Congratulations, New York. Your Knicks just set the NBA record with 13 consecutive playoff losses. Forget a championship. New Yorkers just want one playoff W before they die. Even with that one, it could be a while. Miami played possum through three quarters before exploding in the final 12 minutes and walked away with a 3-0 lead after a 87-70 win. In a weird way, LeBron James‘ foul trouble came back to help him. He stayed fresh. While everyone else was busy throwing body shot after body shot as if this was Fight Night Round 4, James (32 points, eight turnovers) spent heavy portions of the game on the pine, and then came back in the fourth quarter with eight consecutive quick points to give Miami their first cushion of the game. He did all of this without his beard (still funny to look at) and with the New York crowd chanting “asshole” at him for most of the game … But the Knicks can only slap themselves for not winning. They had their chances in the first half to open up a nice lead, and with guys like Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis at times popping facial blood vessels with how hard they were screaming, the intensity was there. But the execution wasn’t. The Heat closed the half with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to four. We all knew then that Josh Harrellson‘s boys were in trouble … J.R. Smith (5-for-18, 12 points) did a whole lot of un-J.R. Smith things last night (defense, intensity) while also finding time to put in the portion of the menu that we are so used to seeing with him: a NASTY dunk. Smith went baseline in the fourth, double pumped in the air, and finished with a reverse/360/one handed rip … Are we just going to ignore the fact that Shane Battier has gone from “the no-stats MVP” to just another sucky player to the guy who played out-of-nowhere really good D on Carmelo Anthony (7-for-23, 22 points) last night? Yes, the dude could one day run for president, but it’s alright to say the 33-year-old’s defense fell off like Bapes. In the first half last night, we kept clamoring for Miami to double ‘Melo. At the very least, Erik Spoelstra should’ve recognized he can’t check Anthony with one player who is nearly as old as he is. Battier used to be the Kobe Stopper. Now he’s just another average-shooting guy with a bad mat on his head. For example, in the second quarter, Baron Davis took a ride on his Hot Tub Time Machine (Hello Reggie!) and crossed up Battier’s legs before finishing over him in the lane. But give Battier credit for sticking with it and continuously harassing the Knick star all night long, at every turn. Impressive … Later, when it really counted, Davis couldn’t find his throwback again, missing a wide open triple before Mario Chalmers made one on the other end for a six point swing. Chalmers added another one after the timeout just to drive the stake in a little further. All the New York City crowd could do was meekly go out with another weak chant … Speaking of Chalmers (19 points), he got into it again with James last night. On a fast break with LeBron, Chalmers stopped running, and after James turned it over because he thought his point guard would be in the corner, expletives started flying. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it wasn’t even the last time in this game. Stay tuned on this one. There’s some serious Kobe/Smush potential here for down the road … Keep reading to hear about the old guys from the Big D …
Smack / May 4, 2012 / 12:29 am
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