New York Knicks v. Miami Heat preview

The New York Knickerbockers will tip off against the Miami Heat at 7 PM EST in Miami Florida’s American Airlines Arena.  Miami enters with the best record in the NBA, off of a seven game winning streak.  Meanwhile, sparked by the sudden emergence of point guard, Jeremy Lin, the Knicks enter as winners of eight out of their last 10 games.  They would be the seventh seed if the playoffs started today.

The Heat beat the Knicks 99-89 in American Airlines back in January.  The Knicks played without Lin or All-Pro forward, Carmello Anthony.  The Knicks outscored the Heat 44-6 from downtown in their earlier meeting, but the Heat had a 28-12 edge in the paint.

With Lin in their lineup, the Knicks average 10.3 more points per game than when Lin’s not on the court.  Though they’ve beaten all three, the Knicks have played just three teams with winning records since Lin’s emergence 11 games ago.

The Heat’s All-Pro forward, LeBron James, averages a career 29 points per game versus the Knicks.  Oddly enough, when James is on the court, Anthony, of the Knicks, actually averages four more points per 36 minutes than when James is on the bench.   In fact, Anthony accounts for 40 percent of the Knicks’ offense when James is in the game, and just 26 percent when he’s not.

The addition of Lin and Anthony could just be enough for the Knicks to reverse their fortunes tonight.  However, it’ll certainly be their toughest challenge, at least for Lin, as the Heat seek to assert their Eastern Conference dominance.

Categories: Basketball,Columnist