Truth be told, Tyson Chandler didn't even want to play Friday night.
Chandler had spent the previous few days seeing and hearing the nightmare tales of New Yorkers in disarray in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and his thoughts strayed from the game.
"There's so many emotions," Chandler said. "The last thing you want to do is play basketball, to be honest with you."
Even a few hours before tipoff of Heat-Knicks, Chandler and some of his teammates were preoccupied with thoughts of the hurricane victims.
"In the locker room, everybody has the hurricane on their mind," he said.
Thanks to Chandler and his teammates, a few thousand New Yorkers were able to forget about the hurricane for a few hours Friday night while watching the Knicks crush the Heat.
Afterward, many players said they hoped the win gave fans a brief diversion from the devastation left by the storm.
"The moment we walked out, we'd seen the fans in the arena, we understood that we had an opportunity to shed some light and give them a smile," Chandler said. "Even if it's just for 48 minutes or a couple hours and take their minds off things."
Carmelo Anthony addressed fans before tipoff Friday, thanking them for their support.
"This is the most important time for the city of New York to come together as one and help rebuild the city back up," Anthony said.
In the grand scheme of things, the Knicks' drubbing of the Heat won't do much for those reeling in the aftermath of the storm. It won't return power to anyone's house, and it won't remove water from any of the flooded areas.
Steve Novak realizes that. But he also knew it was important for the Knicks to play hard and play well -- just to give their fans a reason to be happy for a few brief moments.
"In my mind, when we stepped on the court, I knew it was not a game that could kind of come and go, and we could just not give 100 percent," said Novak, who had 17 points and hit five 3-pointers. "We felt like we couldn't lose this game. It was too important.
"We know there's lot of people hurting right now. Hopefully all of the people in New York and New Jersey were able to watch the game and take their mind off of it."