Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Danny

Knicks at HEAT Official Game Thread and Preview

207 posts in this topic

670_heatknickspre_121206.jpg

(Photo Credit: Nick Laham)

The top two teams in the Eastern Conference face off tonight when the Miami HEAT play host to the New York Knicks. The HEAT enter the contest at 12-4 after losing a tight game to the Washington Wizards earlier in the week. The Knicks stand at 13-4 and are riding a four game winning streak. Tip off is set for 8 PM.

1. 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?

Couper Moorhead: That was a pretty unique situation, it being New York’s home opener coming just days after the city was hit by Hurricane Sandy. There were probably emotions that night that are going to be tough to replicate, but that’s impossible to fit into any sort of real analysis. What we do know is that the Knicks moved the ball extremely well in the game and continued to do so for a week or so after that, but their offense has been more up and down since then. We also know that the Knicks hit 19 threes – this coming during the period when J.R. Smith didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘miss’ – and that is not likely to happen again even if Miami’s defense has another slow first half.

Can’t take anything away from the Knicks for a win, but it’s probably best to just let that game exist in its own little world and to treat this matchup as the true beginning of the season series.

Danny Martinez: The Knicks have cooled some, but they’re still shooting more threes than anyone in the league and hitting them at the third best rate in the league. In that first matchup, the Knicks buried the HEAT early under a barrage of jumpers. I think the Knicks plan of three-pointers and Tyson Chandler shots at the rim will remain the same.

2. If Shane Battier can’t play and defend Carmelo Anthony, what is Miami’s best option?

Couper: Of course, we’ll have to add another qualifier if Battier – the lynchpin of the HEAT’s defensive lineups – can’t go. LeBron James is the obvious option, but since Erik Spoelstra likely won’t want to wear James down for an entire game – the Knicks won’t want Anthony guarding James too much for the same reason – then we’ll see likely starter Rashard Lewis doing the early honors with a heavy helping of attention from everyone else. It’ll be interesting to see if Spoelstra goes small with the bench lineups and puts Mike Miller on Anthony, or if one of Udonis Haslem or Joel Anthony gets to try.

Danny: The best perimeter defender in the NBA, LeBron James. The Knicks have had to alter their starting lineup a bit in Jason Kidd’s absence. They’re going with two traditional bigs instead of Anthony at the power forward spot. Regardless of what iteration they use, James is the best option. Over the course of the game other players including Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller and Dwyane Wade will see some of the matchup as well. But when the chips are on the table, I expect to see James on Anthony.

3. Is there any reason the Knicks won’t be able to stick around as a top offense alongside Miami and Oklahoma City?

Couper: It all depends on how the team eventually reacts to the injection of Amar’e Stoudemire back into the system. If he agrees to come off the bench and allow Carmelo Anthony to keep starting at power forward, the Knicks could regress a little in shooting percentages and ball movement and still approach 110 points per 100 possessions for an entire season. But with Stoudemire on the floor the spacing gets funky and Anthony gets his catches pushed farther from the rim against defenders more capable of staying with him one-on-one. Time will tell.

Danny:

The Knicks are getting an absurd amount of shots from high-value areas, at the rim and from three. If they keep that up, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t stick around in the top tier of league offenses. They spread the floor very well and when Jason Kidd is on the floor, he orchestrates some really great perimeter passing. Contrary to what many believe, it was the Knicks’ defense last season, not the offense, that was elite. This newfound offensive firepower goes a long way to explaining their explosive start.

4. What is the biggest defensive area the team needs to key in on?

Couper: The Knicks, especially if Jason Kidd returns, are much better equipped to get the HEAT’s defense over-rotated in order to open up perimeter threes, but at the core of this offense there is still that spread pick-and-roll, using either Anthony or Chandler, that is the harbinger of the apocalypse for some defensive systems. Battier expertly defended this during the playoffs last season, reading when to chuck the roll man out of position and when to retreat to his man on the arc, so this will be a big test for Rashard Lewis.

Danny: The Knicks are going to shoot a ton of threes. They run the pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler to occupy help defenders then kick the ball out to behind the arc. HEAT defenders will need to be attentive to where Knicks shooters are and remain committed to strong closeouts. If they can force the Knicks into jumpers that aren’t from behind the arc, I like the HEAT’s chances.

5. This game means ____?

Couper: You don’t expect me to say anything other than ‘nothing’, right? This is going to be a nice test for each squad, and one group of fans will get some temporary bragging rights, but weary is the mind that attempts to ascribe deep meaning to December contests.

Danny: Whatever you want it to mean. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean much. Early season games, whether billed as big or small, tend to be forgotten come playoff time. However, it is a marquee matchup between two rivals who sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. The HEAT are still figuring some things out, so Thursday should be a great test. But just remember, it’s far from the final exam.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Infernoian Preview

Tonight's preview comes courtesy of LeBron+Wade>Jordan+Pippen and 305LWB

1. 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 <_<

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess whos going to the arena tonight boys! Like a bosh better light it up with some jays. Ill try and post some pics after the game.20121206_183904.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@WindhorstESPN: Battier (knee), Chalmers (finger), Cole (groin), Haslem (hip) all expected to be available for Heat vs. Knicks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now Knicks say Melo won't play tonight..

"Carmelo Anthony will not play for Knicks vs. Heat with injured finger. Tried warming up, couldn't use left hand well."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melo not playing which just made this game unenjoyable...... *** man. All of our prime time matchups are being ***ed with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

305, we're not totally out of the woods yet seeing how we played against the Spurs D-League roster

No ***, that's why this game is unenjoyable now. Now you know our team will come out with no energy because they're suppose to win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expecting a good game from this guy

bimgy.gif?w=593

Well considering Spo sucks as coach dont want to get exsposed of his tricks come playoffs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Joe B.
      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 109-97 Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dion Waiters led the way for the HEAT with 33 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.
    • By Joe B.
      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT fell to the Bucks 116-108 in their last meeting on January 13. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What was your main takeaway from Miami’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks?
      Couper Moorhead: Mainly that Miami found a way to win a close game down the stretch. Much was made of the interesting Hassan Whiteside-Dirk Nowitzki matchup at center, and while Nowitzki earned more open jumpers on the perimeter than Whiteside got efficient looks inside overall, with the rest of the Mavericks so unwilling to challenge Whiteside in the paint those open pick-and-pop looks became one of the only options for Dallas when mostly starters were in at the end. This was especially true when Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews were off the floor to start the fourth quarter, when you got the sense Dallas was trying to hang in long enough to buy their closers some rest, but when James Johnson effectively shut down Barnes in the post the Mavericks were again left with mostly perimeter shots. Miami’s offense enjoyed an explosive performance from Goran Dragic, but it was their defense throughout the quarter which kept Dallas at bay.
      Joe Beguiristain: My main takeaway was that Miami continued to play solid defense and got out in transition whenever the opportunity presented itself. After limiting Houston to 40 percent shooting on Tuesday night, the HEAT forced the Mavericks to shoot just 38.1 percent after halftime. In particular, Rodney McGruder and Dion Waiters did a nice job of defending Wesley Matthews, while Tyler Johnson made things tough on J.J. Barea. When you couple that with yet another fantastic offensive outing from Goran Dragić (32 points on 11-of-15 shooting), you have yourself a recipe for success.
      As a whole, Miami’s improved defense of late has allowed the team to get easier buckets on the other end. In fact, the HEAT have tallied a plus-6.5 net rating over the past two games, which is pretty good. Of course, it’s a very small sample size, but things are trending upward on what has become a nice little run this week.
      2: What did we learn from last week’s game against Milwaukee?
      Couper: These aren’t the defense-first Bucks that you might be used to. Milwaukee is sitting comfortably as a Top 10 offense right now, with news that one of their best scorers in Khris Middleton could return around the All-Star, and they showed why against a Miami team at the end of a six-game road trip with a relentless attack in the paint coupled with efficient outside shooting.
      Some of this can be attributed to tired legs for Miami. Slow rotations to the rim led to a number of dunks and layups, and 13 offensive rebounds kept allowing Milwaukee to put pressure on those same rotations. Rested and at home, some of that should be cleaned up, but we also have to note that Greg Monroe was back in Milwaukee’s rotation for this one and the scoring combination of him and Michael Beasley proved to be too much once the HEAT were playing from behind.
      The good news is that Miami did pretty well scoring themselves, especially in hitting 12 threes, but when they opened the game with a 30-point quarter the Bucks were scoring 42.
      Joe: You may remember that game for a few monster jams in transition from Giannis Antetokounmpo. To put it simply, the “Greek Freak” lived up to his moniker and nearly notched a triple-double against Miami on January 13.
      That said, the HEAT actually outscored the Bucks in the second half and fought back to cut the deficit to 99-91 with 7:53 to play. Naturally, both T. Johnson and James Johnson led the charge on Miami’s comeback bid, combining for 10 points, eight assists and two blocks in the fourth. Unfortunately, Antetokounmpo proved to be too much in the end and helped seal the deal for the Bucks. Since then, nothing has really changed for the newly minted All-Star, as he’s been on an absolute tear over his last five games.
      While he’s been fantastic, we also learned from that last matchup that Milwaukee has a decent amount of depth at a number of positions. In particular, Greg Monroe and Michael Beasley have been the catalysts for the team off the bench. Ever since Beasley’s offensive explosion against the Spurs on January 10, he’s received more playing time. Monroe, meanwhile, has experienced nearly the same increase in minutes in the month of January.
      3: How can Miami do a better job of slowing the Bucks’ offense this time?
      Couper: While the HEAT only wound up with 8 turnovers, many of those came early and helped Milwaukee to get out in transition where Giannis Antetokounmpo was seemingly dunking from the free-throw line. As talented as the Bucks are, you can grind their offense down a little just by keeping bodies back in transition and getting your defense set. If that means being a little less aggressive on the offensive glass then that’s probably a fair trade.
      Otherwise, it’s everything we mentioned before. Back at home, just defend with more energy and more awareness. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting back to what you normally do and being better.
      Joe: For starters, the HEAT could do a better job of taking care of the ball. A big reason why the Bucks jumped out to such a quick lead was due to a few early turnovers by Miami. While the HEAT cleaned things up later in the contest, Milwaukee established a nice rhythm in the first quarter and rode that momentum until Miami came back in the fourth.
      Otherwise, the HEAT have to turn Antetokounmpo into a jump shooter. Although he’s started to knock down the mid-range jumper recently, you’ll live with that over giving up an easy drive to the bucket. Like with any great player, it’ll take a collective effort from McGruder, J. Johnson and even Waiters to limit the 22-year-old as much as possible.

      Highlights:
      January 13-HEAT at Bucks
      November 17-Bucks at HEAT
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won two straight and are 13-30 on the year. The Bucks have lost four straight and are 20-22. Goran Dragić leads Miami in points (19.4) and assists (6.3) per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee in points (23.5), rebounds (8.8), assists (5.6), blocks (2.0) and steals (1.8) per contest.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 100.8 (29) HEAT Defense: 104.6 (11) Bucks Offense: 107.0 (9) Bucks Defense: 105.8 (18)
    • By Joe B.
      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Dallas Mavericks 99-95 Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 32 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.
    • By Joe B.
      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT defeated the Mavericks 93-90 in their last meeting on February 3. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What can the HEAT build on from their win over the Houston Rockets?
      Couper Moorhead: Plenty, given that this was one of Miami’s most complete efforts of the season. Offensively they were able to get Hassan Whiteside the ball with deep position early on and once he was established, similar to a football team establishing the run game, and the Rockets spent a little extra energy trying to keep him away from the rim, Miami punished that Houston defense by attacking the paint again and again and again. Getting to the rim has been a primary focus all year for this team, but shooting 24-of-35 in that zone was one of their most efficient performances of the year.
      Defense was where Miami really went above and beyond. The Houston Rockets were and are having a historically good offensive season – or would be, were it not for the Warriors and Raptors – and are taking more threes than any team in the history of the league by a wide margin. So to hold that team to a 94.2 offensive rating and just 9-of-39 shooting from deep was the story of the night. Some of that had to do with Houston’s two best shooters either being absent (Ryan Anderson out with an illness) or ice-cold (Eric Gordon shot 3-of-17), and three-point shooting is notoriously difficult to affect no matter how well you are contesting, but the HEAT did everything in their power to attack Houston’s strength. For that, they were rewarded with a win.
      Joe Beguiristain: The HEAT did a lot of things right against the Rockets on Tuesday night, but let’s start off by discussing the offensive side of the ball. As usual, Goran Dragić was the catalyst with his team-high 21 points and eight assists, and thanks to his ability to get into the paint, five other players scored in double-figures for Miami. While Dragić didn’t connect with Hassan Whiteside for any alley-oops, he did find Wayne Ellington on the perimeter quite often, including an important setup that led to a three that put the HEAT up 105-94 with 1:41 to play. In fact, three of Dragić’s eight assists went to the swingman, which was the most he had to any player on the evening. In all, it was great to see the Dragon take advantage of Houston’s fast pace and get out in transition where he is at his best.
      On the flip side of the ball, Miami did a great job against one of the best offenses in the league and held the Rockets to 40 percent shooting. In particular, Tyler Johnson held his own while defending James Harden and tallied an 87.9 rating against Houston. Additionally, the HEAT forced the Rockets to commit 18 turnovers and scored 20 points off those.
      In short, it was easily one of Miami’s best wins of the season.  
      2: How has this season gone for the Dallas Mavericks so far?
      Couper: As far as record goes, this season has probably been just as disappointing for Dallas, a team largely made up of veterans, as it has been for Miami. Certainly, neither team expected to be this low in the standings just a few weeks before All-Star Weekend. The reasons have been somewhat similar as well, with Miami losing so many games to injury and Dallas having been without Dirk Nowitzki for all but 16 games and Andrew Bogut, their best defender, for all but 22. But while Miami has struggled to score this season, the Mavericks have struggled to defend as they’re giving up over 108 points per 100 possessions (in the league’s bottom third) despite an offense that’s almost exactly the league median at the moment.
      This will be similar to the previous matchup with Portland – a good small-ball offensive team against a good defensive team – with a variety of interesting matchups on both sides. But where the Trail Blazers have two ballhandlers uniquely capable of shooting off the dribble, Dallas relies a bit more on pick-and-roll spacing to create a similar rate of three-pointers.
      Joe: While the Mavericks have struggled for a majority of the season due to injuries, things have gotten better of late with the team playing small-ball. In fact, Dallas has won three straight since Rick Carlisle started the three-guard lineup of Deron Williams, Seth Curry and Wes Matthews alongside Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki. In total, that five-man lineup has produced a 122.8 offensive rating in 63 minutes. 
      Although all three guards have played pretty well, Curry has really taken advantage of his opportunity. The 26-year-old is averaging 12.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting in his last three, including 53.8 percent from downtown. When you also factor in the continued strong play of Barnes and the return of Nowitzki, you have a team that should get better offensively as the season continues. 

      3: Are there any matchups Miami can try to take advantage of Thursday night?
      Couper: This depends on whether or not Dallas makes a pre-game adjustment. In Andrew Bogut’s absence (he’s dealing with a hamstring injury) the Mavericks have been starting Dirk Nowitzki, now 38 years old, at center along with Harrison Barnes at the power forward spot. If Dallas stays with that alignment then the HEAT would have a significant size advantage in the middle of the floor with Hassan Whiteside, even with Dallas playing at such a slow pace that they’ll be more than willing to send a ton of bodies to the defensive glass. Yes, this would mean Whiteside would also have to track Nowitzki in the pick-and-pop and on the perimeter, but that’s a tradeoff Miami will more than likely be happy with given how much attention the Mavericks would have to devote to the HEAT’s center on the other end.
      What’s probably more likely, however, is that Dallas plays seven-footer Salah Mejri over his usual minute allotment to try and match size-for-size. Dallas has actually been an above-average defensive team with Mejri (or Bogut) on the floor.
      Joe: The clear-cut one for Miami is Whiteside against Nowitzki. On Tuesday, the big fella out of Marshall used his size advantage wisely against both Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell and tallied a double-double early on in the third quarter. That could be the case once more against a Mavericks team that is thin on bigs with Andrew Bogut out. Of course, Whiteside will also have to go out on the perimeter to defend one of the best shooters in NBA history in Nowitzki. Still, the 27-year-old has the right disposition needed to limit the sure-fire Hall of Famer.
      “I’m a defensive-minded guy,” Whiteside said after practice on Wednesday. “I’m a guy that takes pride in defense regardless of wherever we’re at on the court.”
      Other than Whiteside vs. Nowitzki, another matchup the HEAT could take advantage of is James Johnson against either Barnes or Dwight Powell. The versatile forward should be able to use his unique blend of brute force and fancy footwork to make plays at the rim against Dallas. 

      Highlights:
      February 3-HEAT at Mavericks
      January 1-Mavericks at HEAT
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT are 12-30, while the Mavericks enter the contest at 14-27. Miami has won nine of its past ten games against Dallas. Tyler Johnson and James Johnson are the only two players in the NBA this season to record at least 400 points, 150 rebounds and 100 assists apiece off the bench. Harrison Barnes leads the Mavericks in scoring at 20.6 points per game.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 100.7 (29) HEAT Defense: 104.7 (11) Mavericks Offense: 102.2 (25) Mavericks Defense: 106.9 (22)
    • By Joe B.
      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Houston Rockets 109-103 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 21 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.