LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony

The Miami Heat couldn’t keep losing on their visits to the Big Apple and the New York Knicks aren’t good enough to sustain long winning streaks. A big game from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade got the NBA champions through a team that couldn’t defend from the moment it stepped on the court.

Aside from Kenyon Martin blocking LeBron James on one of his many easy trips into the Knicks’ paint, there was nothing the Knicks were doing to stop the Heat from scoring on drive after drive. In their 106-91 win the Heat scored 48 points in the paint, with James and Wade attempting 19 of their 37 field goals from 10 feet or fewer away from the basket.

James finished the game with an impressive 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals stat line. Dwyane Wade scored 22 points on 10-of-15 from the field while Shane Battier did a surprisingly good job on both offense and defensively, making life very difficult for Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony has been on quite a role lately and the 26 points he scored in the loss might suggest that this was another good game for him while his teammates botched up the job. The truth is slightly different, with Anthony struggling while Battier was guarding him. Shane Battier denied or fronted him on 21 of his 35 touches with Battier guarding him (56 total touches), and out of Anthony’s 8-of-17 from the field two field goals came as despair shots with the shot clock running out. This wasn’t some easy scoring, nice rhythm game for him.

J.R. Smith had a good game with 20 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. continues his good form with 17 points, but without defense and a lot of sloppy passing and overall offensive awareness, it was no surprise the Knicks couldn’t keep up with the Heat in the final quarter, unable to get any kind of stop thanks to actual good defensive work.

Whenever we got real close, they got two or three stops in a row and then they scored on those. We just weren’t able to counter for some reason. They just got a lot of easy baskets.

A lot of talk was made of Anthony tackling LeBron James which led to James hitting the floor and wearing an ice pack on his shoulder later on. The two didn’t try to fuel the heat of the incident, but it was quite clear James wasn’t happy with who Anthony handled the situation, going for the stop like a linebacker trying to tackle a running back.

The Miami heat were happy to put in a complete show. Feelings are still hurting from their 17 point loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and there was more than just their record at stake as they traveled to the Madison Square Garden in what just might be the beginning of the most important stretch of the season.

That was an embarrassing loss on our home floor. We didn’t bring it, and it’s time. Once Super Bowl is over, people actually start following the NBA and that’s a sign for all of us that it’s time to play. It was encouraging to see the Miami Heat activity again. Even if we wouldn’t have won, just to see that aggressiveness.

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