Blog Entry

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:41 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 10:49 pm
LeBron James lead the Heat to a win over Jeremy Lin and the Knicks. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Magic and momentum can take you far in this world. Things happen in sports that defy logic and reason. They happen all the time in the NBA. The 8th seed Warriors with no discernible defense knocking off one of the best regular season teams of the decade in Dallas. The Nuggets toppling the Sonics in the 90's. Sundiata Gaines hitting a game winner. In football, Tim Tebow knocked off the Steelers. It only took injuries to half of Pittsburgh's team to pull it off. Sometimes the story is greater than the facts.

But eventually, there's science. Cold, hard, science.

On Thursday night, Linsanity got a cold dose of LeBrontology, as Miami downed New York 102-88.

It wasn't primarily James doing the damage, it was the Heat's suffocating team defense. It was Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier attacking Jeremy Lin's dribble, it was Wade, Chris Bosh, Chalmers, and Battier on offense. But James was the tip of the spear at both ends, and putting on another MVP performance in a big game setting with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals,, and 2 blocks. Want proof this game mattered to James? 40 minutes, before the All-Star break. He contained Lin, forced him into traps, and the Heat took away Lin's right, then took away his dribble, and always, always, always started the break with one of their athletic wings streaking in for the finish.

It was a blitzkrieg, it was a bum rush, it was a stampede by Miami, and the Knicks were left trampled underfoot.

By the end of the game any hope of Lin turning on one of the furious comebacks he's created this year fell by the wayside, instead the Knicks reverted to B.L. (Before Lin) thinking, with Carmelo Anthony isolating for contested jumpers, the rhythm destroyed for New York. It was an impressive win, but far from a blowout.

The Knicks had things going for them, and in reality, this game represents well where the two teams are. The Knicks are dangerous, now. When Anthony is slashing to the basket, when Amar'e Stoudemire is taking advantage of opportunities, when Tyson Chandler is a force at the rim, and on any other night when Lin is able to create scoring opportunities, the Knicks have what it takes to make a playoff run and run to the second round. That they were over-matched is not indicative of the degree of this team's flaws, less than a week in with this complete roster.

The fact that Miami slammed the door so emphatically in the second half is.

The Big 3 scored 67 points, the bench gave them 27. But it was their game plan that shows what this team can do when it's in gear. The formula is simple. Turn the opponent over, run, run, run it down their throat. Rinse, lather, repeat. There will come a time when the Heat offense again looks pathetic, stagnant, pedestrian. But the Knicks caught them at a time when they are at their very best. This Heat team smothers your possession, dissects your ball movement, then punishes you with their speed and athleticism. I call it the Flying Death Machine for a reason. That New York hung in says a lot about their talent level.

Lin was sloppy, running into defenders, desperate to try and create space, contained on the drive and deterred from his sweet spots. The Heat can talk all they want about not adjusting their game to their opponent, but this was a concerted effort to cut the Knicks' mythological head clean off. With Lin buried, the Knicks offense was fine, for a while, but eventually it caught up. That may be the most impressive piece of the Heat's performance. Amar'e Stoudemire hurt the Heat in the first half. They made him vanish in the second half. The perimeter shooting killed them throughout the game, but eventually the Heat started anticipating the passes. They gave up a lot of size inside, but the bigger the game became, the better Joel Anthony (5 blocks) played.

And there was James, at it all, running and swiping and cutting and shooting. The Knicks were within ten under two-minutes. Lin turnover. Outlet pass. LeBron James emphatic dunk. The end.

Lin will adjust and get better, the Knicks will be fine. But this game showed itself to be another example of what we already knew.

The Miami Heat play above the rim, and a step above everyone else in the NBA right now. They are faster, stronger, better right now. 

It's science.

Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

That game last night was not at all a good measure of what the season will be like or the playoffs. Carmelo, Baron and a few other Knicks are not shooting well right now but the intangibles that they bring are being overshadowed. the pressure that Miami was bringing on Lin would by all means have been less successful with the help of Iman Shumpert being in the lineup. He is bigger and stronger than any of the Miami point guards and as well adds relentless on the ball defense (in the first game where he was the primary option at pg and the Miami guards combines for 10 points and 2 assists against him and Bibby) As a combo guard he is also able to guard Dwayne Wade without being overpowered or blown by, just take a look at the first game back in January. The Heat had no answer for Bill Walker (21 pts and 7 bounds) and once again we faced them with a full roster while we were without Carmelo and Lin in January, this time we were without Walker and Shumpert, so let’s not press the panic button just yet because the best is yet to come...

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:25 pm

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

MVP is his only accomplishment, and since he's selfish that's probably all he cares about is the individual stuff.
If that were the case, he would have stayed in Cleveland. Will be more difficult for him to win an MVP here, but much easier to win a championship.

So what was the best player that Lebron played with in Cleveland? Now compare that player with who Magic, Bird and Jordan played with. Yes, the Cleveland teams won 60+ games, but they were not great teams. They were good teams with a great player. What Cleveland player - other than Lebron - on the team that lost to the Celtics, would you say was better than Allen, Pierce, Rondo or Garnett?

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:40 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Haters will hate Lebron is almost avg a triple double whens the last player to do that. Oscar Robertson hate all you want but the Heat are the best team in the league and no one will stand in their way go HEAT!

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:38 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Haters on both sides....Miami is currently the BEST team in the league with the BEST defense in the league, it was only inevitable they'd shut down a still-maturing Jeremy Lin....Miami played this game like it was game 7 of a playoff series. Lebron is a physical freak and is having the best statistical season in NBA history and yes, it's looking like Miami will win the championship this year (can't wait for a OKC/MIA finals). On the Knicks side....our best defender was out (Shumpert who could've slowed Wade down some), we're still gelling, and Melo and Lin haven't even practiced with each other yet. Knicks future looks bright, this was a bump on the road to be taken as a moral victory and that is all.  I don't think ANY team could've beaten Miami IN Miami the way they played yesterday. Downright scary...

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:00 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Wow, the Haters are out in force now. Lebron has already made 2 NBA finals and is well on his way to number 3 this year. Jordan wasnt taking any of those Cavs teams to the finals, let alone winnning them. Lebron will win his 3rd MVP trophy this year. He is having statistically the greatest season in NBA history. His PER in unmatched. Yep, the guy is a real loser.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:39 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Agreed dwing13. There's no forgetting the post season chokes by #6. Lin has the drive to evolve into a more solid player, he hasn't been playing the whole year. It takes time to pull it all together. #6 can be on a 60+ win team and fall out in the playoffs faster than any other star in the NBA. MVP is his only accomplishment, and since he's selfish that's probably all he cares about is the individual stuff.

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:36 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

The Heat hasn't beat anybody.LeBron is still a gun.They want to talk trash about a just now put together team.The Knicks got  away to go.When The Heat puts some Rings on there fingers,then to the talking.But these 3 guys Wade,James,and Bosch started talking 2 yrs ago and still haven't done anything.They talked trash last year in the Final's and made fun of Dirk,then never won another game.3 Real Classy Clowns.Then You people compare LaBron to MJ are you Kidding.LeBron has done more Trash talking in the last 2 yrs,than Michael did in his entire NBA Life.Thats the difference Class,and Trash

Since: Feb 3, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:18 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win

Here comes all the Lin haters. Never mind what the young man has accomplished to date. Let's just focus on what happend in one game. I wonder how many bad games that arrogant James had in his career. We should be giving the young man a lot of credit he has played well in past two months and has one bad game. Now he is deemed not worthy? Don't worry James will choke in the play offs he always does. History will repeat itself.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:05 am

Linsanity meets LeBrontology in Heat win


Jeremy be faLIN'

I'm here all night folks!

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:43 am
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