After Tuesday's loss to Washington — Washington! — Heat players didn't exactly project an aura of concern. In fact, what got them most irritated was when reporters followed up on Erik Spoelstra's press conference by asking if the loss qualified as a lesson. Thursday's locker room was quite a bit different. For the fourth time this season, and the second against the Knicks, the Heat was routed. Or, as LeBron James put it after putting himself through a postgame workout — as if he, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists was the problem — "They kicked our ass. They have pretty much dominated us in two games." That's the reality, and Thursday the Knicks did so without Carmelo Anthony, hitting 18-of-44 shots from behind the arc. "We've got work to do," James said. "We can't act like, OK, let's just sweep this under the rug. We've got a lot of work to do. New York is a real team, they've got some real good players, and we understand that." Why did James work up a postgame sweat in the weight room? "I've got to be better," James said. "I've got to be better. It's that simple. I'm here, and I'm the last one to leave." Of course, it's not that simple. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade need to help him much more than they did Thursday, combining to shoot 6-of-25. Mario Chalmers needs to snap out of his month-long funk, even if he deserves some credit for giving it a try Thursday with an injured finger. Erik Spoelstra needs to find some combinations that work — the Joel Anthony/Norris Cole collaboration was not easy to watch. And so on. James did not initially agree, when told of Chris Bosh's assessment that the pace may be a bit too fast. "That had nothing to do with us getting smashed tonight," James said. "It's all right. We've got to do whatever we've got to do. If we play fast, then we've got to get back and we've got to communicate defensively."
LeBron James: "They kicked our a–."
Palm Beach Post | Dec 7