Skip to content

No Carmelo, no problem. Knicks expose napping Heat defense in rout

Dec 7, 2012, 12:28 AM EST

New York Knicks' Chandler celebrates a basket by his team against Miami Heat during their NBA basketball game in Miami Reuters

With New York, there is energy. There are guys willing to step up with Carmelo Anthony out. There is defense in the paint. There are guys making the extra pass and raining down threes.

In Miami I expect Jimmy Carter to come out and give a speech about malaise. Especially if he is talking about defense.

You would think that a couple of nights after the lowly Washington Wizards put up 105 points on the Heat and embarrassed their defense, they would come out on national television in full peak Ray Lewis mode — fired up and seeming to be everywhere. Nope. Not even close.

The result was Raymond Felton carving up the Knicks defense. There was Steve Novak and J.R. Smith and every New Yorker in the building not named Rasheed draining threes (he was 0-for-6).

The result was a 112-92 Knicks drubbing of the Heat.

These teams have played twice this season, the Knicks have thumped them twice. Only a fool makes a post-season prediction based on a Dec. 6 game, but those results should make the Heat take notice. There is no coasting to a repeat, and if you don’t spend the regular season building good habits the bad habits will end your playoff run.

The Knicks, with the best offense in the NBA coming into the game, put up a ridiculously efficient 117.4 points per 100 possessions number in this game — six better than their average coming in. The Heat came in with the 23rd ranked defense in the league, and it showed. The Knicks made threes and some tough shots, but they also seemed to get uncontested looks a lot.

The Heat are in a malaise on defense — we’ve seen this unit play it well before — and until they snap out of it teams that are playing well like the Knicks will thump them. The fact is the Heat play a defensive system based on using their athleticism and pressure to force turnovers and tough shots — they attack and force the offense to react. Or they are supposed to, that’s what they did last year. This year they are reacting. And if you play an aggressive style half-speed you pay.

Felton made them pay. The Knicks point guard took on the burden of creating shots, running a lot of high pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler, and the Heat couldn’t stop it. Felton slashed into the lane and got a lot of hockey assists as New York showed fantastic ball movement all night. Then Felton stepped back and hit 6-of-10 threes.

It was a barrage of threes in the third quarter — 8-of-12 in the first nine minutes of the half — that won the Knicks the game. That is when they pulled away. New York had six players in double figures. At the same time Tyson Chandler did his thing, shutting off drives and the Knicks owned the paint.

Miami had LeBron. He was monster — 31 points on 20 shots, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

Heat players not named LeBron shot 37.5 percent. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were a combined 6-of-25.

LeBron took it on himself, getting in some late-game shooting and seeming to want to better himself after the Heat loss. That’s what leaders do. But this wasn’t on him.

The Knicks are for real. They are showing it. We can ask if they can sustain it and what happens when Amare Stoudemire returns, but don’t ask if they are legit.

The Heat will be legit, too. If they ever get around to it.

Latest Posts
  1. Lakers plan to give Kobe Bryant more rest in practice

    Nov 24, 2014, 8:45 PM EST

    Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

    Bryant has played heavy minutes so far this season.

  2. Lakers forward Xavier Henry ruptured Achilles in practice, out for season

    Nov 24, 2014, 7:27 PM EST

    New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    This would make three Lakers players out for the season with injuries.

  3. Adam Silver tells GQ he would like a hard salary cap, higher age limit

    Nov 24, 2014, 7:19 PM EST

    Photo courtesy GQ Photo courtesy GQ

    “I think it would benefit the league to raise the minimum age from 19 to 20.” —Adam Silver

  4. LeBron James on Cavaliers’ struggles: “I stink”

    Nov 24, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Things are not coming together as quickly as some expected in Cleveland.

  5. PBT’s NBA Power Rankings: Life is good in the Golden State

    Nov 24, 2014, 3:44 PM EST

    Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers

    The bottom of the rankings are pretty obvious, the top harder to put together.

  6. Greg Oden says he’s not interested in comeback right now

    Nov 24, 2014, 2:33 PM EST

    Greg Oden Greg Oden

    Former No. 1 pick facing felony battery charges

  7. Derrick Rose says hamstring is pain-free, still unsure whether he’ll play tonight at Jazz

    Nov 24, 2014, 1:55 PM EST

    Derrick Rose Derrick Rose

    Bulls point guard says he’ll return tomorrow against the Nuggets at the latest

  8. Eric Gordon out indefinitely after MRI reveals torn labrum

    Nov 24, 2014, 1:17 PM EST

    Eric Gordon Eric Gordon

    Pelicans guard dealing with yet another injury

  9. Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley out vs. Knicks

    Nov 24, 2014, 12:38 PM EST

    Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets - Game Two Getty Images

    Rockets without their two best defensive players

  10. Damian Lillard, as stature grows, refuses to become content

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:38 AM EST

    Damian Lillard Damian Lillard

    Trail Blazers star keeps elevating game. Will he ever level off?

  11. Report: Nets might trade Andrei Kirilenko to Jazz

    Nov 24, 2014, 9:35 AM EST

    Andrei Kirilenko, Alec Burks Andrei Kirilenko, Alec Burks

    Utah would reportedly send Jeremy Evans and Toure’ Murry to Brooklyn

  12. Report: Dwight Howard might play against Knicks tonight

    Nov 24, 2014, 9:04 AM EST

    Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Rockets center has missed last two games after plasma therapy on knee

  13. Grizzlies GM: “We have every intention of re-signing Marc Gasol”

    Nov 24, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

    Boston Celtics v Memphis Grizzlies Boston Celtics v Memphis Grizzlies

    Memphis can offer more money than anyone else, but Gasol will have options.

Featured video

Could Sixers be worst team in NBA history?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (8990)
  2. D. Wade (7602)
  3. K. Durant (7239)
  4. P. Gasol (7087)
  5. D. Howard (6103)
  1. R. Westbrook (5993)
  2. T. Jones (5675)
  3. O. Asik (5470)
  4. D. Lee (5235)
  5. K. Martin (5158)