MIAMI - LeBron James has too much respect to accept that Carmelo Anthony's struggles in the Heat's blowout Game 1 victory on Saturday against the Knicks were anything more than a statistical anomaly.
In other words, James considers it to be in the Heat's best interest to dismiss it as an off night for Anthony against a solid defensive effort by Miami that resulted in a 100-67 win to open the first-round series.
When the teams meet for Game 2 on Monday, the Heat will be expecting much more from Anthony, who had one of the worst playoff shooting performances of his career in going 3 of 15 from the field to finish with 11 points, 10 rebounds and four turnovers Saturday.
"We don't expect him to shoot 3 of 15 (again)," James said Sunday as the Heat wrapped up practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "But we just want to make it tough on him whenever he takes a shot."
With the Heat looking to take a commanding 2-0 series lead, coach Erik Spoelstra stressed Sunday the importance of his team entering Game 2 with the same focus and intensity they showed Saturday.
Otherwise, Spoelstra said, the Heat would squander a remarkable defensive performance from Game 1 if they stumble on Monday and allow the Knicks to even the series at 1-1 heading back to New York.
"Their game plan hasn't changed," Spoelstra said Sunday. "All they're trying to do is get one on our court. We haven't done anything yet. We haven't even protected our home court (completely) yet."