After missing seven games in which the Miami Heat greatly struggled, Dwyane Wade had a triumphant return to join Chris Bosh in their 86-79 win over the sad New York Knicks, playing with Carmelo Anthony again but looking terrible nonetheless.
Wade, who in his absence the Heat went 3-4 including two 17 points losses at home to Western conference teams, scored 27 points to lead Miami, backed up by Chris Bosh with 20 points and 9 rebounds. The Heat shot only 41.7% from the field, including an awful 2-of-11 from the field for Luol Deng, but their defense did an excellent job on anyone not named Carmelo Anthony, which hasn’t been very difficult for teams playing the Knicks this season.
The Knicks fell to 4-14, which luckily for them is still better than the product the Philadelphia 76ers are putting on for show. They returned home after a failed road trip in which they lost three games and got back Anthony in the lineup, but aside from him (31 points on 11-of-26 from the field) and Amare Stoudemire (19 points, 12 rebounds off the bench) the Knicks looked just like the worst team in the NBA, looking confused and almost impotent on offense in that confusing triangle offense.
The low quality players and the experiments by the rookie head coach and his basketball operations overlord aren’t yielding any impressive results. The Knicks are off to the second worst start in franchise history through the first 18 games, with only their 3-15 from the 1960-1961 season being any worse. One might say it’s because they rely completely on Carmelo Anthony. Without him they’re scoring 17.2 points less per 48 minutes, losing by 13.8 points and shooting 29.6% from the outside, compared to losing by just 1.3 points with him and 41% with him.
At this point I think we just got to look ourselves in the mirror and see if we’re putting forth the effort that we need to win. We got to take it upon ourselves to see if we’re getting ourselves prepared for the game or having the right mentality to play a game at a high level. If I can go, I can go. That was my mindset. If I feel like I can play, I am going to give it a shot.
Dwyane Wade said after the game that he allows himself to be selfish come the fourth quarter, despite feeling very tired after being absent for more than two weeks. He scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth, keeping the Heat ahead by just about enough. They didn’t trail for a single second in the game after scoring the first four points, managing to hang on despite such poor shooting. Mario Chalmers, back on the bench, scored only 3 points, as if the reduced role hurt his confidence directly.
The Heat aren’t going to win a championship, but as long as Bosh and Wade stay healthy, they’re going to do well in the East which keeps looking weaker and weaker by the minute. Things for the Knicks aren’t so optimistic, getting a combined 12 points from their shooting guard trio, something Derek Fisher is very worried about, knowing that without their upgraded contribution there are going to be very few happy moments this season.