Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you’re a healthy body and can play at a decent level; the New York Knicks would probably like to have a word with you. The Knicks lost Iman Shumpert for the rest of the season and the rest of the Knicks have their work cut out for them going forward.
The Knicks struggled mightily from the field in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Miami Heat. The Knicks shot just 35.7 percent from the field and struggled to score 67 points against the Heat’s notoriously stingy defense.
Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire combined to shoot 5-22 from the field, scoring 20 points total. Heat star LeBron James scored 32 points by himself against the Knicks Saturday.
CBSNewYork.com described what is going through Knicks fans minds this way: “As the Miami Heat vaporized the New York Knicks, 100-67, you learned a few things. Miami has two players better than Carmelo Anthony. Miami wants it more. Only one team came to play defense. And the Knicks are soft. Yes, soft. One stat says it all…LeBron scored 32; the Knicks’ starting five scored 30.”
Besides the loss of Shumpert, Knicks center Tyson Chandler wasn’t at practice Sunday while dealing with the flu. Baron Davis is once again dealing with a back problem and point guard Jeremy Lin had some sort of setback in individual drills and may not return until Game 4, according to multiple reports.
Lin has been out for a month while recovering from surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. But even bringing back Lin may not be enough. The last time Miami played against Lin, the Heat completely demolished the Knicks and had Lin only hit one basket.
Teammates of Lin have told the coaching staff not to rush him back to the lineup, regardless of what happens in the next two games. Without Lin, the Knicks now have Baron Davis and Mike Bibby to run the point. Bibby played 21 minutes in Game 1 and scored 0 points and was 0-4 shooting.
The Heat has a completely healthy roster after Game 1. LeBron has continued playing at an MVP level and Dwyane Wade came back in Game 1 after missing around 10 days and scored 19 points and grabbed 2 rebounds.
If Miami comes out firing at home like they did on Saturday, there’s little the Knicks can do to avoid going down 0-2 heading back to New York for Game 3.