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Carmelo scores 50, but with LeBron and Wade out, meaning is diluted

Apr 2, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony drives past Miami Heat's Battier in during NBA basketball game in Miami

Carmelo Anthony scored 50 points to lead the Knicks to a 102-90 win over the Heat on Wednesday, but Miami played its best defense much earlier in the day.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers rested, saving the Heat (at least somewhat) from the annoying analysis about the Knicks owning Miami that would come before a playoff between the teams.

The Knicks, one of two teams to beat Heat thrice this season,* have outscored Miami by 11.5 points per game – more than double the next-best per-game margin posted against the Heat (Grizzlies, +5.5) and more than triple the only other team with a positive mark against Miami (Pacers, +3.0).

But how much do those numbers mean when New York’s wins all came before Dec. 7 or with LeBron and Wade out? How much do they matter even without the mitigating factors? After all, Miami lost its season series to the Celtics last regular season and was outscored by the Thunder in a regular-season split before beating both those teams in the playoffs.

Before completely submarining the Knicks, let’s interrupt this post with something positive about New York.

Melo, who needed just 26 shots to match his career-high 50 points, was absolutely fantastic. The last time someone scored so much on so few attempts was Feb. 7, 2011, when Melo had 50 points on 24 shots.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled Knicks bashing.

But I wonder whether Melo’s big game was somewhat fool’s gold. He didn’t take a single shot in the paint, and his eight free-throw attempts in 40 minutes (two of which were technical free throws) were actually below his season per-minute average. Melo (two rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block) didn’t do much besides score, either.

Nitpicky about a 50-point game? Sure. But a one-dimensional Melo who’s not taking the ball inside plays into Miami’s hands. The Heat would be big favorites in a playoff series against Knicks, because the Heat are a much better team than the Knicks. For the Knicks to overcome that large hurdle, Melo probably couldn’t play like with the same approach he took tonight. The odds of him succeeding to this degree are just too low.

Melo wasn’t the game’s only impressive scorer.

Mike Miller scored 523 percent of his per-game average (3.4) – even better than Melo, who scored 182 percent of his season average (27.5). Miller’s 18 points were his most since Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals and much

So, does that mean the Heat are playing at an NBA Finals level without LeBron and Wade?

As much as the Knicks winning their season series against Miami means they’ll beat Miami in the playoffs.

  1. jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Yawn, oh well. Are the playoffs here yet so Knicks fans can concentrate on the Yanks and Mets?

  2. dysraw1 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    last year when the Heat smashed us every game we played them a seed was planted in the minds of the players, and us fans that the Knicks stood no chance against the mighty Heat. i think its nice that we did some gardening of our own.

  3. nycalldayz - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I can see why Knicks would be annoyed by this article. Reading this article, the author is dismissive of the Knicks and their victory. But the author does have a point. This was a diluted victory for New York. The Heat were playing without James, Wade and Chalmers. That means the win a meaningless. Just like the 2 wins against a Boston team without Rondo and Garnett. Regular season series wins aren’t indicative of what can happen in the playoffs. Especially when teams like the Heat and Celtics have a history success against the Knicks.

    • xelcid - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I see where you’re going but that makes no sense when it comes to the Celtics. We beat them without Rondo and Garnett. If the Knicks play the Celtics, it will for sure be without Rondo, and possibly KG as well. It’s only meaningless if you concede that the Celtics have no chance against the Knicks without Rondo and Garnett.

      • nycalldayz - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        So in the case of Boston/New York the Knicks last 2 wins were meaningless. The meaningful games were the first 2 match-ups in January. As for the last 2 games I put no stock into past 2 victories against the Celtics. A Boston team missing Rondo and Garnett have no chance. A Heat team missing James and Wade have no chance. That’s what I mean.

      • scalfor3 - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        I’m a diehard C’s fan and they have no chance against anyone if KG is out.

  4. cwilson6843 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    The fact of the matter remains, melo is one dimensional. The heat have so much success because lebron does is the heats best player and he plays exactly like that. He plays every position just as good or better than the people on his team. He’s doesn’t have too much pride, he will give the ball to a haslem or Chalmers for a game winning shot if they’re open. Melo is just a scorer and that’s all he worries about. Knicks will not make it far in the playoffs

  5. cwilson6843 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Seriously u think that was the best game melo played cuz he scored 50? He had 2 assists and 2 rebounds. Now when the playoffs come we can see how many 40+ games melo will have with LeBron playind’ on him

  6. thestatsishere - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I know Melo is one-dimensional, but games like this are what make him so exciting to watch. The guy, when he’s on, is the best scorer in the league. It is just frustrating that he isn’t always on.

  7. socalgal64 - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Diluted how? Unless the league is putting an asterisk next to the Heat’s championship from last season, then the “meaning” behind Melo’s 50 points is that they helped his team beat the Heat. They beat the Heat before with LeBron, Wade and Chalmers. This time they did it without. A win is a win is a win.

  8. yankees218 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Who lets someone who is so biased against a team, write articles about them? When the Knicks lose….they suck. And when they win, there’s always an undermining reason why. Seriously, who lets this guy write Knicks articles???

    And on another note, the Knicks beat the Heat at home AND on the road by 20 points each time. Both games the Heat had LeBron and Wade, both games Amare was out and one game Melo was out. So please, keep on bringing your weak excuses.

  9. cwilson6843 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    When will u people learn the regular season is only about making your playoff spot. It has no prediction what so ever who will beat who or who will win it all. All of your logic that the Knicks will beat Miami in the playoffs because they beat mia more this season is asinine. That means Boston should have beat the heat last season in the playoffs right? Just shutup and wait for the playoffs. And Mr Wright why are u always on every blog man dang do u have a life or what?

    • yankees218 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      That also means the Heat’s streak means nothing either

  10. cwilson6843 - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    When the playoffs start the heats streak doesn’t even matter. Everyone is 0-0 and has an equal shot at the title. Playoff mentality and reg season mentality are 2 different things. Knicks don’t have playoff mentality

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