NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: (L) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks drives against (R) LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on April 15, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The advantage held by the Miami Heat in this series is pretty obvious. They have a better record and home court advantage and stuff. They have an elite offense and an elite defense. They employ the likely MVP and a couple other guys who are good at basketball or whatever. They made it to the Finals last year. All those things. Cool. Good job being really good at basketball, Heat. The Knicks have some stuff going for them, too, though. In the spirit of positivity, let us list some promising signs for New York.
- We talked about this earlier, but having no back-to-backs is really good news for guys like Baron Davis, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Jared Jeffries (Everybody, really. Carmelo Anthony's been sore, and so has Tyson Chandler).
- The Heat (9-7) have been worse than the Knicks (9-4) in April, and because of injuries/rest, haven't played with a full rotation in quite some time. Maybe they'll be rusty? Please?
- Some Knicks have quite a bit of relevant experience. Both Tyson Chandler and Mike Bibby participated in a Heat elimination last year, so they know what that feels like. Chandler and Mike Woodson both have rings. Baron Davis knows exactly what it's like for a low seed to upset a high seed (and one that employs the MVP!). Everybody else is a professional basketball player, and I think that's relevant experience.
- Again, the Knicks haven't lot consecutive games since Mike Woodson became coach. Keep that up, and this will-- at the very least-- go seven games!
- The Heat are rather turnover-prone, and the Knicks are great at forcing turnovers (and vice-versa, but shhh).
- The Heat aren't a great offensive rebounding team (neither are the Knicks but shhh).
- Amar'e looks like he's feeling okay:
- I'm biased, but my sense/assumption is that most of the casual, unaligned national audience will be rooting for the Knicks. People still hate the Heat, right? I guess Miami might thrive when they feel like villains, but either way, I wager that the Knicks will have a bigger home court advantage and just a much bigger rooting base overall.
- I just saw this really handsome bird outside. No idea what kind it was, but it was resplendent. I feel like that's a good omen.
- "Heat" rhymes with "beat", so we've got our chant. What the hell are the Miami fans gonna chant? "Fix the Knicks'? OKAY, DUMMIES. THAT WOULD HELP US. WE'LL HAPPILY TAKE JEREMY LIN BACK. Dummies.
That's just a few. Please report any other positive statistical/personnel signs and omens of good fortune you come across.