#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 New York Knicks (Game 1, Saturday 3:30 PM, at Miami)
January 27, @ Miami – Heat 99, Knicks 89: Shockingly, 21 from Bill walker and 43 3-point attempts are not enough to overcome 59 from LeBron and Wade.
February 23, @ Miami – Heat 102, Knicks 88: Linsanity hits South Beach, is quickly smothered by LeBron and Wade.
April 15, @ New York – Heat 93, Knicks 85: Carmelo Anthony scores 42 of Knicks’ 85, singlehandedly saves ABC’s second half ratings.
Got It Made: Dude… LeBron and Carmelo.
Remember those things I’ve said (many, many times actually) about keeping it simple and not making a habit of betting against greatness? This is that. I will be shocked if either of these guys fails to hit 30 in any game in this series. Keep it simple.
Additionally, and I maybe clouded by a borderline familial love, keep an eye out for any J.R. Smith scoring lines. Given the Knicks dearth of scorers behind Carmelo and (sometimes) Amar’e, to say nothing of J.R.’s shall we say “enthusiastic” approach to projecting the ball at the rim and the high potential for LeBron and Wade to bring out his swagtastic best/worst, lines you find (likely ~12.5) are sure to be live, and could prove conservative.
Look To Fade: You remember that thing about not betting against greatness? Well, in a similar vein, go ahead and feel free to bet against proven mediocrity. In the case of Knicks-Heat, we’re talking about the likes of Mario Chalmers and Landry Fields. (I have actually seen lines for both, on multiple sites)
In the case of Chalmers, he’s failed to make an impact against the Knicks this season as either a scorer (combined 15 points on 6-of-17 in three meetings this season) or a distributor (7 assists). While it’s likely that he’s find the range at least once in the series, given this, along with the likelihood of LeBron and Wade shifting into top gear offensively, we’re not terribly likely to see ‘Rio doing a great deal of damage.
Fields, on the other hand, has simply been putrid of late. And yet, thanks to two magical months last season, a prominent work address and a handful of oops from a now-famous former houseguest, his status as a relevant NBAer remains cemented. In his last 17 games, only three times has he scored more than 10 points, and only once has he topped five rebounds. Checking Dwyane Wade and switching onto LeBron in the pick-and-roll is not likely to reverse either of these trends.
The Call: LeBron and ‘Melo will each score a ton, and the rest of the Heat > rest of the Knicks. ‘Melo will go nova once - Miami in 5.