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In control, the Heat takes the break

And three! For the third time in this series, and for the second time in a row at MiamiTHE Heat prevailed against new Yorksecuring a comfortable lead over Knicks away from the score (3-1).

Because if Tom Thibodeau’s men clearly played better than in Game 3 (which was not very complicated, the most teasing will say), their displayed level of play was still not at all enough to worry the troops. from Florida, now sure of her strength, and authoritarian victorious on her floor, once again.

It is in particular still in attack that the Knicks suffered: 16 loss of ball (for 22 points conceded), and a new dark evening behind the arc with a sad 32% of success (9/28). Only three players exceeded 10 points, and that was obviously not enough to falter a Miami defense on point, which was matched only by the accuracy of its attack, whose sober and effective execution ended by sickening the Knicks.

There is currently no photo in this series, and the Heat therefore logically have three match points. The first will be in New York on Wednesday, in an overexcited Madison Square Garden which will want to carry its Knicks to a Game 6…

WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER

The Heat’s brilliant playoff run on track to continue. Beaten in the first game of the “play-in” by Atlanta, the Heat, paradoxically, saved their season with this defeat. Because since this setback, Miami players have been performing impressive basketball, probably the best in the Eastern Conference. After a basketball lesson given to the Bucks, Jimmy Butler and his band do it again against an overwhelmed New York team, and the South Beach troupe now has three match points to complete the series and reach the conference final. Absolutely impressive, and we already know that the winner of the Celtics-Sixers series is going to drool.

The Knicks are simply not at the level of the Heat. It’s as simple as that: Miami, by far, is the best team in this series, and New York appears helpless, in all areas. The “coaching”, with a Tom Thibodeau severely dominated by Erik Spoelstra, the attack, with a world gap between the two teams in the execution on the half-court (16 New York ball losses for 22 points conceded on these), the defense, with a Miami team much more adept at identifying the weak points of the opposing attack (the lack of “spacing”, in this case). Finally, and this is the most worrying for New York, we could also mention desire and intensity, two intangibles in the playoffs. Two intangibles better mastered on the side of the Heat while it is the Knicks who play their survival or almost. The world upside down … In short, the Heat walk on this series so far, and the score is logical.

Knicks deprived of offensive rebounds. A huge strength for New York during their first-round series against Cleveland (and their regular season, for that matter), the offensive rebound is best mastered by Miami in this series. This Game 4 was also the culmination of the difficulties encountered by the Knicks in this area with a differential of +5 in favor of the Heat (13 to 8). Note that out of these 13 offensive rebounds, Miami players grabbed 7… in the fourth quarter alone! Faced with a more physical team in the paint, the Knicks are completely confused.

TOPS/FLOPS

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat’s victory is obviously collective, but it is above all driven by a new XXL outing from the two Heat bosses, who compiled 50 points, with 10 assists for the winger and 13 rebounds for the pivot. Each in their own way, they dominated their “matchups” with disconcerting ease.

Jalen Brunson. Big game from the Knicks point guard (32 points and 11 assists, who struggled valiantly but obviously couldn’t make the difference on his own or almost. Became the holder of the second longest series of games at 20 points or more in the playoffs under the tunic of New York, with a ninth performance of this type in as many games in these 2023 playoffs (behind Carmelo Anthony, 12 games), “JB” was indeed too lonely, while Julius Randle and RJ Barrett were too much on alternating current.

⛔️ Julius Randle. The strong winger from New York played much better than in Game 3 (20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists), but he did not correct his defensive problems. To tell the truth, he may have done worse in this Game 4, and it’s no surprise that he ended up committing 6 faults. The Knicks All-Star doesn’t make 3-point close-outs, and that’s pretty disturbing to see at this point in the season…

⛔️ The Knicks bench. It has been a weak point for the club since the start of the series, but the absence of Immanuel Quickley, injured in the ankle in the previous game, made matters worse. With only 10 points scored by their substitutes (against 32 for those of the Heat…), the Knicks actually suffered during the minutes without Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, and Tom Thibodeau was also forced to play the point guard for the entire second. half time. Without “IQ”, the “playmaking” came close to nothing, not to mention the “spacing” with a trio Josh Hart – Obi Toppin – Isaiah Hartenstein…

THE FOLLOWING

Game 5: on the night of Wednesday to Thursday (1:30 a.m.), in New York.

Miami / 109 Shots Bounces
Players Minimum Shots 3 points LF O D T pd party Int bp CT +/- Points Rating
K.Love 23 3/6 2/5 0/0 0 5 5 2 2 0 0 0 +4 8 12
J. Butler 42 9/17 1/3 8/9 3 3 6 10 2 2 3 2 +4 27 35
B.Adebayo 38 10/17 0/0 3/5 3 10 13 2 2 1 4 0 +7 23 26
G.Vincent 22 1/7 1/5 0/0 0 0 0 5 3 2 0 0 +3 3 4
Mr Strus 37 6/13 4/10 0/0 1 5 6 2 4 1 2 1 +8 16 17
D.Robinson 11 1/8 1/7 0/0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 -4
H.Highsmith 6 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 +4 2 4
C. Martin 26 4/8 2/5 0/0 3 2 5 2 2 0 0 1 +2 10 14
C.Zeller 8 1/2 0/0 0/2 0 1 1 0 4 0 1 0 +3 2 -1
K.Lowry 26 4/6 2/4 5/6 2 3 5 4 1 1 0 0 +5 15 22
40/85 13/39 16/22 13 31 44 28 21 7 12 4 109 129
new York / 101 Shots Bounces
Players Minimum Shots 3 points LF O D T pd party Int bp CT +/- Points Rating
J.Randle 39 8/13 1/4 3/5 1 8 9 3 6 0 6 0 -1 20 19
Mr Robinson 33 3/5 0/0 0/2 4 3 7 1 2 1 2 2 +1 6 11
J Brunson 44 10/21 2/7 10/11 0 4 4 11 5 1 1 0 -5 32 35
R. Barrett 35 9/16 3/5 3/3 0 4 4 3 0 1 3 0 -7 24 22
Q. Grimes 42 3/8 3/7 0/0 0 5 5 2 2 2 2 0 -4 9 11
O. Toppin 6 2/4 0/2 0/0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 -6 4 3
I.Hartenstein 15 0/1 0/0 2/2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 2 -9 2 6
Mr McBride 4 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 -2 0 -1
J.Hart 22 2/6 0/2 0/1 0 2 2 0 6 0 2 0 -7 4 -1
37/76 9/28 18/24 8 27 35 21 23 5 16 4 101 105

How to read the stats? Min = Minutes; Shots = Shots made / Shots attempted; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; O = offensive rebound; D= defensive rebound; T = Total Bounces; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost bullets; Ct: Counters; +/- = Point differential when the player is on the field; Points = Points; Eval: player evaluation calculated from positive actions – negative actions.

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