Check out the Knicks player grades from a 89-87 win over the Miami Heat:
After combining for 41 points in the first two games, Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points in today’s game alone. As expected, he’s been the main defensive assignment for the Heat throughout the series, but they couldn’t contain his heart and his pride today. “He didn’t want to go home” is how Mike Woodson described Carmelo’s unstoppable play today- and he’s not. Leading the Knicks to their first playoff win in 13 games (back to 2001), Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks will head to South Beach for Game 5 on Wednesday. Aside from missing 2 out of 3 crucial free throws down the stretch, Anthony made big time shots to seal the game. He finished the game with 41 points (15-29), 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
All seems to be forgiven for now as Amar’e Stoudemire came back to make a statement today. Not being able to dribble or catch with his left hand, he still impacted this game in a big way. After getting off to a great start, his 3rd foul would keep him sidelined through the second quarter- but he wasn’t done. He aided the Knicks in their comeback scoring 20 points (8-13) and pulling down 10 boards on the game. He also hit one very big free throw during crunch time, and though he also missed one- we’ll give him a free pass, just this once. It seems like for now, he has won New York back- but I’d love to see him keep up the effort in Game 5.
The DPOY came up big today, but his foul trouble came back to haunt him when he fouled out on a LeBron James layup late in the 4th. There’s no question his defensive presence, heart, and passion fuels this Knick team- but he also needs to learn to take the foul and avoid a technical, especially in the playoffs. He was silent offensively scoring just 1 point on 2 shot attempts, but was able to pull down 9 rebounds. Overall, he’s back and headed to Miami to take it “one game at a time”.
J.R’s shooting struggles were magnified today as he shot just 3-15 from the floor and 1-8 from downtown for 7 points. He notably missed a couple of wide open 3′s late in the fourth that could’ve opened up the game- but let’s focus on what he did contribute to this win. We can’t question his hustle and his tenacious defense that contained LeBron James (9-21 FGM-A) and Dwyane Wade (9-18 FGM-A), to an extent. Smith pulled down 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists in the 89-87 win over the Heat.
When a guy goes down, another one has to step up- and in this case it was Mike Bibby. He’s come up big recently as Davis as been forced to play limited minutes, and he had to do it again when Baron Davis suffered a dislocated right patella midway through the third. He may of scored just 6 points, but his most important one, a corner 3, came at a time of pressure and more importantly, a time of need. He played solid down the stretch, showing his Veteran capabilities versus his former team- pulling down 5 boards and dishing out 2 assists.