Game of the Night: New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

Feb 1, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is defended by Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) and small forward Shane Battier (31) during the first period of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

You know, there were many things to be excited about this NBA basketball season. The New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat rivalry was one of them. Even though the Knicks have beaten the Heat once this year, the turmoil that has surrounded New York this season is by far the most in recent years. I have selected this as the Game of the Night.

The Miami Heat appear to now be in full swing. LeBron James was knocked out for a game due to the broken nose he suffered last week by the hands literally of Serge Ibaka. He sat out against the Bulls this past Sunday and that allowed the world to see just how much Dwyane Wade has been saving in the tank for the final push towards June. He looked good and the other Heat players pitched in. Chris Bosh is always the forgotten man, but I will tell you that the only reason why the Heat lose is not because LeBron isn’t producing, but it’s basically because Bosh is not playing well. Tonight, LeBron returns and so does the mask he has sported in the past due to other facial injuries. The Heat are still looking for help on the wing, but with Greg Oden looking to regain his form or some slight form of it, the Miami Heat are only focused on one thing and that is the third straight championship. The rest of the league should be worried, because the keyword to all of this is Focused.

As for the Knicks, they have been a large disappointment to their fan base and with every game they lose, the ‘Melo leaving’ whispers grow even louder. The Knicks have lost their last two games, including a heart-breaking last second loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, that game and the last shot was just Dirk Nowitzki being Dirk Nowitzki. The Knicks have also been in the news recently for the wrong reasons as their beloved point guard, Raymond Felton, was arrested on felony gun charges. I just know the happiest team in the league is the Los Angeles Clippers, as they almost had this guy on their team by the trade deadline. Even with all of the chaos the Knicks have gone through, they are only 5 1/2 games back of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Surprise, Surprise. The Knicks have the talent to make it and the fan base to support it, but do the Knicks have the heart and energy to turn this season around? Not only for the future of the franchise, but for their superstars’ sake. Think long and hard about free agency, Carmelo Anthony.

The Pick: Tonight with LeBron returning and the Knicks in a free-fall, I will take the Heat in this one. Even with Carmelo on a tear recently, scoring 40 points in three of their last four games, it will not be enough. The Heat have been even better on defense the past two games since coming out of the All-Star break. They held the Oklahoma City Thunder to 81 points and the Chicago Bulls to 79 points. They are playing better defensively and that does not bode well for the rest of the league. New York Knicks 90 – Miami Heat 110.

National TV: TNT

Time: 8:00 PM EST