The Youth Movement Era Begins

[Video] No JR Needed – Knicks Soar Against Heat 102-92

Melo_Lebron

The Knicks put together the best home win of the season last night with a complete team effort in defeating the Heat. After two months, the team (sans JR Smith) finally looks to have turned a corner.

MELO GETS HIS HELP: The question going into every game is who will help Melo with the scoring load. At their worst, the Knicks predictably dump the ball to Melo, many times with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock, for a low-percentage isolation shot.

Outside of the first few possessions, the Knicks were at their best in terms of ball movement, guarding the passing lanes, and attacking Miami’s weak interior defense. Andrea Bargnani (19 points), Iman Shumpert (12 points, 9 rebounds), Amar’e Stoudemire (14 poitns, 11 rebounds) and Raymond Felton (13 points, 14 assists) were the “secondary Big Four” that took the load off Melo and allowed him to operate more freely on offense.

*********************************

MELO VS. LEBRON: We didn’t get to see as much of this as we should have. When they did guard each other, Melo got the better of it. LeBron was still able to have a monster stat line (32 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) just because he’s the best player in the league, and poor Bargnani found himself switched off onto him way too many times.

*********************************

MIAMI HELPS OUT AT THE FREE THROW LINE: The Heat could have made this a tighter game simply by hitting their free throws. They shot a very poor 52% (11/21) with Dwyane Wade being the main culprit (0-6). New York wasn’t any better at 50% (5/10).

TIM HARDAWAY JR: THJ made a new poster at the expense of Jesus Shuttlesworth aka Ray Allen. Yeah, our rookie got game.

***************************

THE 16-0 RUN: After getting embarrassed by a LeBron baseline dunk, Bargnani came right back with a three-point play on Wade to ignite a 9-0 run to end the fourth, highlighted by two Melo treys and Hardaway’s spectacular tip-in dunk. Usually with JR Smith in the 2nd unit lineup that starts the fourth, the Knicks have been giving up leads and momentum. This time, the point guard play of Toure Murry had Bargnani and Stoudemire carving up the Heat in the post and at mid-range.

CLOSING STRONG: When Felton came back in, there wasn’t any drop-off. Ray continued attacking the paint, which collapsed the Heat defense and got nice looks for Melo and Stat. And when Melo got what appeared to be an isolation play, Felton and others cut to basket allowing for easy layups and dunks. Felton also keep the defense honest by hitting several long jumpers.

ROLES DEFINED: The Knicks are finally playing like a team and everyone appears to know their roles. You can see the confidence and they should have it, considering two of their last four wins have come against the defending Eastern and Western Conference champions.

JR SMITH: Our knucklehead shooting guard sulked on the bench most of the night, but did put up an obligatory standing ovation at the final buzzer. In the locker room, he pouted about whether he still has a “future” on the team. We’ll see if JR finally wakes up, but I think he’s earned at least 2 games on the bench.

 

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: