Knicks execute flawless strategy in Game 2 to tie series against Heat

jalen brunson, knicks
May 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket against Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) and center Bam Adebayo (13) during the fourth quarter of game two of the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks claimed a victory against the Heat yesterday 111-105, evening the series at one apiece before heading to South Beach. The team displayed great defense, and numerous players stepped up offensively.

Randle returned to the team after missing the first game due to an ankle injury, and his presence was felt from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Having him healthy is crucial for this team, and if Randle can consistently play well, this series should be exciting.

The Knicks need to keep shooting well:

They secured a 111-105 win, and the Butler-less Heat had no answer for the Knicks down the stretch. Brunson made a significant comeback from his disappointing Game 1 performance, and the Knicks need him to maintain that level of play if they want to win this series. He scored 30 points along with five rebounds and shot 10-19 from the field. Furthermore, he went 6-10 from deep, and it seemed like every time he shot, the ball went through the net.

Brunson, Randle, and Barrett are playing like a true Big 3:

Brunson is the best player on this Knicks team and demonstrated it last night. He is a fantastic leader both on and off the court, and with performances like last night’s, it is easy to see why everyone respects him on this squad. When the Knicks first signed him, countless analysts thought it was a waste and an overpayment, but now those same analysts are praising him as one of the best players in the postseason. He and Randle are the engines of this team, which was evident in their victory.

Randle made a seamless comeback from his ankle injury and didn’t miss a beat on the floor. He posted a 25/12/8 line, shot 8-18, and clearly outplayed K-Love and Caleb Martin throughout the night. He is the key to this series, and if he can maintain that level of play, the Knicks can win. However, if he has a bad game, he must not display the negative body language that he did in some of the games against the Cavs. The Knicks know what they have to do to win: run the floor and push the pace against this Heat squad.

RJ Barrett truly made his presence felt and has been enjoying a solid postseason following his two challenging opening games in Cleveland during the previous round. He scored 24 points and was a menace on the perimeter on both sides of the ball. He went 5-9 from beyond the arc, and it is encouraging to see him continue to take those shots, providing the Knicks with another three-point weapon. The only concern arising from Game 2 was the lack of bench production.

The bench contributed a total of 12 points compared to the Heats’ 22. To continue winning games, it is essential for everyone to step up, including those playing significant roles. Currently, in the semifinals, the Knicks need everyone to do their part if they aim to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 2 was a crucial victory, and now the series is even as they head to Miami. Butler’s status will be of interest, but if he remains sidelined, the Knicks must capitalize.

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