Amare Stoudemire hasn’t been having a dream season, and it seems his postseason came to a quick end as he injured himself after the game 2 loss against the Miami Heat. The Knicks’ forward punched through the glass holding the fire extinguisher, which should keep him out of the next game at least.
Typical? Nothing typical about such an implosion. Stoudemire has been having a frustrating year, in which his importance to the team on his second season has been diminished. He finished with 18 points while taking only 9 shots, while Carmelo Anthony, much improved compared to game 1, took 26 field goal attempts, finishing with 30 points.
The Miami Heat were prepared for a much more aggressive and fired up New York Knicks team. They never did breakaway like in the first game, but the Big Three combined for 65. They turned over the ball only 8 times during the game, shot 52.5% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc, while three more players – Chalmers, Miller and Battier, finished in double figures.
Dwyane Wade, who led the scoring for the Heat, did come up with the douchebag move of the night and probably the playoffs so far. Mike Bibby lost his shoe after Wade stepped on it, and Wade tossed it aside as Bibby was bending down to pick it up.
Game 1 was an anomaly. The Pacers knew that, but things didn’t go so smoothly during the first half of their 93-78 win. The Orlando Magic, without their best player, kept out rebounding the Pacers who lacked on simple thing – toughness. It all changed in the third quarter, as Indiana won it 30-13 and never looked back.
Orlando, without Howard, rely solely on their ability to hit the long ball. Shooting 8-25 isn’t terrible, but it’s not good enough to win when that’s your only weapon. Even if the Pacers shot an ugly 2-20 from beyond the arc. They dominated the paint with Roy Hibbert (struggling offensively with 4 points) grabbing 13 rebounds and David West adding 11.
It was also about finally getting the right guys involved offensively, as David West, Danny Granger, Paul George and George Hill scored at least 17 points each. For Orlando, with a terrible 35.5% from the field, there was simply no firepower and no jump shot to fall back upon.
Dallas kept doing the right things, but just couldn’t get the good bounce to pull them through. That’s how Dirk Nowitzki looked at things after missing a potential game tying shot. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in scoring again, finishing with 29 points while Kevin Durant finished with a 26-10 double double.
More importantly, Durant’s two free throws put the Thunder over the Mavs with 50 second left in the game, 98-97. James Harden went four more times to the line and converted. The Thunder again talked before and after about toughness, but it seems the Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka take it too far from time to time.
There’s bad blood between the two teams, obviously, meeting in a postseason series for a second straight year, with a reversal in roles. Perkins bad moments come when he guards Nowitzki, at one point actually trying to hit him. The officials have been lenient in general with the Thunder so far in this series.
Stat of the Night
Jason Kidd, who finished with 10 points, six rebounds and 7 assists became just the fifth player in NBA history to record 1000 points, assists and rebounds in the postseason. The others? Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
3 Players, 3 Games
Knicks (94) – Heat (101) – LeBron James with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Heat lead series 2-0.
Magic (78) – Pacers (93) – David West with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Series tied at 1-1.
Mavericks (99) – Thunder (102) – Russell Westbrook with 29 points. Thunder lead series 2-0.
Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks (7:30 ET). Hawks lead series 1-0.
Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls (8 ET). Bulls lead series 1-0.
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 ET). Lakers lead series 1-0.