Things I'm watching for:
1) How we continue to guard Melo?
- On Saturday Bron and Shane did a tremendous job shutting down Melo by fronting him. They refused to let him catch the ball, and when he did made his life hell and forced into very difficult shots. That all resulted in Melo shooting 3/15 for 11 points. To be sure, we won't see another anemic performance from him. I expect to try to get himself shots early and often in this game. How will the Heat respond? They know that the Knicks will be gameplanning for the fronting, do we continue with that, or do we come up with a new strategy? I would love to see if LBJ can match him one-on-one straight up, or do we go zone and have 2 guys converge on him. The chess match will be interesting to watch.
2) How is Tyson Chandler feeling?
- Chandler is suffering from the flu, and he absolutely showed it Saturday. The guy that demonized us in the Finals last year, looked like a zombie on the court, putting up a paltry 0 points, 3 rebounds, and 7 turnovers in only 21 minutes. Reports are he is feeling better, but still not 100%. I offer this from Howard Beck of the NY Times:
Tyson said his fever is gone and he's improving, but still not 100%. Frankly, he looked and sounded drained
3) Will the bench show up again tonight?
- Game 1 the bench dropped in 26 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 trey's. Do they put up similar numbers? A popular term normally reserved for Biology class has been floating around the Heat locker room the last few years. The term, Symbiotic Relationship, signifies a mutual benefit for both parties involved. The attackers and shooters thrived off each other in Game 1, a trend we need to see continue in Game 2. The shooters allow room for the attackers to drive the paint by spreading out the defense, and the attackers help the shooters by drawing in the defense for wide open shots. The relationship hinges on the shooters' ability to make their open shots which they were able to do last game, can they continue that trend?
4) What is LBJ gonna do tonight?
- He played like we have all come to expect from him in Game 1, dropping 32 points (10/14 FG, 11/14 FT), 4 rebs, 3 asts, 4 steals. And not to mention the OUTSTANDING shutdown defense of Melo I spoke of earlier. The offense is nice of course, but i love the defense even more. We gotta see more of that and turn Melo into a spectator once again.
Knicks fans are a sad and miserable bunch, let's add to their misery. The AAA is gonna be rocking yet again tonight, and the team is gonna be fired up against their long hated rivals. The Knicks have no shot against the HEAT!!!
Game 2 TONIGHT, ARE YOU READY?!?!
...wanted to write up a little more, but i'm pressed for time...i'll try to check in for the live thread tonight