The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat have not played each other in the NBA Playoffs since 2000. That year, the Knicks got the best of the Heat in seven games that included a lot of heated tension that came with pushing and shoving. The Knicks would go on to win the series in seven games and win by one in game seven.
This year’s playoff matchup is in the first round this time instead of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Knicks are looking to shock the world as they take on the Big Three of the Heat, who according to “experts” are going to defeat the Knicks soundly in either five or six games. For the Knicks, there is a way to win and for the Heat, there is definitely a way to disappoint their fans once more with an even bigger microscope on them.
Baron Davis vs. Mario Chalmers
The loss of Jeremy Lin for the Knicks is going to kill them in a way but it could be beneficial. The first two times the Knicks and Heat played each other with Lin as the point guard, Mario Chalmers had Lin’s number each game. With Baron Davis at the helm, Davis may be able to break the pressure that Chalmers puts on the point and if Davis can penetrate and be able to stay healthy, his leadership on the court will over match Chalmers.
Landry Fields/J.R. Smith vs. Dwyane Wade
There is no doubt that Dwyane Wade will have Landry Fields‘ number in this game. Wade will over power and over match Fields in any contest. Fields needs to be more creative with the ball and definitely be more productive. In his last playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Fields only scored seven points. There is no possible way the Knicks will win without production from their two guard either in Fields or J.R. Smith coming off the bench to help.
Carmelo Anthony vs. LeBron James
Carmelo Anthony has been scorching hot in the month of April. Luckily for the Knicks, April is not over tomorrow and Anthony could still be on his hot streak. Anthony needs to learn that the Knicks are a better basketball team than what the Heat have shown the world in their last two games. LeBron James vs. Anthony is going to be a big matchup. James will get his shots but as long as Anthony plays defense and contests every shot, you will see James struggle in this series.
Amare Stoudemire vs. Chris Bosh
The factor for Amare Stoudemire is how well his back can hold up in the series. Chris Bosh is going to be very powerful and if he gets touches, Bosh will be an animal on the glass and around the rim. Stoudemire needs to hit his open jumpers from the elbow and blow past Bosh on a pump fake. Bosh has the advantage currently because it is really unclear whether or not Stoudemire is really that healthy.
Tyson Chandler vs. Ronny Turiaf
Ronny Turiaf was a great midseason acquisition for the Heat. He adds a presence in the center position that Joel Anthony cannot bring night after night. However, the problem for Turiaf is that he is going up against an NBA champion and arguably the best player on the Knicks in Tyson Chandler. Chandler will need to be the leader on the floor to keep the Knicks’ composure in the series if they want to win. It is imperative that Chandler does what he’s been doing all season long, playing great defense and being a glass eater.
Heat X-Factor: Shane Battier
If you want a player that can come off the bench and play terrific defense, that player you want right now is Shane Battier. Battier has the ability to sub-in for anyone in the back court to defend anyone on the Knicks especially Anthony or Steve Novak off the bench. Battier is going to be scary to watch in this series.
Knicks X-Factor: Steve Novak
The Knicks have finally developed a threat from long-range. Steve Novak is going to be KEY in this game. Novak has the ability to change and 18-point lead to six with just a few shots and if it comes to that for the Knicks in this series, Novak will definitely have to step up and prove himself that he can come through in the clutch.
Prediction: Heat In Seven
This is going be a phenomenal series whether or not you think its going to be a washout by the Heat. Anything can happen in the playoffs and like we saw in 2000, the Knicks have the ability to do anything. The American Airlines Arena and Madison Square Garden will both be bumping in the series. Hopefully, it is interesting enough that it could give you beats in your hear that you do not want.
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