Good evening! This'll be different. The Knicks have been stomping some good-to-average teams over the last week and change. Tonight, they face the Heat, who are very good, but also have a weird propensity for losing to the Knicks. New York's killed the Heat-- not just won, but really lit them up-- with small-ball and a lot of threes in the past, and they're already up 1-0 in the series this season. The Garden should be particularly full and weird tonight because of Super Bowl folks (a man at the dog park pointed this out to me). This'll be fun. I don't know what to expect. Some pre-game injury/lineup updates:
Knicks Starters tonight versus @MiamiHEAT : Felton, Prigioni, Smith, Anthony, Chandler. Martin & Stoudemire will dress. Shumpert is out."— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) February 1, 2014
That's two games now Iman Shumpert will have missed with a sprained right shoulder. He was doubtful going in, so hopefully just one or two more at most. And yes, that says that not only will Kenyon Martin be available again after his ankle stuff, so too will Amar'e Stoudemire after HIS ankle stuff. Mike Woodson says they'll play, but he's not sure how much. I'm curious how this will affect Jeremy Tyler, who's been quite effective in his few minutes. Toure' Murry is back with the Knicks, too, incidentally, after his night with the BayHawks. Finally, a match-up thing:
Woodson says JR Smith will probably guard LeBron. Melo on Battier. Interesting.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 1, 2014
I guess it saves Melo's energy? I dunno. I'm not mad about that. No match-up with LeBron James is a good one, and in the past its been more crucial for the Knicks to shut down the rest of the Heat than to keep their stars in check. I mean, it wouldn't hurt to slow those guys down a bit-- Chris Bosh in particular worries me-- but I think the Knicks can survive big games from the big guys. If the Heat want to just roll over and give the game away like they have at times in the past, that is FINE with me.
I'm excited! Tip-off is at 8:30, presumably because of the college game beforehand. The game is on both ESPN and MSG. This is your game thread. This is Hot Hot Hoops. Please don't post large photos, GIFs, or links to illegal streams in the thread. Go the Knicks!