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Smack / Feb 28, 2011 / 7:11 am

STAT & ‘Melo Dominate In Miami; Another 30-20 Game For Kevin Love

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire (photo. King Lawrence)

Mike Tirico said it best: “Is it me, or does this feel like a playoff game?” LeBron and ‘Melo played like it was. And so did Chauncey Billups … Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire playing defense? The last people who would’ve ever believed in that statement would be Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. But in yesterday’s three-point statement-win in Miami, the two Knick stars combined for perhaps the biggest play of the game on the defensive end. In the final minute with the Knicks up one, James (27 points) iso’d against ‘Melo (29 points) only to first find his path to the rim blocked by ‘Melo, and then found his shot blocked by Amar’e (16 points, 10 rebounds). Before that, it was Billups (16 points), you know, the guy no one wanted to acknowledge as a huge piece of the trade, who changed the complexion of the game. With under two minutes to go, Billups scored five straight points, including a three from Fort Lauderdale to put New York up one. Then, he picked up a steal on the next Miami possession, leading to a fast break. No one is acting like he was just a throw-in anymore … In case you aren’t a fan of culture, the Oscars were also on last night. If the NBA had their own version, we wonder what awards LeBron would get for his money-time theatrics? Yesterday surely wasn’t one of his better performances. After the aforementioned block by Stoudemire, James missed a top-of-the-key three that would’ve tied it that incited this tweet from @RealSkipBayless: “At least he hit the rim with that last-second three. That’s improvement.” After a first half where LeBron was putting together SportsCenter highlights, like the left-handed alley-oop he caught just a few minutes into the game, Miami built up a 15-point lead. But New York ended the half on a 16-0 to take the slim lead into the break. From there, Miami just broke down offensively in the second half … Maybe the Thunder got wrapped up in the big trade deadline news. Yesterday’s three-point home loss to the Lakers was their third consecutive one. And while they played much better than they did against Orlando on Friday night, it still wasn’t good enough. The Lakers used a couple of big shots in the final few minutes from Kobe Bryant (17 points) and then survived two great looks from deep in the final 10 seconds from Kevin Durant (21 points) and James Harden … Bryant struggled throughout the game, but did enough to move into seventh place on the all-time scoring charts, passing Elvin Hayes in the fourth quarter. ABC’s Mike Breen posed the question: Will Bryant one day becoming the all-time leading scorer? Jeff Van Gundy thinks he will, or will at least be very close. More importantly, if we have to sit through one more argument that Bryant isn’t clutch (he missed three or four shots late yesterday), we might lose it. Shoot, we might start wildin’ if we have another “clutch” argument at all. The only “clutch” stat that matters isn’t even a stat. It’s having the balls to take the tough shots. And no one has bigger ones than Kobe. Pause. …

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  • http://www.dynastybasketball.net/ sean.dynastybball

    Check out Russell Westbrook’s behind the back move followed by the left handed flush (click my name)

    Nice to see the Knicks get the W over the Heat too!

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Considering Jeff Green an offensive player only works because he will shoot the ball, poorly, so poorly it is offensive…

  • QQ

    I would really like to say that Billups was the one who made the big shots at the end, and he did, but DAMN, Melo proving me wrong (for at least one game) by playing clutch DEFENSE in the end. Melo did a wonderful job on two crucial possesions on Lebron Freaking James, and if he continues to do so, they’ll make some noise in the coming months (just not the instant contenders some fools are suggesting).

    Props to Melo, and props to the Knicks.

  • First & Foremost

    Skip Bayless is the hater of all haters.

    Perkins’ presense will lead to more transition points for Westbrook.

  • LMNOP

    Knicks Heat game should just have been a 3 on 3, they should have played it outdoors with no blood no foul rules. I dont think either of these 2 teams can handle the defence, depth and execution of the Celtics, Bulls or Magic, but they could probably put on one of the most entertaining first round playoff series ever.

  • jdizzle

    About time the Lakers won a game on ABC this season lol.

    I swear there is NO bigger LeBron hater one earth than Skip Bayless! He makes the whole city of Cleveland jealous. I wonder how many new Twitter followers he got after The Decision.

    You know you traded for a huge star when a former Finals MVP is considered a throw-in.

  • bookkwormmaster

    I agree with LMNOP. That was an utterly horrific game from all the role players on BOTH teams. Only the stars seemed to show up and even they were struggling a bit. Very ugly basketball but an entertaining game nonetheless. @QQ You right about Chauncey. He saved the Knicks collective asses while Melo was straight jackin and Amare got froze outta the offense. Quick question. Let’s say the Melo and Stat CAN’T coexist together. Who stays and who goes?

  • IGP

    Bill Walker wasn’t that bad in the clutch. Good to see Shawne Williams hitting his free throws, but really no one else came to play besides Billups, Amare and Melo. Walker played solid defense, and overall wasn’t too bad. He had a couple turnovers but they weren’t really all his fault.

  • First & Foremost

    What will Skip do if Lebron does win a title. “NINE seasons and he ONLY HAS ONE Ring. Do you know how many Bill Russell had after NINE SEASONS”

    “So what if he is the first to ever get a quintuple double, he only did it by padding his stats at the end of the game. He clearly cares about individual stuff more than his team.”

  • OneZero

    allow me to say:

    Chauncey…Bi-Bi-Bi-Bi Billups!!!

  • sh!tfaced

    I nominate LeBron for the Razzie Award Best Actor, Bosh as Best Actress and Wade for Best (Non-)Supporting Actor. Where the hell was he when LeBron was dominating all the choking last night…?

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    Melo playing defense on Lebron isn’t a new thing. That’s not a surprise, at least for me. He usually steps up the defensive intensity when playing LBJ. The problem Melo has on that end of the floor is he gets lazy when guarding lesser players. He needs to get his intensity up for every single game. If he ever gets to that level, NY will be a very dangerous team. I doubt he’ll ever get there though. I hope he proves me wrong.

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    BTW, where was Bosh’s head last night? People are criticizing the supporting guys, but Bosh was not all there yesterday. Fuck the numbers. They’re deceiving. He played like garbage, straight up. Fumbling balls. Staring at defensive rotations, and not even attempting to rotate. Lol. He just watched where he was supposed to go. So pathetic.

  • Martin

    first!

  • darko’s doughnuts

    STAT and MELO STAT and MELO!!!!!!! By the way, Amare has been playing D all year, for those of you who don’t actually watch games and just go by what you hear on Sports Center.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Amare has been playing HELP D all year, all career, just never straight up with his man…bosh plays like a bosh so amar’e wont look bad against him too often, but amar’e as a defensive juggernaut–ha

  • jzsmoove

    The number of posts increase exponentially during weekdays as compared to weekends when more folks should have time to mellow down and chill. Honestly how many in here just visit this site while at work productively slacking?

    The Green and OKC trade was terrible. Is there a way to rescind that?

  • First & Foremost

    Amar’e!’s steller defense ONLY held Kevin Love to a modest 30-30 right?

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    @F and F

    Not his fault the team strategy was to hold him to 20-20 they just slipped up a lil bit.

    Amar’e is a great help defender, mediocre rebounder and mediocre man on man defender. That said his block on Bron was amazing and clutch as hell to. Nice win for the Knicks. As much as I hate “Mr Big shot” as a nickname for him Chauncey earned it with that 3. For one night at least.

    OKC need to hope Ibaka averages 15 a game or else its going to be a long season fro them. As bad as Jeff green was offensively (and he was terrible) he did give them 15 a game. You can’t just replace that so easily. They need to sign/draft an offensive minded big/wing. Or hope Harden can drop 20 a night.

  • money

    Yo Dime! (Or somebody else leaving a comment lol)
    Can someone please explain what exactly happens in a buyout and why parties would want a buyout? Why would a team trade for a certain player only to release him?

    Thanks

  • The Goods

    I don’t know what is better…watching LA finally nut up and win a HUGE road game against a team that will be fierce in the playoffs, or get to see LeBron come up lame again in the clutch. Both suit me just fine.

    I digress because LA did win a big road game in Boston, but OKC is the team in the west that I believe gives the Lakers the most problems (I’ll save the definitive answer on that until they play San Antonio this Sunday).

    It bears repeating that when Andrew Bynum is healthy, active, and engaged in the game he is just a BEAST! – No question that gives the Lakers a true X factor and solidifies their front court depth. Cannot wait to get Barnes back and watch the Lake Show stretch their legs down the closing stretch.

    Neeewwww York! Nnnneeeeeewwwwwww York!!!!! – what a huge win for the Knicks, Billups looks re-energized and as clutch as ever. Melo turned in another solid performance with his partner STAT coming up beastly when it counted the most. So awesome for us fans and the L when the Knicks are a team that matters.

    I’ll close by saying that if Melo ever rounds out his game with consistant rebounding and a mindset for defense like he had last night…look the hell out.

  • First & Foremost

    Money – NBA players outside of detroit want to play basketball. Players at the tail end of their careers want to win a ring before they hang it up. If you get traded to a horrible team or a team that won’t play you, you might as well leave.

    I’m no expert but my take on it is instead of paying a guy to take up space on your bench, you negotiate a price so that he just walks away. If your contract is worth 10M, you might agree to a buyout of 7M so you can go play somewhere else.

    Teams trade for players knowing they will buy them out because the player they gave up they REALLY didn’t want to have due to salary or personality problems or what seemed like a good deed (Jamison to Cavs).

  • Ian

    first
    i dont know k. love gets 20 boards vs every team.

    about the skip hate thing i dont even think he hates bron that is all just crap cuz he made bron the pg of his alltime team to play vs the celts/lakers alltime team. oh and the douche that picked the celts/lakers team said that his teams beats easilyy the rest of the league team i doubt that.

    bron
    jordan
    pippen or dr j
    duncan
    hakeem/admiral/walton

    vs

    magic
    kobe/west
    bird
    russell
    wilt/shaq

    im sorry but i dont see any matchup that the celts/lakers team can win clearly. i give the edge at sg and pf to the league team and call it a wash at the 5. pg i think i rather have bron guarding magic than magic tryin to guard bron. bird is my biggest problem pippen is the best defensive sf ever imo but bird is gonna drop 35 on him.

  • Bruce*Leroy*Green

    Honestly how many in here just visit this site while at work productively slacking?

    ^^^^^
    *Raises hand*

    that was a hell of a game last night. I couldnt believe they called that travel on Lebron when he tried to go off the glass to himself. They usually allow him to change his pivot foot 4 to 5 times before considering blowing the whistle.

    Oh yea, watch out for my mavs.

    *doesn’t get back to work*

  • Duncanrules

    I think Melo has it out for LBJ since mr hype robbed him of a well deserved ROY trophy back in ’04. This game, that in your fucking face ice cold shot he made last season. Heat are very likely going to lose to NY in 7 game series since out of the big 3 matchup NY has a 2 player advantage (Melo owns Bron, and STAT>RuPaul). Better pray Dwade goes bat shit insane with Billups guarding.

  • Duncanrules

    Also I hope the Spurs embarrass Miami in March, just downright humiliate them even more than Boston has.

  • Sporty-j

    Melo only plays defense whenever he guards Lebron. He will be back to slacking as usually. I see why Wades Lazy a$$ does not want Riley to ever coach him again. He plays some of the most laziest defense sometimes. I dont mind Lebron shooting the last shot before half or to close out qrts. But Spoelstra should know that if its the 4th qrt and a game is close. Never give Lebron the last shot! Theres a reason why he always passed up that last shot to whomever since his rookie year and a reason why we won the Finals in 2006 when Wade was taking those shots. Fu#$ worst coach in Heat history. Dude is the worst coach in league history. I mean the Knicks already??? The whole south florida experts where saying not to worry for another 2 yrs lol. I told my friend that right now Boston is the best team in the east and that my Heat are 2nd because our pure talent would be to much for Chicago and Orlando and that the Knicks with this trade will be the 3rd best team in the east by playoffs and might even challenge is for 2nd best. I told him I dont have to wait until 2012 when CP3 joins to see them as a threat as if we have proven we can beat the elite teams in this league and he laughed. You should have seen this cat face last night when we lost. Was not laughing at all…

  • Sporty-j

    (challenge us)

  • First & Foremost

    @ian – With those lineups you have to pick Lebron vs. Magic. Who else would you pick in a game that, that won’t be posted by Magic? Why do people pick Walton for games like this? 13 Icons and them him. That is like naming the great all-time scorers of the NBA and you start with Kevin Martin.

    As for giving Lebron the last shot… Coaches aren’t giving him the last shot they are letting him make the last play. His strength is getting to the line and walk-off free throws are rare in the nba. Game plan in order
    1 – Travel to the basket
    2 – Kickout to a shooter
    3A – Settle for a long fadeaway contested 2
    3B – 28 foot 3 pointer

  • dh

    i was watching the last 6 min knicks heat game last night with my wife (who only tolerates sports for me), and she said “how come every time LeBron has the ball, he just backs up and runs forward?”

    right after that, the heat called time out and drew up a play where LeBron got the ball and backed up and ran forward.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo James

    We got a target on LeBron Bron.
    He’s soft and sweet like a Bon Bon.
    But nothing’s sweet
    in the mecca of the east,
    so you better find a priest
    cause we just signed a beast.

    Hello Melo!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo

  • Ian

    First
    I don’t like walton he’s imo the second most overrated star ever (ewing is 1) but I tried to cover most centers to avoid a how can u pick x center over walton post. Notice I said star cuz I think that they both are but superstars they are not.

  • http://facebook.com/togstadlives Big Freeze

    The Thunder and Celtics trade might be one where both teams become worse after. Bad trade for both teams imo.

    And I’m glad Billups woke everyone up yesterday. Dude’s an All-Star, Olympic gold winner, and a NBA Champion pointguard. BigShot Billups will bring a chip to NY next year.

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    @ dh
    Your wife should be a scout.

  • cavi

    Some of you cats are funny. Lebron can’t stop cp3 and d rose from getting to the basket at will so how could he prevent the greatest pg of all time in magic from getting his. Lebron is great in the open floor but magic was murder in transition and has mastered the one skill that lebron hasn’t which is controlling the pace of a game for 48 minutes, not just the first half

  • Sporty-j

    Yeah but Lebron is not a good closer and it does not take a baseball scout to tell you that they would not have him as there closer in baseball or basketball. Lebron might be the best player in the NBA from minutes 1-45 because hes plays like hes on some type of HGH but if a game is close from minutes 45-48 something happens to Lebron. I dont know what happened to that boy from Chicago who grew up watching Jordan, dreamed of being like Jordan, and was once called the best player on the planet. Its like Wade is just letting Lebron come in and take over his team when hes the 1 that has lead his team to a ship. If Lebron played with Kobe in L.A. they would be saying that its Lebrons team and that hes out playing Kobe but that does not mean you let him take the last shot especially when hes already has the rep for choking in big time games. I would put my faith in Lebron to make the right “PASS” like Magic if the Game is on the line but not the last shot. You can go as far back as Lebron High school carreer when it was his friend that hit the game winning 3 point shot in order for them to win state his freshmen yr. When i saw Lebron pass up game winning shots as a rookie i saw that as a big weakness in his game and knew right away that he was not comfortable taking those kind of shots for a reason and the Jordan comparisons died instantly for me his rookie season especially after i saw his fellow draft mates in Wade and Melo taking those shots and making them. Our idiot coach will learn real soon at the end of this season what happpens when you put your faith in Lebron taking those shots instead of the guy that has won you a ring and is the reason why you still have your job in the first place…

  • money

    Thanks First and Foremost

  • s.bucketz

    im out like the refs EVER calling dwyane wade out of bounds…or JeBron Lames in the clutch

  • s.bucketz

    the refs won that ring for mia in 06..you should b sayin wade made clutch free throws for that “ship”

  • Ian

    cavi
    and we all know how great magic was on the defensive so hes gonna have an easy time guarding someone that not only is faster but also stronger.