, win a 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal, and an Olympic Gold Medal along with tournament MVP in 2008? Don’t those 3 not so small achievements contradict your, “A loser” and “will never win anything”, portions of your comment?

      • rodgersmvp - May 10, 2012 at 3:54 AM

        LeBron won a gold medal, and nobody hesitates from making fun of him for not winning anything. We both know he was talking about the NBA finals, and Carmelo is never going to make it. He could carry a team in college ball, and he is put in his place when he plays on a team made up of superstars. But the man cannot carry a team to the Finals.

  15. r0llinginthedeep - May 10, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Wait, what!?

    They returned to iso Melo? They’ve been iso Melo since Lin went down! That’s just shoddy journalism, I’m really sorry to say. You’re simply jumping on the whole ‘It’s all Melo’s fault’ bandwagon. You want some reasons why they lost this series so badly? JR Smith. It begins with him going 24-76 for the series, hoisting up terrible shot after terrible shot and then when he finally gets an open look, bricking it anyway, and it ends with injuries to the Knicks best perimeter defender, starting PG(s) and a self inflicted injury to their, at-times, brainless PF.

    The reason why Amare had a big game last time out? The Heat weren’t expecting it. Hell, no one was. Then he comes out in this game and gets himself in foul trouble. How exactly was that Melo’s fault?

    Melo is a part of what’s wrong with the Knicks, but don’t infer that he’s the main reason because the fact of the matter is that without him after Lin got injured they wouldn’t even have been close to the playoffs.

    The Knicks were never winning this series (regardless of who or who wasn’t injured), Miami were just far too strong.

  16. thepenaltyflag - May 10, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    Knicks are in salary cap hell, but Melo is this team and is who they will build around. Amar’e is injured too often and fights with extinguishers.

  17. cantonbound13 - May 10, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    Trade Stat & Chandler for Howard & Nelson.

  18. canehouse - May 10, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    Mr. WAY WRONG… Beat it pal!!!! Miami just laid the boot to your throat… so long until next season!

  19. jh4prez - May 10, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    I think the knicks as constructed have a chance to be great(im a heat fan).a full off season should get them up to snuff.just sayin thats a heck of a line up with a healthy Linn.

  20. loungefly74 - May 10, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    maybe i missed the article and it’s a moot point but i’m kinda shaking my head at Lin. the guy says he is 85% and doing some practice. why was he not playing? i mean, if the doctors say he is a no-go and Lin was just giving a “i wanna be out there playing” speech, then cool, i understand. But if Lin was able to play…he should have been on the court. no one is 100% during the playoffs.
    as far as the Knicks in general…well, its good to know they got assets to move around for trades n’ such if they go that route.

  21. hojo20 - May 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Lebron is a great player to watch because he likes to pass the ball and if the best player does it, it becomes infectious for the rest of the team. This ISO stuff with ‘Melo or Joe Johnson stinks.

  22. florida727 - May 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I’m a Bulls fan, so by law I’m not allowed to like the Knicks or the Heat (our demise will come soon enough thank you). The worst part of Carmelo is that he’ll look back at this game and say, “hey, I did MY part”. Took 31 shots and scored 35 points. Usually anytime you’re better than a point:shot ratio, you’re doing okay. But… ONE assist? Shows where his priority is. Also shows how one-dimensional he is.

    If you consider how many points they were “responsible” for, ‘Melo had 37, the 35 he scored and the 2 his one assist gets him. LeBron accounted for 43, scoring 29 and 14 more on assists. Plus the residual effect of teammate involvement.

    Smith and ‘Melo 200 shots to 121 for the rest of their teammates combined? Recipe for disaster.

  23. dysraw1 - May 10, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    hopefully we won’t get our next point guard from the infirmary , find some back ups that could stand in there when STAT. & Melo rest , slow building process but it could be done. to Heat fans the better team won [ I hate you] we will see you next year.

  24. noname728 - May 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    The Knicks are a team of “does not’s” Carmelo does not pass..Amare does not rebound..JR Smith does not play defense. Landry Fields (whom i like) does not shoot..J. Lin well he does not even play in the series..SMH for the Knicks to get better each of those players mentioned have to decide they want to be more than what they are now! DO you really think thats going to happen.. IMAGINE JR Smith playing defense..NOT!

  25. borderline1988 - May 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    JR Smith, Baron Davis, Carmelo Anthony…you just cannot win with those guys.

    JR Smith is a weapon, but championship teams wouldn’t have him on their roster. It’s that simple.
    I like to compare Jason Terry and JR Smith…both have similar skillsets, but pyschologically, they’re totally different. One cares about winning and teamplay, the other only cares about himself and scoring fancy layups and dunks.

    At least Carmelo is focused on winning, just that the only he can do is play ISO basketball. That’s not good enough for a team that wants to go the distance.

    And Baron Davis…oy. When the Clippers and Cavs don’t want this guy, you know something is up. He’s just not a winner.

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