Knicks, Carmelo must bounce back in Game 2
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MIAMI -- Mike Woodson was on the court stretching with his players at the end of practice, and afterward many of them laughed it up while hoisting half-court shots.
The Knicks seemed and acted nothing like a team that lost its first playoff game by 33 points and could be without two if not three regular starters against the Heat in Game 2.
The mood Sunday was light -- "great," Woodson called it. But it will turn serious Monday night, especially for Carmelo Anthony when he and the Knicks face their biggest challenge this season.
Anthony was torched by his pal LeBron James for 32 points in Game 1 of the best-of-seven first-round series. If Anthony, who shot 3-for-15 and had 11 points, doesn't counter James and the Heat's defense in Game 2, the Knicks likely will head home in an 0-2 hole.
"Everybody is going to have to do a little bit more, a lot more, due to the lack of players we're going to have out there," Anthony said. "We don't know who's going to play, who's limited. Everybody is going to have to do a little more than what they're doing right now."
The Knicks will be without Iman Shumpert, who tore his left ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1. Woodson said the flu might keep Tyson Chandler from playing, and Baron Davis is a game-time decision with back stiffness. Woodson said he hopes "a miracle happens'' and Chandler plays.
Even if Chandler, who was scoreless and had seven turnovers in Saturday's 100-67 loss, and Davis play, they probably will be limited. Woodson isn't sure what he will do with the rotation if they can't play.
Anthony is correct that all of the Knicks will have to lift their games, but the pressure is on him most. He has faced it his whole career, and stared at a similar situation in Game 2 of last year's playoffs against Boston.
The Knicks had just lost Chauncey Billups with a knee injury and Amar'e Stoudemire missed the second half with back spasms. Anthony had 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in a game that will be remembered for his pass to Jared Jeffries that resulted in a turnover in the waning seconds of a three-point defeat.
Anthony said he "tries not to think about" last year's series. But he's thought long and hard about how James and Miami guarded him Saturday. The Heat fronted Anthony, mostly with James. When the Knicks threw it over the top, Miami sent a big man to double Anthony.
"I learned a lot from just being a part of that game and going through that game and seeing everything they threw at me," Anthony said.
Now it's time for the Knicks' adjustments. Of course, they weren't saying what they will do. But they haven't lost two games in a row since Woodson became coach March 14, and Anthony came into the playoffs averaging 29.1 points in his previous 16 games, which included a 42-point effort against the Heat on April 15.
"Everybody has off shooting days, off shooting nights," Anthony said. "It just so happens mine came [Saturday]. Now it's time for me to go out there and play basketball and put pressure back on Miami."
"Absolutely he's got to give us more," Woodson said. "Amare's got to give us more. We've got to get a healthy Tyson back on the floor because he helps a lot of problems in terms of defense and plugging the hole."
Woodson expects Anthony and the rest of the Knicks to rebound in Game 2.
"This is the first game he's had since I've been the head coach where he's struggled shooting the ball," Woodson said. "I've got to help him. I've got to help all of them.
"We've been pretty good at bouncing back. Hopefully, we'll pick up the pieces from where we screwed things up and hopefully be a better team."