Hyperbole. 98% of sportswriters will be guilty of it at least once in their career. I know I have been and will, as one of my next statements may indicate, be guilty of it in the future. Why is this the case? I think it’s a subconscious desire for everything we do/cover/write about to be monumental, or important it some sense. It stems from the old theory that sportswriters really wish they were playing and never dealt with athletic failure, yada, yada yada.
So excuse me as I write this next sentence- Thursday nights win over the Heat was the biggest regular season win of the year, maybe even longer. It wasn’t just because of the win; it’s the way it happened.
Even though Chris Bosh was on the bench, the Knicks performance was impressive enough to come home from The Worlds Most Famous… in awe of the home team.
The Knicks didn’t just beat the Heat last night- that’s reason enough to celebrate- they dominated the Heat last night. Just when it looked like Miami was starting to control the pace of play, New York took it over. The fourth quarter was all about disrupting the transition game.
Mike D’Antoni and company realized that the Knicks weren’t going to beat the Heat at there own game. New York was going to have to change things up by limiting points in the paint and keep the Heat offense behind them, not in front. They truly adapted to this style better then anyone could have hoped.
Holding the Heat to 88 points while Dwayne Wade shoots lights out is impressive enough, but holding them to 40 points in the paint, thus forcing them to take outside shots was equally so. The Heat also had only 18 points coming off fast breaks. For an offense that thrives off creating turnovers to force the break, that’s a good number. Also, the Knicks forced 17 turnovers. That’ll win you a lot of games.
Stat of the night: Lebron James – 24 points ON 7-24 shooting. So much for the whole “Lebron is always awesome in MSG” theory.
Offensively, the Knicks weren’t half bad, either. Landry Fields had his best game in a while. 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. I guess he forgot he’s on the trading block (for Carmelo, and only Carmelo…don’t worry) for one night. Landry was also 4-4 from the line and hit a huge three pointer late in the game.
Talk about three pointers and you have to mention Danilo Gallinari. He hit his biggest shot since returning from the injury, another three late in the fourth, on his way to 20 points.
The reason why Thursday was such a big win was because it was a team win. On a night where Amar’e Stoudemire was named the first Knick All-Star starter since Ewing in 92, he wasn’t the story. Although STAT put up a solid numbers, it was what the others around him did that won the Knicks the game.
This is how the Knicks won in December. This is how they’ll have to win in May.
Good idea to start now.
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1