I jokingly tweeted before tonight’s Knicks/Heat game asking my followers, “So how much will the Heat beat the Knicks by tonight?” Well, the joke was on me because not only did the Heat not even win the game but the Knicks were the ones who had the double digit victory tonight, a 104-84 win in front of their home crowd in the Garden.
Many people – including some of the players on both teams – wondered if this game was necessary after what happened in the New York metro area and on the Jersey Shore earlier this week. Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction that had never been seen in this far up on the East Coast and the Knicks/Heat game was to be the first post-Sandy sporting event to be held in the area.
Would people even show up for the game with so many areas still dark from power outages? And with gas running out and with NYC transit not running at 100%?
Well, New Yorkers are a resilient bunch and they did show up. The capacity crowd of 19,033 was rewarded and treated to a well-executed game by the Knicks.
Before tip-off Carmelo Anthony addressed the New York crowd. He thanked fans for coming out, and told them that this was the “most important time for the city of New York to come together as one and build the city back up.” The Garden then held a moment of silence for the victims of the storm.
Would the crowd be into the game after such a somber week in the New York area? Yes, they would be and that was because of the Knicks’ play. The Knicks started off strong and never let up. They played good defense – yes, I said defense; the offense was solid – both the shooting and the passing was on point and they were aggressive on both ends of the floor. They scored early and often and were up 81-63 at the end of the third quarter.
Many of us watching were waiting for the Heat to go on a big run that never happened. The Knicks kept them in check all night and didn’t allow them to make a real threat. The closest the Heat got to single digits was at halftime when the Knicks were up 55-44.
Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points – he scored 16 of them in the first quarter – and 10 rebounds; Raymond Felton scored 14 points, had nine assists and three steals and Steve Novak came off the bench and added 17 points.
Lebron James led the Heat with 23 points on 8-16 shooting, Chris Bosh scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added 15 points. Mario Chalmers was held to 1-5 shooting with three points in nearly 20 minutes on the floor.
It was a good start for the Knicks and their fans who needed a game like tonight’s to help take their minds off the destruction and heartache of this past week.
- Wade decided Friday to donate his game check, around $210,000 before taxes, to relief efforts.
- The Madison Square Garden company is donating $500,000 for storm relief and will be hosting a telethon on MSG network during the Knicks’ game against Dallas on Nov. 9.
The Knicks meet the Philadelphia Sixers next on Sunday afternoon at 12 Noon in the Garden.
Stacey Gotsulias is a long-suffering New York Knicks fan who is also the lead writer for Second Place Is Not An Option, the Aerys Sports home of the New York Yankees.