The Knicks just lost Game 1 of their playoff series with the Miami Heat, 100-67, but it was so, so much worse that that. Remember all that optimism you had heading into this series, all those lovely remembrances of a crazy season? Well, that all ended in one quarter of action, a nightmare of a second quarter in which the Heat outscored the Knicks 30-13 and, well, pretty much humiliated the Knicks in every possible way. LeBron James flopping from an inexplicable Tyson Chandler foul and responding with a scoring barrage that was complete in its destruction. Carmelo Anthony, missing his first seven shots and never getting it together. Chandler, apparently having flu-related hallucinations. The Heat's relentless fronting on defense that left the Knicks confused, bewildered, and all told, a little frightened. It was a fiasco. And then Iman Shumpert got hurt.
There's no word on Shumpert's injury yet, but his left knee buckled in a frighteningly similar fashion to Derrick Rose's in the Bulls game beforehand, one that might keep him out the rest of the playoffs. Shumpert, in tears, was carried off the court by his teammates in one of the more grueling, depressing scenes this team has seen all year. Frankly, we'd be pretty surprised to see him again the rest of this season.
The "good" news, we suppose, is that, if this afternoon was any indication, that "rest of the season" isn't going to last much longer. Remember, the Knicks and the Heat have had essentially the same records since Mike Woodson took over as Knicks coach, but today felt like a monumental mismatch, the sort of game that happens when one supremely talented team turns on the jets and a lesser team looks terrified to be there. Ignore the fourth quarter stat-skewing; John Schuhmann from NBA.com pointed out these stats at the end of the third quarter: "Knicks have 47 points on 63 possessions (75 per 100). Heat have 81 on 65 (125 per 100)." You would expect that from an NBA team playing a team of gerbils, or perhaps some severely drunken pastry chefs. The Knicks just didn't show up.
All told, the Knicks probably should have just rested everybody the minute they had the chance, regrouped and prepared for Monday night's Game 2. At least no one else got hurt, even if Chandler looked like he had no business playing in the first place. The Knicks are now down Shumpert, down in the dumps, and down one game to the Miami Heat. The whole team looked like they were ready to go home before Shumpert's injury; afterward, they just looked stunned and angry, and not angry in the productive way. (Honestly, we hope most of you switched to the Rangers game.) There isn't much worse than watching Chris Bosh giggling like a madman in the closing seconds.
This series isn't over, of course. It's just one game; it only felt like five. But it was pretty difficult not to be shaken by this game. The Knicks get another shot on Monday. Hopefully by then, their fans won't be dreading it nearly as much as they are right now. The good news is that this game is over and you never have to watch it again.