Without Carmelo Anthony, most people thought the Miami Heat would cruise to victory against a hapless New York Knicks squad.
While the Heat's former rivals put up a good fight thanks to a barrage from beyond the arc, it was the Big Three who put on a show on South Beach.
All night long, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade got into the paint and threw it down with extreme prejudice, and it was that lack of an interior defense that led to the Knicks' demise.
Even with the acquisition of Tyson Chandler in the offseason, it shouldn't be a surprise that this team is struggling on defense, seeing as Mike D'Antoni doesn't coach it and most of his players can't execute it.
Chandler isn't a miracle worker, and it won't cure Amar'e Stoudemire of his tendency to avoid the painted area.
The Heat withstood 18 New York three-pointers and kept plugging as the Knicks regressed to the mean. New York failed to attack Miami where it's the softest, and instead settled for outside shots, chucking up an absurd 43 shots from beyond the arc.
Erik Spoelstra kept his team focused and attacking the soft underbelly of the Knicks, and Miami ended up settling to a rather comfortable 99-88 win. This was a game that the Heat needed to win, and just shows how poorly constructed the Knicks are.
Anthony wouldn't have fixed things in this game, and the longer this group plays together, the more evident it is that this super team was flawed from the start.
The Heat are playing for a championship and the Knicks are fighting for a bottom-tier playoff spot, no matter what anyone in Madison Square Garden may tell you.