The Knicks didn’t just beat the Heat last night, they clowned them.
At the end of the 112-92 blowout, the Knicks pranced, chest-bumped, and unleashed their full arsenal of pre-planned celebrations — Rasheed Wallace even busted out the classic “discount double-check” championship belt celebration popularised by Aaron Rodgers last year.
The final result will mean very little come spring, but the manner in which New York won — the way they essentially laughed in the faces of the defending champs — tells you exactly where these two teams stand right now.
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The Knicks are full of swagger. Despite the team’s enormous payroll, the team has taken up somewhat of an underdog attitude in the face of everyone (us!) who said they made a mistake in letting Jeremy Lin go and replacing him with Ray Felton and Jason Kidd.
The Heat, meanwhile, are disinterestedly counting down the days to the playoffs. This week they’ve lost to the Wizards (the worst team in the NBA), and then got killed at home in embarrassing fashion.
It’s not a reason to worry. The Heat went through a similar stretch last year in March when they went 10-7, got blown out four times, and lost to every good team they played.
But still, last night was a joke.
The Heat allowed more than 110 points, allowed the Knicks to shoot better than 40% from 3-point range, lost the rebounding battle, and turned it over more than 10 times.
Based on those criteria, it was the second-worst loss ever for the LeBron-era Heat. Since LeBron went to Miami in 2010, it has only happened three times:
- March 4, 2011: 125-95 loss to the Spurs. San Antonio scored 125 points on 82 shots, shooting 60% from three-point range.
- Last night: 112-92 loss to the Knicks. NY made 18 of 44 threes, outrebounded the Heat by three, and held Miami to 42.1% shooting.
- Jan 13, 2011: 130-102 loss to Denver. Miami turned it over 16 times, and Denver got 48% free three-point range.
They have shown repeatedly that they don’t care about the regular season, and can turn it on at any time. But as a result of that, they’re going to get clowned sometimes.