The New York Knicks took care of business in their home turf and have made it 3-2. The Miami Heat should know that it will be too dangerous if they allow it to go back in the Big Apple.
Catch the game tomorrow at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Miami Heat (3-2)
Projected starting five:
- Gabe Vincent
- Max Strus
- Jimmy Butler
- Bam Adebayo
- Kevin Love
The Heat ended the first quarter of Game 5 up 10, but they were outscored over the next two frames by 20 combined points, and that made the difference. They played from behind and just couldn’t catch up, eventually falling to a 113-102 defeat.
Jimmy Butler came in averaging 33.5 points per game in the postseason, and as great as he is, it felt like he was due for a quiet game, at least offensively. That’s exactly what happened as he was only 5-for-12 for 19 points while having a full line of seven rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and two blocks. Let’s see if he can be more assertive tomorrow.
Bam Adebayo (18 pts, 8 rebs) and Max Strus (14 pts, 4 threes) had their usual production, while Kyle Lowry struggled, shooting just 3-for-11 for nine points and five assists. Duncan Robinson, meanwhile, had his most productive game in a long while with 17 points that included five threes. He missed a couple of key threes late in the game, though.
The Heat collectively shot 13-for-43 from three in the game. It might be due to tired legs or playing from behind for most of the game, but they ought to attack the paint more for Game 6. Rebounding has to be better as well as they got outhustled in the boards again, 50-34, identical to Game 2.
AWAY: New York Knicks (2-3)
Projected starting five:
- Jalen Brunson
- RJ Barrett
- Josh Hart
- Julius Randle
- Mitchell Robinson
The Knicks simply woke up in Game 5 and played with great urgency. It took rising star point guard Jalen Brunson and valuable ‘3 and D’ guy Quentin Grimes each playing the full 48 minutes, but here they are: still alive and kicking.
Feeding off the crowd’s energy, the Knickerbocker trio all played well: Brunson had a game-high 38 points to go along nine rebounds and seven assists, RJ Barrett added 26 (16 in the 2nd half), and the hot-and-cold Julius Randle had 24 points. There’s a ton of work left so they’ll have to produce as such a couple of more times, but it’s a good start. They have rhythm and confidence to build off from.
Controlling the boards once again played a part in getting the win, so we can probably expect Mitchell Robinson and Isiah Hartenstein to continue getting minutes (combined for 9 offensive rebounds), especially since the Heat’s “Hack-a-Mitch” tactic didn’t work. Robinson went 4-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Handicap: The Heat (-5) win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total goes over 208.5.