In a decisive thrashing of LeBron James and the Miami Heat Thursday night, the New York Knicks certainly didn't seem to miss Carmelo Anthony. With brilliant ball movement and deadly perimeter shooting, the Knicks handily dispatched the Heat on their home floor, dropping the defending champs by a score of 112-92.
The loss was the worst home defeat for the Heat since James took his talents to South Beach.
Raymond Felton led the Knicks in place of Anthony, who sat out with a lacerated finger. The Knicks guard scored an impressive 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including 6-of-10 from three-point range.
James was spectacular again for the Heat, but like his triple-double against the Washington Wizards, LeBron's phenomenal performance was wasted in a loss.
The blowout win assured that the Knicks would retain the best record in the Eastern Conference at 14-4. The Heat, losers of two in a row for the first time this year, fell to 12-5.
If ever there were doubts about New York's legitimacy as a title contender, this dominant display should put them to rest.
For the Heat, who outwardly shrugged off a shocking loss to the lowly Wizards in their last game, there are now very real questions about their makeup, effort and strategic decisions.
The league is sure to be buzzing about this one, so let's get things started by grading the individual performances in this marquee matchup.