It was never a fair fight. The Miami Heat did have their bad game in New York but in general, this series wasn’t even close. LeBron James was too dominant from the first moment in game 5, and the New York Knicks, with their current roster, don’t have enough to bring to the table against a much superior opponent.
The Heat didn’t run over the Knicks, but all of their wins came in double digits. They were aggressive from the start, and when their big three combine for 67 points while shooting decently from the field and from the line, there’s not much a team like the Knicks, pretty much relying on two players at the moment, can do.
Carmelo Anthony did all he could once again. After struggling through the first three games, things went a bit differently in 4 and 5. He finished with 35 points, shooting 15-31 from the field, adding 8 rebounds. He didn’t have Amare at full capacity. Because of the injury, and because he fouled out, playing only 32 minutes. When you have JR Smith continue his nightmarish series with another 3-15 shooting night, there’s not much you can do.
Especially when the Heat don’t tune out on both ends like they did on Game 4. James was aggressive from the get go, with Spoelstra making great use of big lineups, using LeBron as a point guard. The Heat are probably at their best when they use that kind of lineup.
Chris Bosh was in a combative mood as well, finishing with 19 points and 7 rebounds. James had another ‘almost’ triple double game, scoring 29 points, adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists. He averaged 27.8 points for the series, adding 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.
There was something missing in the Heat’s win in the AAA. Maybe it’s just the crowd giving you a more docile feeling, but there wasn’t a playoff atmosphere to the game. Seemed like a regular season game, with the let’s-get-the-job-done sort of vibe to it. The Knicks weren’t looking like someone who could interfere on the party except for Carmelo, who has really been playing his ass off in the last couple of months.
It’s hard with no point guard. Jeremy Lin wasn’t about to risk his future NBA career by playing on suspectable knees. Baron Davis? I wouldn’t be shocked to hear he retires due to the very long time he’ll be spending off the courts. Mike Bibby can shoot open 3’s no more. JR Smith has nothing to do with the words point guard, despite playing as one through large stretches of the series.
He did average 12.2 points in the series, but he shot 31.6% from the field and 17.9% from beyond the arc. Not that it stopped him from jacking up 15 field goal attempts a night and nearly six three pointers a game. There’s been a lot of talk about the Knicks’ offense and its predictability without Lin. But such lack of discipline shouldn’t have been calmly brushed to the side by Woodson, waiting to get that interim tag off of his chest.
Miami didn’t need to grind out wins. Their only loss was by only two points, with one clutch play gone bad from the game going into overtime. Spoelstra has his 8-man rotation, and he has LeBron James, who continues to prove night in and night out why he’s the best overall talent in the league. No one can do the things he does with the ball. As long as he keeps the agressive button on ‘On’ on both ends of the floor, the Heat are very very tough to beat.
But the Pacers are a bit of a different story. Yes, the Heat did win the regular season series (3-1), but the Pacers come in to this series very confident. They’re a much more physical team than the Knicks, much more disciplined offensively and with a bit more variety to their game. It’d still be a huge shock if they win more than two games in my opinion, but this won’t be as easy.