On a night where everybody walked out of Madison Square Garden talking about Danilo Gallinari, the Dime crew had perfect seats for the show. A few rows behind our spot on press row was a fan who was screaming out rooster calls whenever Gallo was at the free-throw line, and right beside us was an Italian journalist who didn’t even pretend to be objective while rooting for The Rooster: He scoffed when the crowd chanted “MVP” for Amar’e Stoudemire — apparently still banking on Andrea Bargnani making a late push — and when Gallinari knocked down some huge clutch shots in the fourth quarter to help New York upset the Miami Heat, dude’s reaction sounded like something you’d hear in a Peter North movie … Trailing by nine going into the fourth quarter, the Knicks cut the lead to two midway through on a driving lefty layup by Gallinari (20 pts), then took the lead when #8 banged a three. LeBron powered his way to the rim to put Miami up by one with 1:30 on the clock, but Gallo responded with another go-ahead trey, then Landry Fields added a triple to seemingly nail down the coffin. Or not. LeBron (24 pts, 11 rebs, 5 asts) made back-to-back layups where he basically ran through the defense at will, but then down by three in the final seconds, LeBron passed up a shot on the baseline to kick it to a wide open Mario Chalmers in the corner, whose brick essentially ended it. That must have been a Donyell Marshall flashback for LeBron … The Heat wasted a monster effort from Dwyane Wade, who finished with 34 points and 16 boards while playing in tinted goggles to help deal with his migraines. In the third quarter he ripped off a personal 14-0 run, but scored just one more point the rest of the way and didn’t have a field goal in the fourth. Asked how the Knicks defended Wade down the stretch, Mike D’Antoni said, “He missed a few. He’s human. It’s nothing we did.” … If we know that LeBron is motivated by getting booed, maybe Wade is motivated by not getting booed. Think about it: If MSG fans were laying into LeBron last night because he didn’t sign with their team last summer, what does it mean when they don’t bother booing D-Wade? Wasn’t he a free agent who snubbed New York, too? … It wasn’t as much of a problem that LeBron (7-24 FG) couldn’t hit the side of B.J. Raji with his jump shot — multiple times he didn’t even draw rim — it was more that Miami’s offensive flow died almost every time LBJ got the ball. He was playing out of position at power forward most of the night to replace Chris Bosh (ankle), but that’s why he needs to refine his post game …Read More>>
Smack / Jan 28, 2011 / 3:28 am
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