Heat Ruling The Paint

NEW YORK — There are different aspects to defending the basket.

First, there’s preventing shots near the basket. And second, there’s contesting them.

If you’re looking at the first aspect, you could say the New York Knicks have done pretty well in their first-round series against the Miami Heat. The Heat have attempted just 23 percent of their total shots from within five feet of the basket, easily the lowest rate among the 16 playoff teams.

But the Heat are shooting an incredible 73 percent on those shots, the highest rate in the league, with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combining to shoot an incredible 29-for-34 from within five feet of the hoop.

On the other end of the floor, the Knicks have 25 more attempts than the Heat from within five feet of the basket, but just two more makes. With the Heat doing a great job of contesting the Knicks in the paint, New York is shooting just 51 percent from within five feet of the basket, down from 58 percent in the regular season.

Carmelo Anthony has done a good job of getting to the rim, but he hasn’t been able to finish. And Tyson Chandler, who recorded the third-highest field goal percentage in NBA history in the regular season, is shooting just 8-for-17 in the series, and just 8-for-15 from within five feet.

Shooting from within five feet of the basket

Player/Team FGM FGA FG%
LeBron James 14 17 82.4%
Dwyane Wade 15 17 88.2%
Other Heat 6 14 42.9%
Heat total 35 48 72.9%
Carmelo Anthony 8 20 40.0%
Tyson Chandler 8 15 53.3%
Other Knicks 21 38 55.3%
Knicks total 37 73 50.7%

James’ and Wade’s numbers are pretty remarkable, but this is really nothing new for the Heat. Offensively, they ranked fourth in the league by shooting 62.3 percent from within five feet in the regular season. And defensively, they ranked second by allowing their opponents to shoot just 55.5 percent from within five feet.

To make matters worse for New York, the Heat are shooting 18-for-29 (62 percent) from elsewhere in the paint, where the Knicks are shooting just 9-for-23 (39 percent).

So, the Knicks have attempted 19 more shots in the paint than the Heat, but have made seven fewer.

The Heat are up 3-0, so most of the series numbers are going to look pretty bad from the Knicks’ perspective. But to get an idea of just how the series is going, you really don’t have to go outside the paint.


  1. monjog says:

    champion is MIAMI HEAT

  2. Amir says:

    What has happened to the Heat’s killer instinct now that we’re into the playoffs? They won’t get redemption from last year blowing a sweep like they did today! And Bosh is not a positive factor on this team; he’s a detriment! They need to step up and play a lot harder!

    This is the playoffs after all

  3. just win says:

    don’t tell me why you didnt win, i already know…the other team wanted it more. summary of heat-knicks series.

  4. ben says:

    Hmmm, that’s what happen when you have 3..4..5?.. maybe 6 oh wait I get it. That’s what happens when you have an entire roster of Superstars 🙂 Lebron could have done that in Cleveland but he does not have the to stay there instead he play along side Dwade. What a jerk, both of them.. Both of them and Chris Bosh.. Wait Both of them, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and the entire Miami hear fans and Band wagoners who decided to root for the Miami Heat because they can win it all, who would have want to be fan of Bobcats or Cleveland 🙂

  5. ITS ALL OVER says:

    Carmelo will never win anything,maybe only when he realizes that he should better come off the bench, amare is a washed out one dimensional role player,they are both more of a problem to their team with their horrible defence,the only hope for the knicks the get better is to built on anyone but those two…they will never win a championship, and L.James value worths the entire Knicks roster, i hope he doesnt choke in the finals as always.

  6. welcome back to reality says:

    get that 4th win mr. lebron james and on to the next one :D.. heat FTW

  7. kimkam says:

    get that championship ring! its about time! proved that all your critics are wrong this time! go heat go!

  8. Bev says:

    Great Job Heat !!!!! Stay Focused and Stay Positive !!!!!!!

  9. akosibonik says:

    put the stats and numbers aside. and you’ll see it’s not about that, its just miami(primarily LeBron) wants to win badly. if their mentality is to win a chamionship, no one’s stopping them, especially because of the talent they have. you can’t say that miami are blowing out the knicks because of the poor play of the team. it’s because lebron wants to prove something more. and all of the people that are saying that he chokes, shut up. he show up in the fourth last game. if he gets a ring this year, you are welcome to join our team, through bandwaggoning!

    • Rommel Reyes says:

      appreciate the kind words, i hope Miami gets the championship trophy this year. as always, it’s not about the stats but the will of the players to win.

    • K-IN-G says:

      Well said my friend, well said. Who knows, next year (after Lebron & Dwayne get their well-deserved rings) other good players will come to join the heat. Imagine it, a team with a five-peat type roster of all-star starters ( J. Wall, D.Wade, L.James, C.Bosh, & D.Howard) & a capable sixth-man ( M.chalmers)