Thursday, February 23, 2012

Postgame: Knicks at Heat


The Knicks fall to 17-18 on the season in a 102-88 lost to the Miami Heat.

Positives:

  • The Knicks held their own for a majority of the game despite Lin playing poorly against a tough Heat defense.
  • The Knick's depth is really starting to show itself. You have to credit interim general manager Gus Grunwald and coach Mike D'Antoni for being able to bring in and develop talent. Especially considering the sell off of players that happen last year in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
  • JR Smith has integrated into the offense pretty well especially considering the limited practice time.
  • Steve Novak (12pts) shot well (4 of 5 from behind the arc). Ability-wise he is really only a shooter. But he takes smart shots, stretches the defense and benefits when they move the ball wisely.
  • Knicks were able to keep the non-star Heat players relatively in check.


Negatives:

  • Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. The Knicks had 19 turnovers and Jeremy Lin and Amare combined for 14 of them. This has been the major weakness of the Jeremy Lin-led Knicks.
  • Jeremy Lin looked mortal. He was 1 of 11 from the field. The Heat were able to pressure Lin and get him off his game. He began deferring to Melo, jacking up shots, throwing the ball away and picking up his dribble.
  • At points the Knicks moved the ball poorly especially in the second half when the game began to get out of reach. Carmelo was playing isolation, and other players were driving and forcing up difficult shots.
  • Carmelo shot poorly and played somewhat selfishly (7-20 FGs)
  • Baron Davis is improving but he still struggled. Shot poorly tonight (0-7 FGs 0-4 3PT), and had bad shot selection overall. When he would drive and dish he looked a lot better. Calmer and made better decision than in his first couple of games back.


Overall:

The Knicks still have to work out chemistry with Carmelo in the game. Jeremy Lin should be the primary ball handler in the offense and Melo has got to learn to play better without the ball. New York can't keep handing the ball to Carmelo and letting him run isolation. Anthony needs to at least be willing to move the ball more often when the Knicks do defer to him. He has shown this season that he can make smart passes and be a distributor. Melo is a scorer but him playing selfish ball and jacking up wild shots is not going to help the Knicks win. That's not the D'Antoni offense and Knicks can't really spread the defense when Chandler and Stoudemire are both on the floor. The opposing defense is able to collapse on Anthony in these iso situations and Melo ends up taking a tough shot.

The Knicks point guards also need to play better than they did tonight. Lin has to get his turnovers in check. He's not going to shoot great every night but he can still move the ball well when he's shooting poorly. He wasn't getting to the rim with the same veracity as he does when he is dominating. Baron Davis has also got to start playing like a point guard and less like a shooting guard. Baron had too many bad looks and was pitiful on offense. The Knicks are really starting to miss the injured Iman Shumpert. Shumpert provides a spark on defense and was making better decisions than Davis is now. In the end, bad shots and good Heat defense led to the Knicks downfall. The Heat are going to push the ball when they get the chance and bad decisions (poor shooting and turnovers) help they push the ball.

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