LeBron James scored 32 points to lead the Heat and Carmelo Anthony scored 22 to lead the Knicks. (Barton Silverman/The New York Times)
Last night during the Knicks vs Heat game, we witnessed a New York team become deflated in the 2nd half. Miami Heat took a commanding 3-0 lead in the series and shot all hopes for a win by the Knicks, out the window.
The Knicks went into halftime with a 4 point lead, but they finished the half sluggish after having an 11 point lead and allowing Miami to go on a run. Coming back into the second half, it was obvious that Carmelo Anthony was tired. He just wasn’t operating the same int he 4th as he had been all game. LeBron got in foul trouble and had to sit out much of the 3rd, so he came back with fresh legs and rest on his side.
Watching the Knicks play, you see glimmers of hope that they might be able to pull out a win and then defeat happens. They just don’t have enough to beat stronger teams like the Heat. As good as Carmelo has been lately, he can’t do it by himself.
Then you have to address the Amar’e Stoudemire issue. Not only did he selfishly punch through glass and take himself out of the playoffs, this team has performed better with him on the bench. There is no doubt in my mind that if he wasn’t owed $60 million dollars that he would be on the trading block going into next season.
It also doesn’t help that the Knicks lost Iman Shumpert in Game 1 of this series. He had been performing at such a high level and elevating this team to a level they lacked since losing Jeremy Lin.
Going into this series, I’m pretty sure that no one was giving the Knicks a shot at winning and it’s easy to see why. They don’t have enough fire power, nor a big enough leader in Carmelo Anthony. As great of a player that he has been, he just isn’t on the same playing field as a LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Dwyane Wade. You have to be someone that is willing to lead your team and rev them up when things aren’t going the right way. I’ve yet to see him do that in his career. Carmelo is a player that goes out and plays his game and hopes that everyone around him is able to adjust. I never thought him and Amar’e would be a good fit together for the Knicks. There has always been an excuse as to why Carmelo hasn’t been ‘that guy,’ but what is really left. We’ve blamed the lack of talent in Denver and his head coach in New York, D’Antoni. There is no one or nothing else to blame for Carmelo.
At the end of the day, this Knicks current team just isn’t enough. I don’t see them going past the first round of the playoffs ever until certain changes are made. Maybe the Knicks organization will have to blow up this team to make it happen. I don’t see someone like Phil Jackson coming to coach this team and I believe Mike Woodson has done a good job thus far. Some say that the Knicks can only go as far as Carmelo Anthony takes them and I’m not so sure that’s true. Well, if it is true, then that means we have seen the highest point that the Knicks can go. Things have to change in New York and you can only hope that they make the proper adjustments going into the 2012-13 season.