In a low-scoring series with low shooting percentages, both from the field and from three-point range, Miami Heat has taken advantage of being slightly better to make the New York Knicks look completely ineffective on offense. Miami won Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a score of 105-86, taking a 2-1 lead that could definitively tilt the outcome of this matchup.
In addition to the Heat’s 38.9% field goal percentage and 21.9% three-point percentage, Spoesltra’s scheme has adapted to the Knicks’ rough style of play, and Miami is beating them on their own turf: rough play under the basket. In all three games of the series, the Heat has outrebounded the Knicks, including 50 rebounds to the Knicks’ 48 in this game, although the Knicks had 14 offensive rebounds to the Heat’s 13.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat’s offense with 28 points, followed by Max Strus with 19 and Bam Adebayo with 17 and 12 rebounds. Despite nothing spectacular, Miami’s defensive pressure could give them a chance to fight for the championship.
Miami stars step up and crushed Knicks gameplay
For the Knicks, Miami’s performance was impressive: 20 points and 8 assists from Jalen Brunson, 14 points from RJ Barrett, and 10 and 15 points from Josh Hart and 14 rebounds from Julius Randle, respectively. In fact, the Knicks’ bench only scored 12 points from Immanuel Quickley, 8 from Quentin Grimes, and 5 from Obi Toppin.
The rough play in the paint and the long-standing history of rivalry between the two franchises suddenly began to heat up a game that no longer meant anything when Miami’s backup center, Cody Zeller, pushed Julius Randle off the court, sparking a series of shoves between Isaiah Hartenstein and Kyle Lowry.
The series is currently in favor of the Heat, but the Knicks won’t make it easy, and this could produce new frictions between the players, reigniting the rivalry that existed between the two franchises two decades ago.
It is worth noting that the Knicks were the favorite in the series as the fifth seed, while Miami came from play-in and had already eliminated the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.