If anything, the win was a symbolic one. Whether it be the fans chanting New York Knicks or booing Lebron James on his home floor, this one screamed symbolism.
It was Amare Stoudemire slapping away James potential game tying layup in the final seconds that carried the most weight. Right there, on a floor that bore The Kings colors, Amare delivered a concrete message.
It was – you had your chance. Now get out of town. Only problem was, James had nowhere to go.
The irony, almost hysterically so, was that the Knicks didn’t play all that well. The contrast between this and the last win at the Garden was staggering.
In fact, aside from two big runs, they were woefully outplayed. Sometimes two runs are all that’s needed.
Especially if they come at the right time.
This was the case at the end of the first half when the Knicks took the unlikeliest of one point leads thanks to a 16-0 charge. Earlier in the half, the Knicks found themselves down 15 points.
Then, after a third quarter in which Carmelo Anthony scored 9 of only thirteen New York tallies, the clutch crew came alive again. A 13-2 run that included the Stoudemire block and the Lebron James Miami boo-fest closed off a win that was nothing if not improbable.
Here are five more things from Sunday’s 91-86 win over Miami.
1. Chauncey Billups- If ever a storyline could be underrated and overstated (literally) at the same time, it’s the Billups acquisition. How many times during a Knick telecast do you hear this….
“You know, Carmelo Anthony is the big name, but Billups could prove to be just a valuable.”
I think it’s Kelly Tripuka’s favorite talking point. But it’s so true.
Chauncey had 16 points on Sunday night and hit a huge three pointer with 1:01 left to put the Knicks on top. He’s always been known as a player who can make big shots and this was no different.
His experience and basketball IQ is already on display, and to think he hasn’t been in the system one week.
You know, as much as people talk about Carmelo, I think the contributions of Billups will be just as important.
2. Defense-375 words into this bad boy and we have yet to mention that the Knicks held the Heat to 86 points on their home floor. While no one is ever going to accuse the Knicks of being defensively stout, it’s nice to see they can make big stops at big moments against big competition on the road.
Interesting note: listening to Mike D’Antoni’s presser, it seemed like some of the new guys had a “hey, we should probably play some defense” moment and, if for nothing but peer pressure from the cool new kids, the rest of the team joined in.
Hey, whatever works.
3. A poor shooting percentage- This is why the Knicks needed two big runs to win.
39% from the field. 27 % from behind the arc (8-30!)
Two ways to put a positive spin on this, and we will for the purposes of a victory recap.
One, we now know that the Knicks can win even while being awful from three point land. This was a legitimate concern for most of the season.
Two, the low percentage could be a product of everyone getting used to each other, not being in the correct spots all the time, things like that…remember, you have to look at this as a 27 game season and it’s only the third game.
4. Anthony Carter- He was getting killed on Twitter tonight and rightfully so. Carter doesn’t seem like a guy that D’Antoni would play. He’s ancient and, to me, looks a little out of shape. This space hasn’t been kind to Toney Douglas this year, but Anthony Carter is not the answer.
5. Rebounding-Knicks won the rebounding battle 43-42. They only got eight offensive boards, but limited Miami’s second chances on the other end.
It evens out.
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