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Forget the Indiana Pacers; New York Knicks are Miami Heat’s Real Threat

I don’t understand how basketball analysts everywhere can say with a straight face that the Indiana Pacers are the second best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat. These same people claim that the Pacers are the only team standing in the way of another NBA Finals appearance by the Heat.

The New York Knicks currently have the #2 spot in the East, but are constantly overlooked despite being statistically the second best team in the conference. This is the same Knicks team that blew out Miami twice by 20 points, and took them down to the wire in the third match-up.

The Pacers did destroy New York in the first game after the All-Star break, and despite losing to the Heat tonight, are 2-1 against the defending champs in 2012-13. I am not knocking the Pacers- I respect their team and the tenacity that they play every game with.

I am simply defending the Knicks.

No one takes New York seriously, and I don’t understand why. This is not the team that was bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season. In Mike Woodson’s first full season as coach, the Knicks are currently at 38-22, but could face some difficulty in the coming weeks.

Amar’e Stoudemire is out for six weeks (knee), and Carmelo Anthony is listed as day-to-day with a sore knee. If Anthony’s injury causes him to miss a significant amount of time, I understand the argument for Indiana as Miami’s top threat.

However with Anthony on the floor the Knicks are, at their best, one of the top teams in the NBA.

Miami’s tickets to the Finals are not yet punched. The Knicks, more so than the Pacers, will have something to say about that come play-off time.

Follow Thomas Duffy on Twitter @TD_Knicks for articles, news, and all things NBA.