Tonight's Knicks-Heat game should be an interesting affair regardless of personnel, but it's losing more and more of its predictive power with each passing report. We just got word that due to injuries and/or their trollish, clincheder-than-thou nature, the Heat will play shorthanded again:
No LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Mario Chalmers for Heat tonight vs. Knicks. Another good matchup bites the dust.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 2, 2013
That sucks a little because it drains tonight's game of its capacity as a last-chance predictor of our fantasy/presumptive Eastern Conference Finals. It sucks more because Chalmers and Raymond Felton can't take their cheeky middling point guard beef from the papers to the court.
So, tonight'll be a JV game for the Heat. I hope the Knicks seize the opportunity to steal a win (something the Spurs couldn't and/or didn't do. I have trouble keeping track of when these elite teams are and aren't trying.), but I hope and expect they won't force the issue by activating Tyson Chandler. Barring some revelation from post-shootaround, Chandler's still a game-time decision for tonight. If it's still an uncertain thing, he might as well just take another night to rest, no? We'll see about that one. If Chandler does start, Kenyon Martin will move to the bench for tonight's game.
One last thing: We were reminded this morning that this visit to Miami is Iman Shumpert's first since he exploded his knee there. It's a meaningful event for him, and I hope he can claim some closure with another sharp, productive outing in the building where his prolonged struggle began.