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Heat unable to withstand scoring barrage, lose to Knicks 114-103

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After an incredibly tight first half, the Knicks proved to be too much for Miami down the stretch. 

NBA: New York Knicks at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Heat leading for various stretches, they were unable to withstand the Knicks second half scoring barrage, but not for lack of trying. See how it went down here:

It was Ellington getting things started for Miami early on as he drew first blood with a three. With that being said, Miami really struggled offensively to start (not that New York was much better). Fortunately as the quarter progressed, the Heat grew more comfortable and the scoring followed.

Goran Dragic was very solid in the first quarter as he sparked offense for his teammates and hit some beautiful shots of his own.

Miami’s defense in the first quarter was iffy at best. Though they managed to block a few shots, the Heat allowed New York to score consistently in the paint which is uncommon with Whiteside in the lineup. These easy buckets allowed New York to take an early lead, but Miami didn’t let up as they scored well in transition, and fed Whiteside in the post.

There were nine lead changes in the first quarter, and the Heat would end it down by only one. Miami is lacking so many players due to injury, that it’s surprising that the new lineups work as well as they do. With that being said, though they get the job done it’s not always pretty. This was incredibly visible in the first quarter.

Miami came out firing in the second with a Dragic alley oop to Willie Reed and an Ellington pick six steal right after. It was revealed early in the second quarter that Derrick Rose had left the bench to go back to the locker room, he would however return.

The Heat were aggressive as they attacked the basket often, which translated into an 9-3 scoring run and many made free throws.

Though the Heat had a successful scoring run, they didn’t actually score all that often. Their run can largely be attributed to their stellar defense on the other end.

Miami’s offense nearly consisted solely of Hassan Whiteside doing work in the paint. His footwork was phenomenal and he made short work of Knick’s defenders. On the other end, it was Joakim Noah and Carmelo Anthony sparking a 10-3 Knicks run. The half would end with Miami up only one despite leading by nine at multiple times.

Miami opened the second half with Whiteside dishing a no look pass (yes, you read that right) to Dragic. The Knicks looked a lot better, and were aggressive to start converting on most of their shot attempts.

Fortunately Miami was able to keep it close with Dragic scoring well and Whiteside facilitating. It’s worth noting that McRoberts has been fairly solid during Miami’s injury woes. He might not have had much value entering the season, but he’s developing some as of late.

Miami’s defense once again suffered as they elected to double team Carmelo Anthony, who easily found open players on the wing. Miami bit into Melo’s one on one play and suffered because of it as the Knicks continued to build a solid lead.

Whiteside would combat the Knicks’ run, scoring seven straight points of his own, but it was still Carmelo Anthony torching Miami on the other end. The Knicks would outscore Miami 31-23 in the quarter leaving the Heat trailing by seven entering the fourth.

The Heat entered a shooting drought to start the fourth, while Carmelo and the Knicks continued their solid play from the third quarter.

Goran Dragic did everything he possibly could to keep Miami in the game, and other Heat players stepped up as well, but the Knicks were just too much on the other end.

Despite a few decent stretches, Miami couldn’t get back in the game and head into a new road trip off a loss and without much of their roster.

Game Notes:

  • I didn’t expect Miami to win this one, given how many players are missing from the rotation due to injury. However, they’ll have to get a handle on things headed into the road trip.
  • Goran Dragic can’t do it all, but not for lack of trying. He’s been spectacular as of late.
  • Derrick Williams was playing exceptionally well, but foul trouble glued him to the bench. With Miami’s need for scoring, he should have been put back in.
  • Hassan Whiteside is constantly improving. He was great tonight.
  • This Heat team has been incredibly competitive given how many players are hurt, it would be great to see what they’re capable of when healthy.