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The Knicks play the Heat this afternoon in New York.
- The Knicks dominated both their previous games against Miami by flooding them with three-pointers. They did that to a lot of teams in 2012. I believe they have yet to hit a three-pointer in 2013.
- The Heat used to lose occasionally. They have not done that in over a month.
The Knicks have a little momentum with this modest three-game win streak, but their defense has only improved slightly and outside shots still won't fall. The Heat, on a fourteen-game win streak, are more or less in scorched earth mode right now. Also, they're probably extra pissed off coming into this one because of those two blowout losses in November and December. Also, LeBron James had a poor shooting performance in his last game, and he's pretty much incapable of doing that twice in a row. Everything about recent trends suggests the Heat have the upper hand-- if not several upper hands and an upper foot-- going into today's game.
ON THE OTHER HAND, the Heat have a ton of ground to make up on the Knicks. New York hasn't just beaten them twice this year, they've destroyed them, and once in Miami without Carmelo Anthony. Maybe the Knicks just match up really well with the Heat since Mario Chalmers can't quite exploit the awful perimeter defense and the Heat generally grant open three-point looks. Maybe this is the game New York's outside accuracy returns. Maybe Melo snaps out of his semi-shooting slump. Maybe Amar'e Stoudemire being healthy this time around will give the Knicks an additional advantage over Miami. Maybe Marcus Camby and/or Kenyon Martin will play and bolster the defense. These are the things I'm telling myself this morning.
Tip-off today is at 1 PM. A game thread will be up between now and then.