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Amar'e Stoudemire will start Game 4 against the Miami Heat, according to New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, who spoke with the media at Madison Square Garden shortly before the game. After going through a full practice on Saturday afternoon, the Knicks announced Stoudemire would likely be a game-time decision. That decision is in, and he will apparently be on the floor for tip as New York tries to stave off elimination against the Heat. Via Frank Isola:
Mike Woodson says Amar'e Stoudemire will start— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 6, 2012
Stoudemire is recovering from a nasty, self-inflicted gash across his left hand after punching through the glass of a fire extinguisher at AmericanAirlines Arena after Game 2. It was initially believed he was done for the series but, after sitting out just one game, he's back and will try to stop a 13-game postseason losing streak for New York.
For updates and perspective on the New York Knicks, head on over to Posting and Toasting or check out SB Nation New York. For all news and information regarding the Miami Heat, please visit Peninsula Is Mightier.
When did the Thunder know they broke the Mavericks' spirit? When Rick Carlisle tried a lineup combination he never would have tried in any other circumstance.
The New York Knicks have fallen into a three-game deficit against the Miami Heat and, surprisingly, it might be due to Miami's ability to bottle up Steve Novak. The 2012 NBA Playoffs are a funny thing.
The Heat are up 3-0 in their series with New York, while the Mavericks are down 0-3 against Oklahoma City in a reversal of fortunes for last year's NBA Finalists. When Dallas chose not to re-sign key players like Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea, it was admitting that rebuilding was more important than defending the title. Meanwhile, Miami is just getting stronger as the Heat's three stars evolve together.
The Oklahoma City Thunder visited the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. The defending NBA champs were hoping that the home court advantage might help them pick up their first victory in the best-of-seven playoff series, but in the end, the Thunder had little trouble coasting to a 95-79 win. The Thunder now own a 3-0 advantage in the series and are on the verge of a sweep.
Oklahoma City put together a 50-41 lead heading into halftime and had no problem holding onto their lead. Dallas will have to win Game 4 in order to keep their season alive.
Dirk Nowitzki was the leading scorer for the Mavericks with 17 points.
I hate to go all ABC's Wide World Of Sports on everyone with this headline, but this GIF of Russell Westbrook and Mark Cuban spliced together pretty much sums up what we've all witnessed in Game 3 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks.
The dream of a repeat championship in Dallas is pretty much dead, which means it's time to see Mark Cuban, uncut. The Mavericks owner looks pretty much like you'd expect given that his team is currently being blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Wait for the end of this GIF for the money sequence ...
Also, as expected, there go the fans ...
The wheels are starting to come off for the Dallas Mavericks. They've fallen behind the Oklahoma City Thunder by double digits and have the same look in their eyes that all aging championship teams have when they're witnessing the young buck pass them by. When that happens, you start to see frustration fouls pile up.
Here's the first one, from Delonte West.
West was called for a technical foul on the play, which makes sense. The Mavericks are going down, and none of them seem to like it very much.
Russell Westbrook's normal celebration involves some sort of gun holster thing. I prefer this one.
The Thunder led by 15 on two occasions, but some timely shooting from the Mavs has this game sort of reasonable at the half as Dallas looks to avoid going down 3-0.
The story right now is Kevin Durant: KD has it all going with 21 points on only 10 shots, including three-for-four shooting from deep. He's helped out by eight each from Serge Ibaka, who is quietly having an efficient offensive series, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. For Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki -- obviously -- has ten points, as does Jason Kidd, which is not obvious.
It's kind of dire straits for the Mavs: going down 3-0 would be the death knell for their season, and the NBA's leading scorer is feeling it. But they're within ten after some less-than-perfect play, so not all is lost.
No words. Just, AAAAHHHH.
You know how basketball fans say that a blocked shot "went into the fifth row" as a figure of speech? This Serge Ibaka blocked shot literally went into the fifth row.
Vince Carter used to do these kinds of highlight dunks every game. It was fun to watch and filled many highlight tapes and YouTube channels. But that was a decade ago. These days, Carter is a floor-bound spot-up shooter, one of many old guys on an old (in basketball terms) Dallas Mavericks team.
Every once in a while, though, Carter's legs cooperate and we see a glimpse of the player he once was. Here he is having one of those moments in Game 3 of the Mavericks' first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Dallas Mavericks are getting blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder early, and they got victimized by a horrible missed offensive basket interference call, but I still can't believe I just saw Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle do this.
TNT's Steve Kerr speculated that Carlisle was trying to fire up his struggling team as much as he was trying to show his displeasure with the call. That's entirely possible, and it's really the only logical explanation. Carlisle is known to be a somber, calm head coach that doesn't lose his cool like this. Maybe the importance of the moment got to him. Maybe his team's frustrating season finally spilled out. Maybe it was calculated. Who knows.
No matter what it is, it was very, very strange to watch. It remains to be seen whether Carlisle's outburst has any effect on his team.
How referees keep falling for this stuff is beyond me, but as long as they do, flop away, Jason Terry.
You may remember Oklahoma City Thunder fans bucking their usual trend and wearing all white in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks. It was a bit unnerving, but it wasn't completely unprecedented, because they've done it every so often in the past.
It apparently was enough to tick off the Mavericks, though. Or ... I think that's what happened, because they decided to wear all blue for Thursday's Game 3.
If you take away the Mavericks' center-court logo and the blue painted area, you'd think that was Chesapeake Energy Arena, which means ... the Mavericks basically created an environment that all the Thunder players know really, really well. Either the Mavericks have a hell of a sense of irony or they just really, really outsmarted themselves.
The Knicks looked like they could steal a win against a Miami team that looked to be on their C game, but LeBron James and Miami's shooters showed up in the fourth quarter while absolutely locking down an offensively stagnant New York team.
The third quarter was dismal for both squads, with a lot of missed jumpers, layups and violent fouls. It didn't look pretty, but Miami gutted their way through the period to take a two-point lead into the fourth. From there, it was game over: LeBron scored eight points in the first minute and a half of the period and Mario Chalmers drilled some threes to make the lead insurmountable -- or at least insurmountable for a team as offensively challenged as the Knicks were.
The Knicks shot 31.9 percent, courtesy of 7-for-23 shooting by Carmelo Anthony and a 5-for-18 night for J.R. Smith. But the Heat didn't give the Knicks any options, and so isolation it was. Teams don't win many games where they shoot 31.9 percent, especially when they're playing against a team that can put up buckets like Miami.
The loss was the 13th consecutive playoff defeat for the Knicks, the most in league history, a stat which you surely won't hear repeated a few million times before Game 4. New York's chances of winning the series look, well, bleak after going down 3-0, but Knicks fans can hold out hope that that streak won't continue for another season.
Important GIFs and videos:
There were a lot of them. You might just want to read this storystream.
I know, LeBron. I know. I couldn't believe that ending either.
This reverse windmill dunk by J.R. Smith was completely absurd, given that the Knicks were down 10 in the fourth quarter of a must-win playoff game ... and that's why it's so great.
Never change, Earl.
Bad things happen to Mike Miller when he ventures inside the three-point line. For example:
Just stay behind that line, Mike. It's safe there.
Carmelo Anthony has attempted 19 shots in Game 3 of the New York Knicks' first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Miami Heat. He has made just five of them. One of those five was this shot.
Two guys on him, both grabbing for the ball, and Anthony banks in the shot anyway. That's strength right there.
LeBron James is having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad game for the Miami Heat on Thursday night against the New York Knicks, having committed seven turnovers and four personal fouls by the midway point of the third quarter. He let out his frustration after being called for a travel on this play. J.R. Smith was playing him physically, and when no foul was called, LeBron vented.
Heat officials might want to hide all the fire extinguishers. You know, just in case.
TNT's Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley are training for some sort of "shirt-off," presumably in which both men will stand without a shirt on as others try to judge which one is closest to having a six-pack. It's happening on May 15, which gives both men about two weeks to work on their guts.
Shaq has figured out a unique solution to his problem -- one that he can only pull off because he is a large man. Here's video.
Yup, that's Hoopz, Shaq's girlfriend, and another friend jumping on top of Shaq's midsection in an attempt to get it more toned. At one point, Hoopz did this.
Can't stop watching this. Can't stop watching this. Can't stop watching this. AAAAAHHHHH! AAAAHHHH! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!
It looked like a repeat of Games 1 and 2 as the Heat pulled out to an early dunk-fueled seven-point lead. But then the Knicks did something they've had trouble doing all series: They ratcheted up the intensity on both ends of the floor and neutralized the Heat's superstars, jumping out to a lead that got as large as 11 points. A 7-0 run allowed the Heat to cut it to four at the break.
What's guiding the Knicks isn't what you'd expect: It's not a Carmelo Anthony shooting fest -- he has eight -- it's been the Knicks' typically shaky role players. The unit that saw the Knicks' most effective play featured Mike Bibby, Jared Jeffries, Josh Harrellson, Landry Fields and J.R. Smith. That sound you hear is the jaw of every New York fan in the world drilling through their floor and breaking through into the earth's magma core. But that crew -- as well as a Madison Square Garden crowd that sounds like it wants its team to win a playoff game for the first time since before the Isiah Thomas era -- had LeBron James and Dwyane Wade looking kind of flustered defensively (then again, it could just be the guy in the Delonte West jersey).
Just before the half, I had a chance to catch up with Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Here is the result of our conversation.
ME: Coach, how do you plan on stopping the Knicks' run?
ME: Sorry, I mumbled. Let me repeat that. Coach, how do you plan on stopping the Knicks' run?
ME: OK, fine, let's move on. How do you get LeBron James going?
ME: Jeez, you're not going to answer my questions? Fine. Why does it look like your players were out partying late the night before?
ME: This has been an enlightening interview. Thank you for your time.
Baron Davis just crossed up Mike Miller and zoomed in for a layup like it was 2003 again. Reggie Miller said it was like "Hot Tub Time Machine Baron Davis" was playing in the game, which was actually pretty funny. Anyway, here's Davis' reaction.
It's as if he can't believe that he's playing like he's seven years younger either.
If LeBron James goes harder than usual after a loose ball on this side of the court, you can blame this guy.
LeBron James came up limping after being wrapped up by Jared Jeffries on a drive to the basket late in the first quarter of Game 3 of the Heat's first-round NBA playoff series against the New York Knicks. When the foul wasn't deemed to be in the act of shooting, adrenaline kicked in and the injury went away. Yeah, let's put it that way. I'm in a nice mood tonight.
When Landry Fields turned the ball over on a fast break early in the first quarter, as Landry Fields is wont to do, the other end of the court had Wade and James with nothing but the hoop in front of them. D-Wade easily could've dunked it or laid it up and nobody would've thought any worse of him , but instead he did this:
Way to pad your stats in the assist column, Dwyane. Here's the unnecessary oop in .GIF form:
For what it's worth, that's 5,000 trick points in NBA Street Vol. 2.
Oh, and the Knicks are already down seven.
The Miami Heat will look to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their first round series against the Knicks on Thursday night, and they received some good news Thursday morning when Chris Bosh confirmed he would be able to make it to New York in time for Game 3. Bosh was still in Miami as his wife gave birth to the couple's first child early Thursday morning.
While it's been a long whirlwind day for the All-Star power forward, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, speaking with the press prior to Game 3, announced that Bosh was expected to start. Via Brian Windhorst:
Chris Bosh expected to start, Erik Spoelstra said.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 3, 2012
Game 3 is scheduled to tip at 7:00 p.m ET at Madison Square Garden.
Chris Bosh will return to the Miami Heat for Game 3 of the team's 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series against the New York Knicks, despite witnessing the birth of his child, reports NBA.com's David Aldridge. Bosh's wife gave birth to the couple's first child in Miami early Thursday morning.
There was some doubt that Bosh would return in time to play for the Heat. For one, the birth took place in Miami, and Game 3 is being played in New York in Madison Square Garden. For another, the birth of a child is a life-changing event, and the Heat probably wouldn't have blamed Bosh if he chose to stay with his wife. However, despite all of this, it appears Bosh will be catching a flight to New York in time to play for Miami on Thursday night.
The Heat hold a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 3 is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The 2012 NBA Playoffs continue on Thursday night with two games on the slate. Both games feature matchups between teams that can gain the upper hand in their respective series by going up 3-0, currently holding 2-0 series leads.
Heat Vs. Knicks, 7 p.m. ET, TNT: The Heat hold a 2-0 lead over the New York Knicks and have dominated both games thus far. If the Heat can just play as they have so far in the series, they have a good shot at pulling ahead 3-0 in the series and would really put the pressure on the Knicks. If the Knicks want to survive in the series, they're going to have to figure out a way to slow the Heat's torrent of points or pick up the pace offensively.
Thunder Vs. Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT: The Thunder have a 2-0 lead in the series over the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, but it hasn't come as easy for the Thunder as it has the Heat. Both victories have come down to the wire and have been within three points. The Thunder picked up two games at home, but now they'll need to steal one on the road and not let the Mavs get back into the series.
For news and analysis on these two teams, check out Heat outpost Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay, Knicks blog Posting And Toasting, and SB Nation New York. For more on the Thunder, head over to Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Mavs, check out Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks hung with the Oklahoma City Thunder in their first two games of the series on the road, but they come home with nothing to show for it. Thursday is a virtual must-win for Dallas.
The New York Knicks' series against the Miami Heat couldn't get worse at Madison Square Garden. Could it?