As the Knicks lost 104-94 Monday night against the Miami Heat, fans began to ask if New York's 2012 postseason run is dead already.
The New York Knicks stepped it up several notches during the second game of their first-round NBA Playoffs series game against the Heat Monday night after a crushing 100-67 loss in Miami Saturday afternoon.
But if they want to make it past LeBron James and the Miami Heat to the second round of the playoffs, the Knicks are going to have to kick it into overdrive, as the Heat managed to dominate Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks once again Monday.
The good news for the Knicks and their head coach Mike Woodson is Thursday's Game 3 will be held in Madison Square Garden, where rabid New York fans will give the team an emotional boost in the face of a 0-2 series record.
However if the team wants to have any hope of winning, Knicks superstars Carmelo Anthony (30 points Monday) and Amare' Stoudamire (18 points) will have to find a way to contribute more, and to bring their teammates along with them.
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Stoudamire was unable to do much on defense (as per the usual) Monday night, and Anthony showed signs throughout the game of not playing his hardest. He was seen lagging and jogging on transitions and not going for rebounds, he missed shots, and he exhibited a negative attitude that did not help him lead the team.
Tyson Chandler, who has a ring from his championship with the Dallas Mavericks last year, has stepped up as a team leader after recovering from violent illness that crippled him in Game 1, but without more contributions from their other key players, the Knicks have no chance of advancing past the Heat.
The last minute of the second quarter illustrates the worst of the Knicks, as the team's players seemed not to be playing their hardest, failing to hustle and letting a two-point deficit ballon to six points as the half ended.
And even if the players step it up, with rookie sensation Iman Shumpert out for at months with a torn ACL and lateral miniscus and star point guard Jeremy Lin still injured for the time being, it will be difficult for New York to pull off a win over the mighty Miami Heat.
So as the Knicks head home for the third game of their series against LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat, it appears that they are unlikely to advance, unless Woodson can imbue some major new confidence into Anthony and Stoudamire, and the Knicks' bench can come back to life as well.