Thursday’s slate of two NBA games feature the Miami Heat traveling to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks. The contest does not have the same spark or intrigue as it would have before the season started, but rest assured that it will still have its moments.
The Knicks have been a disappointment this season and all signs point to Carmelo Anthony leaving at season’s end during free-agency. Now with their recent wins and the construction of the Eastern Conference, New York is still in the mix for a playoff seed if they can turn their fate around. A number of injuries have hurt their rotations, (Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton) have both missed time this season and the chemistry has not been there. Some people will say that Carmelo is still the habitual ball-stopper that he has always been, which is causing the Knicks problems when their offense is missing three-point jumpers; you live by the jumper, you die by the jumper.
The Heat seem to be in cruise control and their main focus is to stay healthy until the playoffs start. Their have been rumors recently where they have been in the mix for the services of Andrew Bynum. If the Heat were to sign Bynum, they could potentially have found the piece to stay atop of the NBA and compete with the teams who have a true inside presence. It is known the Heat struggle with bigger teams, but when you have 3 of the top 25 players in the league you can make up for those kinds of deficiencies. LeBron James will put on a show tonight in MSG.
The Pick: Miami is the better team and I absolutly expect them to win. There is no reason why they should not, unless the Knicks have a resurgence from last season and find the same magic that netted them 50+ wins last year to make another run and possibly convince Carmelo to stay. I do not, however, see that happening tonight. Heat 102 – Knicks 87
National TV: TNT
Time: 8:00 PM EST