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Struggling Knicks Visit Miami

January 26, 2012
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I always get geeked for this matchup. The Knicks-Heat rivalry of the late 90s-early 2000s is my all-time favorite (sorry Magic and Larry, but I was too young to fully appreciate your battles). When P.J. Brown flipped Charlie Ward over his shoulder like a JanSport I almost jumped through my apartment floor. I still wake up in a cold sweat dreaming of Larry Johnson going mano a mano with Alonzo Mourning as Jeff Van Gundy holds on for dear life. What can I say…I love drama more than TNT does.

The present day reincarnation of this matchup is not quite as exciting as those epic playoff battles, though last season’s Knick win on South Beach shortly after the Carmelo trade was huge. This game will be a little more balanced on the marquee, thanks to the absence of Dwyane Wade. Lebron vs Carmelo at SF, Stoudemire vs Bosh at the PF….it’s pretty symmetrical. Who would’ve thought just two months ago that the Heat would be the stronger team at point guard?…Chauncey Billups is long gone New Yorkers. The PG position will be crucial in this game. Mario Chalmers is playing great basketball this season and Norris Cole is capable of huge games off the bench. But there’s just something about Knick rookie Iman Shumpert that makes me chose him in any matchup this side of Derrick Rose or Rajon Rondo. The kid is a competitor as well as a really versatile player on both ends. I think he’ll rise to the occasion and be the X-Factor in a close game down the stretch. The Heat will be tough to beat at home. They’ll probably get off to one of their patented hot starts behind the greatness of LBJ (we all know Melo’s defensive reputation). But I think as the game goes on the New York will finally find an offensive groove and rally around the struggling Anthony. I look for this to be a bounce-back game for him personally (after scoring only 1 point vs Charlotte). I also think Tyson Chandler will be on the glass all night long, sparking a rejuvenated Knick running attack. Nevertheless, I don’t think either team will reach 100 points. The Heat are on fire since Wade has been out, but have played with fire in recent games (see their narrow win at Detroit). Miami is ripe for another upset at home, after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks this past Sunday. It’s not a bad thing either, as it’ll give coach Erik Spoelstra the proper ammunition to get his team re-focused in practice. For New York, this road win may be just enough for Mike D’Antoni to keep his job…up to the Super Bowl.

UPDATE:

(4:02pm EST) Carmelo Anthony will not play due to multiple injuries.

(7:23pm EST) Dwyane Wade will be in the lineup.

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One Response to Struggling Knicks Visit Miami

  1. Catalina Jones on February 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Charlie Ward is rollin’ over in his GRAVE

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