Do the New York Knicks Have a Chance Against the Miami Heat?
NBA Picks and Predictions – Friday, November 2nd: Miami Heat at New York Knicks; Maybe they shouldn’t be playing this game, but they are, so let’s bet on it.
The Miami Heat traveled into the city to face the New York Knicks, and Dwyane Wade was probably right – maybe the New York Knicks shouldn’t be playing this game. The New York Marathon definitely shouldn’t be run this weekend. How can they justify the gallons of water being splashed on tired runners when millions are without running water in their homes? As half of the New York area is under water, basketball certainly takes a back seat. Still, the resources of a basketball game compared to those of a monumental undertaking with a marathon aren’t comparable. We have NBA basketball in New York tonight, so let’s make some NBA predictions for the first time this year.
As someone who was released from the hospital around six this morning because of the hurricane, I think the Knicks should be playing this game. I have power as I recover, and it gives me something to look forward to. Whether the New York Knicks can contend with the defending champs is a different question altogether. The Miami Heat are still a powerhouse, and the Knicks took a step back this offseason and never quite performed to their talent levels since bring ‘Melo and Amar’e to New York.
Miami Heat at New York Knicks (+6)
Not only did the Miami Heat return most of their championship roster, they added a hall of fame sharpshooter to the perimeter to open up their superstars. As scary as it sounds, the Miami Heat are not only the best team in the Eastern Conference (by far), but they’re also the deepest. This is no longer a question of whether LeBron James can lead a team of scrubs to victory like it was in Cleveland. It’s not even a question of whether he can deliver on a top-loaded team of superstars. The Miami Heat winning the East is more a question of whether this immensely talented roster can stay healthy – and even if they don’t it might not matter.
The Knicks failed to improve on last year’s team this offseason. What they lack in chemistry, they make up for in egos and hype. They lost arguably their most productive player when Jeremy Lin signed with the Houston Rockets and the Knicks elected not to match. The three max contracts that dominate this roster weren’t enough to compete with Miami’s “big three” last year. It’s hard to believe they’ll be able to put it all together this year, but they certainly have a lot to prove.
Carmelo Anthony needs to prove he isn’t a team-destroying diva sent to ruin New York Knicks basketball.
Amar’e Stoudemire needs to stop punching fire extinguishers, stay healthy, and be a force in the paint.
Role players need to step up, defense needs to become a greater focus, and coaching needs to be more consistent.
Still, I think all that is all possible this year. I don’t think the Knicks will contend over the course of the season, but I think for one night on their home court in a storm-ravaged and magical city they can hang with the Miami Heat. I don’t think they’ll necessarily win, but I love six points at home from a motivated Knicks team seeking small measures of revenge from last year’s playoff losses. They’re healthier than they were a few months ago, and they won at home in Game Four. If they score, they’ll hang with Miami (remember an embarrassing Game Three where the Knicks produced just 70 points?).
Things are far from normal in New York. For many, things may never be normal again after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. Basketball represents something of a return to normalcy with minimal resources drawn from the city. This isn’t a marathon, this is a simple basketball game. We need to enjoy it. I’m putting my money on the Knicks, motivated by the cries of a desperate city, and ready to prove this is the year they finally meet lofty expectations.
Knicks 88 – Heat 92
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