So much can happen in three days. Since the Knicks kicked off the week, the team has lost two teammates, added two different ones, gained a cellmate, and lost on a buzzer beater that hit the backboard and rim before falling in for a final time. It all culminates tonight, as they arrive in Miami just in time for the return of a well-rested LeBron James.
The Knicks have notoriously had Miami’s number during the last two regular seasons, but right now, there’s nothing to make one believe that New York will pull off the upset. The Heat have been playing their best basketball of late, winning five in a row, and eight out of ten, including a victory over the Bulls in their last one without the services of the reigning MVP. This is typically the time of year that the defending champs crank it up a notch to prepare for the postseason, and so far, 2014 has been no different.
Carmelo Anthony has been on fire of late, averaging 41.3 points over his last four games, but without much help from his supporting cast, it has led to just one win. With a national stage, there’s no doubt that LeBron will be trying to slow him down. King James openly disagreed with his exclusion from the Defensive Player of the Year Award the last two seasons, so he’ll be out to prove he deserves it. He might be the only one in the league that can match up with Melo’s versatility at the power forward.
There’s been no official word yet on the availability of Raymond Felton, but usually, the league won’t act on anything until the legal process plays out. He practiced with the team yesterday though, so don’t be surprised to see him suit up.
In much less important news, the Knicks signed Shannon Brown and Earl Clark to replace the gaps left by Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace. There’s not really any upside in either of those two guys, especially if Brown has lost the hops from his dunk contest days. At this point, they might as well have added Flight White.
Tip-off is set for 8:00pm. Brace yourself for tons jabs at the Knicks by Charles Barkley and company. These are dark times in New York, but as our own Chris Celletti pointed out, Melo makes this a thousand times more bearable than the Isiah years.
Here’s a Knicks-Heat highlight that will cheer you up before you go: