Harris DeckerLast nights loss to the Miami Heat seemed like a microcosm of the Knicks season. With the game within 4 points a few minutes into the 4th quarter, the Heat really went to work, slowing putting the Knicks away, as they attempted to hang on for dear life.
Dwayne Wade hit a few tough shots and then it was really on. The Knicks fell apart as the Heat opened up a 16-point lead. Tim Hardaway Jr., and Carmelo Anthony did their best to keep the Knicks in the game but when it really mattered, the Heat smothered the Knicks. It felt like the entire season was boiled into 1 game.
In order to beat the Heat, health is essential. The Knicks were without Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert. Both would have been huge against a team like the Heat. Stoudemire could have worked the post, a rare weakness in the Heat defensive scheme and Shumpert likely would have played big minutes on Lebron James, keeping Anthony out of foul trouble.
It was agonizing to watch the team in the 4th quarter. The Heat seem like they are able to score at will from almost anywhere on the court while the Knicks failed to run plays. They continue to play one dimensional offense, letting Anthony or J.R. Smith hold the ball and working off of that isolation play. It worked against the Celtics. Not so much against the Heat. The blowout loss came at the end of a 4-game winning streak. The Knicks will try to get hot again in Milwaukee tomorrow.