Amar’e & The Knicks Break Themselves In Miami; OKC Survives

Wasn’t this Manhattan/South Beach matchup supposed to be the best series of the first round? Um, what happened? It’s a colossal mismatch, and a 2-0 lead doesn’t do justice to Miami’s dominance through eight quarters. Game 1 felt like murder. In last night’s 104-94 Miami win, the Knicks were better. They played a little harder. Defended a little better. Actually made a few shots. And yet it seemed like the Heat had set their sliders to the Rookie level. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James combined for 65 points on 48 shots whereas Carmelo Anthony was struggling against everyone besides old man Shane Battier (‘Melo was unleashing hell on him in the first quarter), forcing his way to 30 points on 26 shots. It felt like the Knicks were repeatedly punching a brick wall, and had nothing to show for it. Actually, we’ll take that back. Amar’e (18 points, seven boards) had something to show for it. Blood. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears, he cut himself after the game because he punched a hard surface, later confirmed as the glass area that enclosed a fire extinguisher. Too bad New York. That’ll be the last time Stoudemire attacks the glass. But it’s not like he actually needs it. That hand got more action on one haymaker than it did through two games in Miami. STAT has 16 shots so far in the playoffs, just 15 more than his number of arm slings … New York has to work so hard to get open shots while at the other end, Miami is going through a walk in the park. You know the only two guys on New York who enjoy playing like that? Carmelo is one: he gets to be the man and play hero ball all game, jab stepping, dribbling in place, basically playing his own personal game of 21 out there. The other is J.R. Smith since he would be taking shots like that anyways. It can be fun to watch sometimes, but the Knicks have now lost 12 consecutive playoff games (12 IN A ROW!) and there’s a chance they may not win a game in this series. At the half, the Heat were shooting 56 percent and Wade had made eight of 10 shots after scoring 11 in a row at one point during the first quarter. Miami turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, and held New York without a field goal for over eight minutes. At the end of that run, Bosh banged a triple to put it away, 92-77 … Random thought: Mike Miller is probably the most randomly good rebounder in the league … Steve Novak is like a gremlin. You always have to watch over him, keep an eye out. You can’t let him dribble, play defense or attempt to rebound. Just tell him to shoot every time he touches it. Nothing else … Mario Chalmers had one of the worst individual possessions we’ve ever seen during the second quarter. First, he was thrown out of the way by Anthony as ‘Melo laid it in off a rebound. Then he got the ball thrown in his face. Then James yelled at him all the way up the court for it … Keep reading to hear why Glen Davis flipped out in a halftime interview …

Are we talking glass half full or glass half empty? Dallas could conceivably be up 2-0 on the No. 2 seed out West, and are playing like a team that could advance. And yet, they’re still down 2-0 despite Kevin Durant shooting 15-for-44 so far in this series. Before OKC walked home with a 102-99 win, Jason Terry had two looks at a triple to tie Game 2, and couldn’t get either one to fall. Russell Westbrook had a solid shooting night, and Durant had a horrible one, but they still combined for 55 points and had the roof ready to come off once Terry’s 30-footer didn’t find the net … OKC finished the first quarter on a 11-1 run, punctuated by the first shot Derek Fisher has hit since he came to the Midwest. And Kendrick Perkins had his aggression all the way ramped up early. Perkins and Dirk Nowitzki (31 points) got into it, and on the first glance, it really did appear like the OKC center had thrown a punch. Too bad he didn’t bring his defense. Dirk lit his ass up off the dribble, and after OKC went up 16, it felt like Nowitzki was pulling three-point plays out of his hair. The reigning Finals MVP had 20 in the first half … Pretty awesome sequence during the first half with Russell Westbrook face-guarding the red-hot Jason Terry all over the court. Between that and Fisher making more shots (four in the first half!) than he has since 2001, the Thunder erupted on a 21-4 run to push the lead to 15 … David West‘s 18 and 11 started it. The rest of the Pacers finished it. We knew this newfound Orlando confidence couldn’t last, and it was a great sign for Indiana when West started going all Deebo on everyone in the first quarter. By the end of the night, it was 93-78 Indiana, and the Pacers had four guys with at least 17 points (West, Danny Granger, George Hill and Paul George) … We love to pick on Big Baby. But you gotta respect what he did last night (18 points, 10 rebounds), especially in the first half. He defended Roy Hibbert with more energy than he’s shown since he helped turned Game 4 of the 2010 Finals into a slobber-fest. The Pacers were up double-digits in the first quarter, but because of the man replacing Dwight Howard, just like what happened in Game 1, Orlando came back to take the lead. He was all over the place in the first half, and actually had a run of 10 consecutive points stretching from the second quarter into the third. During a halftime interview, he was so hyped we were nervous he would hyperventilate. Then he went all Bart Scott on us, hesitating at the end of the interview before adding “THANKS FOR HAVING ME!” It didn’t have quite the same ring to it as “CAN’T WAIT!” but it did have us chuckling. The dude was zoned out. We thought he might eat the reporter … Of course, the Pacers ended the drama from there. They scored on 10 of 11 possessions at the start of the second half, owned the glass during that period by grabbing 12 of the 13 available rebounds, and pushed the lead out to nine with a 19-5 game-deciding run … Ryan Anderson had eight points in the first quarter. He scored three the entire rest of the night … We’re out like “THANKS FOR HAVING ME.”

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