The Heat starts very strong. By a suffocating defense and effective systems for two award-winning shots from Duncan Robinson, the Floridians take an 11-point lead after four minutes (13-2). The Knicks find themselves chasing the score from the start, not ideal for gaining confidence. Especially since PJ Tucker unexpectedly catches fire (10 points) and the Heat logically prances in the lead after twelve minutes (30-16).
It is then Tyler Herro, back after a week in solitary confinement, who takes over for the Heat. The sixth man from Miami scored 9 points in 6 minutes and the gap remained above 15 points.
We have to wait for a big pass from RJ Barrett, which allows the Knicks to pick up at -10 halfway through the second quarter (46-36), to find some interest in this meeting. Then follow exchanges of outside shots (two for Duncan Robinson and Evan Fournier) and a big pass from Jimmy Butler. Despite a few bursts of pride here and there, the Knicks are still behind at halftime (59-46).
The second half is only the extension of the torture of the Knicks. In just three minutes, the Heat stick an 11-2 to Tom Thibodeau’s men and go to… +22 (70-48). As in the first quarter, PJ Tucker has a new heat stroke and the gap even reaches 26 points (79-53) halfway through the third quarter!
The rest of the match, between the end of the third and the fourth quarter, is a “garbage time”. As the gap flirts with 30 points, “Thibs” finally decides to play the youngsters (30 points in aggregate from Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin), giving at least one reason for Knicks fans to stay until the end. Without difficulty, the Heat flew to a controlled and deserved victory.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The successful return of Tyler Herro. After three games away due to the health protocol, the shooter made a remarkable comeback. Sparkling off the bench, as usual, he compiled 21 points (6/13), 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The more the matches pass, the more the trophy of the sixth of the man seems to him promised.
– The sinking of the Knicks’ major five. None of the five starters finished the game with a positive +/-. Worse, none do better than… -18 (Mitchell Robinson). The Knicks’ major five is clearly not working, it’s now obvious, and Tom Thibodeau has to change something. Before it is too late.
✅ Duncan Robinson. Hot from the outset, the Heat’s “sniper” torpedoed New York throughout the game. Elusive by his movements away from the ball, he planted seven award-winning shots and finished with 25 points.
✅ PJ Tucker. 10 points in the first quarter, 10 points in the third quarter, and a lead defense throughout the game. The strong winger had two hot shots in the game and finished 20 points at 4/6 behind the arc. A big attacking game rare enough to be highlighted for the Heat’s handyman.
✅ Obi Toppin & Immanuel Quickley : the only rays of sunshine of the dark evening of the Knicks. Off the bench, the two acolytes accumulate 30 points at 11/18 on shots. Faced with serious problems with the efficiency of the major five of their team, it would not be foolish to make them even more responsible…
⛔️ Tom Thibodeau. If the players disappointed on the field, “Thibs” produced bad coaching. Stubborn, the tactician adapts very little and keeps fixed rotations despite a terribly inefficient five major. What regret, for example, to see Quickley, Toppin and Grimes together only in “garbage time”!