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Game Preview: New York Knicks vs Miami Heat, January 27, 2024

Heat face uphill battle against red-hot Knicks.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

In a Saturday matinee on ABC, the Miami Heat (24-21, seventh in the Eastern Conference) will take on the New York Knicks (28-17, fourth in the East). Miami enter the game having lost five straight. On Thursday, they suffered a 33-point defeat to Boston, while the Knicks dismantled the defending champion Denver Nuggets by 38. The victory was New York’s fifth in a row.

This is the second of three contests between the two clubs this season. In the last matchup (November 25), the Knicks won 100-98, thanks to 24 points from Jalen Brunson. Jimmy Butler posted 23 points for the losers and missed a three-pointer at the final buzzer. The win kept New York alive in the In-Season Tournament.

On Saturday, the Heat are expected to be without rookie wing Jaime Jaquez, Jr. (groin). Kevin Love missed their last game due to illness.

Miami’s starting lineup will include guard Tyler Herro, who leads the team for points per game with 21.8 in 34 minutes per. He has been shooting a career-best from downtown, 40% on about eight attempts per game.

His backcourt mate will be newly acquired Terry Rozier. In 30 games for the Hornets this season, Rozier averaged 23.2 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.9 rebounds. He is shooting about 35% from long range this season.

As for their forwards, the Heat will rely upon the services of perennial talent Jimmy Butler (6’7”, 230 lbs) and journeyman Haywood Highsmith (6’7”, 220 lbs). This season, Butler has averaged 20.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists; Highsmith has contributed 6.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 31 games. Haywood’s defensive rating (113) is one of the team’s best, and he rates in the 89th percentile for deflections.

Center Bam Adebayo leads the team with 10.5 boards per game, plus 21.3 points and 4.3 assists. If the Knicks once again play without Isaiah Hartenstein (Achilles tendinopathy), Jericho Sims and Precious Achiuwa will pick up the unpleasant assignment. Watch your ankles, fellas!

Coming off Miami’s bench, Duncan Robinson remains an enigma. Through his first 20 games of the season, Robinson shot 42% from downtown on seven attempts per game; in his last 10 games, he shot 31% from yard on 6.1 attempts. If Robinson is on target, New York may need a few extra buckets from its reserves, namely Josh Hart, Quentin Grimes, and Deuce McBride.


ESPN gives the Knicks a 69.8% chance of victory. That sounds about right. The Heat play sturdy defense—eleventh-best in the league—and are slightly above-average at pressuring the perimeter, holding opponents to 37% shooting beyond the arc. Always well-coached, they are a disciplined squad that commits only 18.3 fouls per game. They can be offensively challenged, however, and despite being the league’s ninth-best three-point shooters, they rate 28th for field goal percentage.

The Knicks are 19-10 against Eastern opponents, while the Heat have gone 18-14 in conference play. On Saturday afternoon, Jalen Brunson could pop off for a 30/10 double-double against Miami’s backcourt, and if New York’s frontcourt performs to its potential by limiting turnovers and fouls and dominating the glass (Miami rates 27th for rebounds per game), it should be a lovely afternoon at the Garden. Hometown Heroes win by +4.

Game Details

Who: New York Knicks vs Miami Heat
When: 3:00 pm EST, Saturday, January 27, 2024
Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC
Watch: ABC
Follow: @ptknicksblog