Infernoian PreviewTonight's preview comes courtesy of LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen
and 305LWB1. New York’s win over the HEAT during the first week of the season was more than thorough, but is there anything that should carry over now that the Knicks have cooled a little?
LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen: Well, it will be a super exciting game because the circumstances have made it that much more interesting. Knicks have one more win than the Heat, so if the Heat win they can reclaim the top spot in the East while beating what I believe is there best challenger for the number one spot. And the Heat got embarrassed by the Knicks the first time around, and are coming off another embarrasing loss to the Wizards, so the Heat have more to prove and a chance to redeem themselves. The Heat are also undefeated at home so that streak is on the line as well.
305LWB: The heat had a ton of careless TO's and the Knicks made a good amount of contested 3's, I doubt those things happen to that degree again. The defense was very bad as well that game but that's been the case a large portion of the year so it doesn't have to do with just the Knicks. Overall it was just 1 game of 82 in the grand scheme of things. Still Miami should want to come out and prove a point.2. If Shane Battier can’t play and defend Carmelo Anthony, what is Miami’s best option?
LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen: LeBron will have to guard him most of the game, so that means that Wade and Bosh and other players will have to step up and help carry the offensive load even more than usual so LeBron can concentrate his energy.305LWB: It has to be the King. I'm not even sure if Battier were to play that he would be the best option above LeBron either. I believe last year in the playoffs Melo shot 50% against Battier. Against LeBron he only shot an abysmal 29%. Still having Battier gives Miami another capable defender to guard Melo, which takes some pressure off LeBron. Hopefully he's capable of playing.3. Is there any reason the Knicks won’t be able to stick around as a top offense alongside Miami and Oklahoma City?
LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen: They way it looks right now, there isn't much reason for them not to stay one of the top offensive teams. Offense has always been the Knicks calling card while Melo has been there, but they are starting to gain more of a defensive identity with Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense. The only knock I can see on messing up the Knicks offense would be the return of Amare. It is a good problem to have, but they seem to never flow as well while Amare is on the floor, and I think that is because Melo thinks too much and concentrates more on sharing the ball with Amare rather than just playing with that freedom he has right now.305LWB: The Knicks are the best team in the league at limiting turnovers, which makes up for them not shooting the ball quite as well as either Miami or OKC. I have my doubts about them keeping up this level of 3 point shooting for a whole year though, and it seems like they're already starting to cool off. Also we'll have to see how Amare effects the offense when he comes back too. I doubt if the Knicks will remain a top 3 offense with Miami and OKC but top 10 for sure and maybe top 5 if Amare can come back and fit in.4. What is the biggest defensive area the team needs to key in on?
LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen: Obviously, the rebounding has always been an issue that gets brought up every game with the Heat this year because we play small, but I think contesting shots is the most important thing we need to do against NY. If we don't close out on shots, the Knicks will make us pay because they have a ton of great shooters, and that will open up the floor for them, and open up the game too. Once a couple easy threes fall, it gives them confidence and that is when they start playing over their heads and we can't allow that to happen.305LWB: I could write a whole essay but mainly our guards have to play better defense against dribble penetration, especially against New York so we don't have to overhelp in the paint, which leads to open 3 pointers for all their shooters.We also need to help and recover faster to the shooters or it could be a long night.5. This game means ____?
LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen: At the end of the day, it is a regular season game, but this game means a lot to me. We will probably see the Knicks later down the line in the playoffs, and we can't give them the confidence they can beat us. This is statement game in my eyes. We need to show them who the best team in the East really is.305LWB: 1st in the East and a big test for Miami's defense and the team to get back on track after an embarassing loss to the Wizards. It also means we won't have to listen to Knicks fans till the next time these teams play