Miami’s offense missed Dwyane Wade — he averaging 19.8 points a game, shot 45.5 percent from three (although mostly he is getting the looks he wants inside the arc), they move the ball better, and the Heat’s offense is 8.8 points better per 100 possession when he was on the court.
Make that is on the court. After missing seven games due to a hamstring injury Wade will be back on the court for Miami Sunday against New York, he announced after shootaround.
Mario Chalmers played well at the two spot with Wade out and he should get some time at that spot off the bench, but he is no Wade. Chris Bosh and other Heat offensive players will find a little more room to operate.
The Knicks have not been lucky this week. Carmelo Anthony remains out plus first Russell Westbrook now Wade will make their returns against the struggling New York team.
There’s a chance Carmelo Anthony will play Sunday against the Miami Heat or Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets. He’s been out the last two games with a back injury and the Knicks have given indications that he could be out a while.
Apparently, that may not be the case.
The Knicks have lost three in a row and five of their last six and have started the season 4-13. If Anthony is feeling better, that’s good news. But the Knicks had better hope that his back is actually healed, because bringing him back earlier than needed in a season that will probably end in a lottery berth, when they’ve just signed him to a five-year contract, isn’t smart. They can afford to be careful with him, and they should.
Carmelo Anthony missed his second straight game on Friday with back spasms, and Russell Westbrook returned to the Thunder lineup to play in just his second game of the season.
That combination proved to be a disastrous one for the Knicks, who were crushed by OKC in a game where they trailed by as many as 37 points.
Amar’e Stoudemire ripped his team afterward for the lack of intensity that was displayed during this particularly dismal performance.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“They played like they wanted it more,’’ Stoudemire said of the Thunder. “At this point, I don’t see how a team wants it more than we do. It’s unacceptable. We should be in desperation mode. We’re a team that’s fighting for a win. Right now we got to have a higher sense of urgency and more enthused and mentally involved.’’ …
“[Oklahoma City] came out with a lot of energy and it seems as if we got taken back by that,’’ Stoudemire said. “We have to have a lion’s heart and can’t be afraid of teams coming out and playing with that type of aggressiveness. We have to retaliate.” …
“It’s intensity level at this point,’’ Stoudemire said. “The learning process is there. We can’t keep saying we’re learning. We’re learning. Teams want it more than we do. We can’t say we’re still learning. We can’t say we had an off night shooting. That happens, but you can still win the ballgame with defense. We have to become students of the game and become masters of our craft.’’
It’s easy to say that without Carmelo Anthony, and with the energy provided on the Thunder side by Westbrook’s return, that this was somewhat of a predictable result.
But the Knicks are just 4-13 on the season, and when you look around the league and see a team like Indiana managing to compete even after injuries have decimated its roster, Stoudemire has a right to wonder what it will take for he and his teammates to do the same.