I didn’t get to see much of game 1, because I had to work on some stuff around the house. Just watched the game out of the corner of my eye. Things were looking good in the first quarter and into the second quarter. I had to leave to take care of something and when I came back, we were down over 20 points in the third quarter. I was shocked. But looking back on it, I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked.
Chandler was playing with the flu. He was dizzy the whole time and wasn’t vocal at all during the game. The players depend on Chandler to direct them defensively on the court. Also, there were terrible calls that sucked all the energy out of the Knicks. But give the Heat credit. They came out with an excellent game plan and executed it to perfection. I don’t think we had a game plan, because Chandler wasn’t part of any of the practices, etc. to prepare for Game 1. I think we were totally lost out there. We played our worst. They played their best. So a blowout was expected.
I’m not sure if Miami just flipped some switch, because it’s the playoffs. Because they looked like a very different team from the one after the All Star Break. If that’s the case, then that’s really scary for Knicks fans. I always felt Miami was the only team in the East that the Knicks wouldn’t want to face in the playoffs (see my previous posts), but this is a lot more than what I bargained for.
I wouldn’t mind this blowout at all, but what is really devastating is that Shumpert tore his ACL. Without our best on-ball defender the Knicks may have to make some drastic changes in order to have a chance at winning the series.
Here’s a crazy thought: if we can’t beat them on the defensive end, why not beat the offensively. I’ve been saying the whole time that Stat should start, but it might be a good idea to bring Stat off the bench to give Melo more room to work offensively and make him tougher for Miami to guard. Also, by bringing Stat off the bench, we can take advantage of their weak bench and have Stat do what he does best. This is going to sound crazy, but what about starting Novak in Stat’s place? This way, Melo can have a good second or third option and Novak and also draw defenders out to give Melo more room to work offensively. I know Novak is a defensive liability and with Stat on the bench, we might not have any answers for Bosh defensively. So that’s a huge risk. I just thought we might as well try something totally different and see how it works. We couldn’t beat them defensively, so we might as well beat them offensively.
Without Shump and with a weak Chandler, I am no longer confident that the Knicks can beat the Heat. But I am curious to see what happens tonight. I really have no idea. Whatever happens wouldn’t surprise me.
Also, now there’s talk of Lin returning if we push the series beyond four games or something. That actually doesn’t surprise me. I thought all along that he would return in the first round (see at my previous posts). A lot of people are worried that he may be returning too soon. As much as I know Lin loves to compete, I also trust him to be smart enough to not return unless he’s 100 percent certain he won’t re-injure it again. His litmus test is if he can play and not think about his knee, then he knows he’s ready to go. This is a good attitude. The only reason I think he might rush it is that with Shump being out and Davis still having all sorts of ailments, I think he might be more motivated to come back and help his teammates and Woodson and the Knicks might push him to come back sooner than he should. We’ll see. I don’t trusk Knicks management, but I do trust Lin to do what’s right.