Most would have probably called you crazy if you had predicted that the Knicks would beat the Heat by 20 points at AmericanAirlines Arena, and do so without Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Amar’e Stoudemire and Marcus Camby. However, that is exactly what transpired last night, as the Knicks knocked down 8 three-pointers in the third quarter, and 18 in total, to shock Miami.
Following an embarassing loss like that, most players would go home and let the fresh wounds heal. The 2012 NBA MVP, however, decided to put in some extra work after the game, and when he was finished told the media:
“I’ve got to be better. It’s that simple. So, I’m here and I’m last one to leave.”
“We got work to do. We can’t sweep this under the rug. We got a lot of work to do. New York is a real team, they got some really good players and we understand that.” – LeBron James
While one must always strive to improve, and it is admirable that James is determined to get better, this loss wasn’t really on him. James was one assist shy from a triple-double, posting a 31 point, 10 rebound and 9 assist statline. Wade and Bosh, on the other hand, combined for 25 points on 6-25 shooting from the field.
After the game, Chris Bosh suggested that Miami might need to slow down and try to wear teams down during the course of a game, to which James responded:
“That has nothing to do with us getting smashed tonight. We have to do whatever it takes, we have to play fast, we have to get back and communicate defensively.”
“We haven’t played like we are capable of playing.” – LeBron James
So far Miami has allowed their opponents to shoot 35.1% from 3-point range and rank first in the league in 3OPR (Opponents 3-point Rate), as 29.8% of Miami’s opponents’ field goal attempts end with a 3-point shot.
Wade, James and Bosh were all frustrated with the fact that teams seem to make more 3-point shots against Miami than they do in general, but the perimeter defense has been anything but pretty for the Heat. Erik Spoelstra admitted that the Knicks got too many open looks from 3-point range early on, which allowed them to get hot and eventually burn the Heat.
With back-to-back losses, the Heat are now 12-5 and have given up the top spot in the conference to the Knicks. Miami will look to bounce back on Saturday, when they host the Pelicans… sorry the New Orleans Hornets.
For more NBA news and updates follow Vytis on twitter: @VytisLasaitis