2012 NBA Playoffs: Why the Heat Want to Face the Knicks in the First Round

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks lays the ball up against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on April 15, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Miami heated up early and then somewhere in the second and third quarters, they lost their mojo, just as Carmelo Anthony found his. Finishing with 42 points on the afternoon, Anthony was the most solid offense his team had to offer.

For a while, he was the only offense the team had to offer. The camera panned to the sidelines where Mike Woodson was giving his players a speech that included phrases like “don’t settle for the jumpers” and “get to the rack.” It seems as if they didn’t hear him all too well because they executed the exact opposite.

The Knicks shot 3-of-9 in three pointers in the fourth quarter and only took 14 attempts in the entire quarter collectively.

Needless to say, it wasn’t the Knicks' best look since Coach Woodson took over. It wasn’t the game he wanted from his men, but it is oddly reminiscent of something we have already seen from the MSG squad.

‘Melo tried to carry the Empire State building on his shoulders, but he wasn’t enough. He wasn’t enough tonight and he wasn’t enough in last year’s playoffs in the first round against the Boston Celtics. The Heat can survive with him making his shots, because his offense is virtually “unguardable.”

Anthony can walk away with his 40-plus-point game, Miami will happily take the win and if they meet up with the Knicks again, possibly in the first round, it won’t be as pretty for the king of New York.

Miami looked shaky, defensively, against the Knicks early on. However, it’s never how you start and always about how you finish.

The Heat may have not impressed through and through, but they allowed fans to remember that they still have everything it takes to win a championship this year. Funny thing is, they were not at their best.

The Knicks were.

What the audience has to remember about the Knicks is that the franchise and their fans feel that when Carmelo is going off the way that he was in this Sunday afternoon contest, they are at their best.

They are almost infallible in their warped sense of conscience. What is forgotten is that against a team like Miami, or even the Boston Celtics, without Amare Stoudemire’s size and ability to contribute offense, they don’t have a chance down the stretch.

The Knicks counted on Miami’s lacking perimeter defense to keep them afloat, but they shot themselves right into a loss. They ate by the three and died by the three in this game.

The Heat’s defense may have been lackluster in the beginning, but once those defensive rotations were set and solid, the Knicks struggled more than they thrived. The saying goes that defense wins championships, and that was proven this afternoon.

The Miami Heat and the New York Knicks might not be battling in the postseason (yet); however, they put on a show that optimized exactly what that motto means. Miami gave ‘Melo his 40.

New York gave LeBron a win.

Fair enough?