The Knicks (33-45) lost to the Heat (53-23) by a score of 102-91 on Sunday afternoon in Miami.
The Knicks started out hot, jumping out to a 16-3 lead. But the Knicks quickly squandered their advantage, and were down 8 in the blink of an eye. The Knicks did rally to regain the lead by halftime, but a miserable 3rd quarter rendered a decent 4th quarter comeback attempt irrelevant.
J.R. Smith was amazing today. Smith hit a Knicks record 10 threes on an NBA record 22 attempts. Smith also broke NBA records for most games with 10 or more threes made (3) and most threes made in a three-game span (24).
Carmelo Anthony was bad for the second game in a row. He was also battling a shoulder injury for the second game in a row. Maybe they are related, and he shouldn’t be playing 44 minutes a game?
Amar’e Stoudemire was cold for most of the game, but I don’t think he passed once. He has to be better about moving the ball…
Raymond Felton was pretty good today, but 2 early fouls (both of them bad calls) sent him to the bench when he was hot and helped Miami go on a run.
The Knicks had no answer for LeBron James, who scored 38 points. However, the thing that killed New York was their inability to stop Miami’s shooters. Every time the Knicks threatened to gain some momentum, Miami would hit from beyond the arc.
The Knicks will almost certainly miss the playoffs at this point. If the Hawks beat the Pacers tonight, it’s practically over. The Knicks are 1.5 games back, and because Atlanta has the tiebreaker, it is really 2.5. New York’s “tragic number”— the combination of Knicks losses and Hawks wins needed to eliminate the Knicks— is now 4. The Knicks have 4 games left and the Hawks have 7 (including the Pacers game tonight). The Knicks play the Raptors twice, the Nets, and the Bulls. The Hawks play the Pacers, Heat, Nets, Bobcats, Celtics, Pistons, and Bucks. If the Knicks go 4-0, the Hawks will need to lose 4 of those games, so they would have to lose to at least one of the Celtics, Pistons, and Bucks. If the Knicks go 3-1 (with the Bulls game looking like a very tough game to win), Atlanta would need to lose 5 of those games, meaning at least two losses against those 3 weak teams. The game the Hawks are most likely to steal is the one with Charlotte. I could see them losing to the Pistons.
Either way, the Knicks have a huge uphill battle ahead of them. New York does not have another game until Friday, while the Hawks have 3 games during that span (Pacers, Pistons, Celtics). On Friday, the Knicks will play the Raptors and the Hawks will play the Nets. So in the next week, we will find out whether the Hawks can help us out and keep the Knicks alive.