TOK Roundtable – Confidence Against Miami Heat?

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After Sunday’s loss to Miami, how do you feel the Knicks would fare in a seven game series against them?

Joe CaporosoNobody in the Eastern Conference is going to be picked to push Miami further than 6 games and I can’t say I disagree with that thought right now. Even if the Knicks are on their game and shooting well from the outside, is it really enough to steal 4 out of 7 from a superior Heat team led by a currently superhuman LeBron James? Probably not. The most optimistic assessment I could give is the Knicks shoot the lights out, Carmelo has one of “those” games where he is so dominant offensively they steal a win and MSG provides enough of a home-court advantage that the Knicks extend the series to a game 7 in Miami where they’d ultimately lose.

If they were starting a series tomorrow, I’d still pick the Heat to win in 6…a competitive 6 but still 6.

Chris CellettiIf both teams are fully healthy, the Heat are heavy favorites. The Knicks showed early in the season (and to an extent last Sunday, albeit in a loss) that they match up favorably against Miami. They might be the team in the East that matches up with them the best (it’s either them or Indiana), but that doesn’t quite mean that the Knicks have a great chance of beating the Heat in a series. The Knicks’ best chance probably rests on how they won a whole bunch of tough games early in the year, and that’s their perimeter shooting carrying them. What would have to happen in order for the Knicks to upset the Heat is to get hot from behind the arc: J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Steve Novak HAVE to knock down their open looks, because they’re not going to get too many against Miami’s tough defense. when they do get them, they have to go.

The Knicks have more perimeter shooting this year than they did last year when Miami knocked them out, but do they have enough? I’m not quite sure. Kidd, Smith, Felton and Novak would have to get hot, and remain hot, for an entire series. That’s not really sustainable, as has been proven as the season has dragged on and the Knicks have come back down to earth a bit. Because of this, I would take Miami quite handily. Did I even mention that LeBron James guy? No? Oh yeah, that whole thing too.

Chris DiGioia - It’s simply going to take a monumental effort to be able to take the Miami Heat down in seven game series right now. In fact, I just don’t see anyone doing it, let alone the Knicks. I have loved the way the Knicks have sized up against the Heat this season, but if they were able to close out this past Sunday’s game, I would feel much better. The simple fact is Lebron James playing basketball at a different level then the whole planet right now, and Dwayne Wade is right behind him. We haven’t even started talking about Chris Bosh yet, the extremely undervalued power forward by many. Bosh isn’t the best defender, but he’s money from mid-range and he hits his free throws down the stretch. Wade and James literally play like bigs themselves, making Bosh a perfect fit for the pick-and-pop.

When it comes to Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler, I have no question they will come fired up, and ready to battle, but were talking four out of seven games. The Heat are currently on a 15-game winning streak, and looking like one of the greatest teams ever assembled. It just comes down to them being just too good.

Matt FritzThe Knicks weren’t so lucky with getting matched up with the Heat in the first round of last year’s playoffs, and was only able to salvage just one win coming at the Garden. Clearly this is a different Knicks team, and unless something dramtically changes, the Knicks won’t be matched up with the Heat again in the first round this year. Unfortunately however, the Heat aren’t that much different this year, meaning they are still the dominant and powerful team that everyone expected them to be. There is no disputing the Heat being the overall favorites to come out of the East, and possibly the entire league.

In a seven game series against this Heat team, I do feel as though it would be much more competitive this time around, and it is hard to argue that with the Knicks currently being 2-1 against the world-beaters this season, and very easily could be a perfect 3-0. To this day I do believe the Knicks match up fairly well with the Heat, being that they do not really have a true point guard. If the Knicks shoot the way they are capable of, and actually commit to playing sound defense for a full 48 minutes, I think the Knicks could most certainly give this Heat team a run for their money. Realitically. I will say the Heat would take the series in 6, and in a lot of peoples eyes, that is being very generous.

Tim Murray – If the Knicks face the Miami Heat in the playoffs their key to success will be variety on the offensive end. Let’s face it, nobody is expecting the Knicks to make a strong defensive stand against the Miami Heat big 3 so like the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense.” When looking at what makes the Knicks offense function at a high level the first thing that undoubtedly comes to mind is Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks have been performing as he performs all season. Against the Heat this past Sunday, Anthony had 24 first-half points but once LeBron was assigned to him in the second half he shot 3-11 for only eight more points. This is why the key to success is variety.

The Knicks need to find a way to get other players to step up on the offensive end. For example, Felton and Stoudemire need to rekindle their pick-and-roll chemistry that they developed before Felton was traded in the deal for Anthony.

I’d love to see the Knicks develop another dimension to their offense other than giving the ball to Anthony and letting him operate but since there are no signs of production I’d have to pick the Miami Heat in a seven-game series. I think the Knicks could get 2 or 3 wins out of it especially based on the way they have been playing at home this season but I just cannot see the Knicks taking them down based on their limited options on offense.

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