Monday, April 30, 2012
W2W4: Knicks at Heat, Game 2
By Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling
Here are three things to watch for Monday night in Miami:
CAN MELO RETURN AS A MENACE?
Before Game 1, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said this about Carmelo Anthony: "Quite frankly, Carmelo is arguably a top-three toughest cover in this league." And that's exactly why the Heat's defensive game plan in Game 1 basically came down to two words: Stop Melo. The Heat fronted him, doubled him -- did everything they could to make it difficult for him to catch the ball. But let's face it: While the Heat's defense was dominant, led by LeBron James, Melo missed routine jumpshots he usually makes. Anthony can't stop taking those, but he also has to attack the basket more. In Game 1, the Knicks only went to the foul line 11 times -- 11! -- and he accounted for only five of them. That has to change tonight.
GETTING STOUDEMIRE STARTED
After starting off strong in Game 1, Amare Stoudemire struggled the rest of the way. He went 2-for-7 from the field and scored just nine points. The Knicks need more from Stoudemire if they have any hope of getting back in this series. Stoudemire looked good for large stretches of the four regular-season games he played after returning from a back injury. But he wasn't as engaged on Saturday. Before the game, Mike Woodson was asked if he would do anything to get Stoudemire going in Game 2. "I'm not glued into just getting Amare off," he said. "I'm just not. He's just got to stay with what we've been doing and things will happen for him, I think."
Instead of Iman Shumpert guarding Dwyane Wade in Game 2, Landry Fields will be on the Heat's All-Star shooting guard. That might present problems for the Knicks. Shumpert is the Knicks' top perimeter defender, so there will likely be a steep drop off with Fields guarding Wade. Fields is forced to guard Wade because Shumpert went down with an ACL injury on Saturday. The rookie is out six to eight months.