Miami Heat at New York Knicks
Tip Off: 8:05 PM EST
Spread: MIA -6
M/L: MIA -265, NYK +225
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
The New York Knicks will tip off the season a little later than planned, thanks to Hurricane Sandy and the path of devastation it wrecked upon the city.
Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak recognizes the importance of the game, not just to the team, but to the city, commenting that it is going “to be even more emotional” adding that “The Garden is going to be kind of a getaway from that for a little bit.”
It will be an even nicer get away if the Knicks can manage to pull an upset win over the visiting Miami Heat. Miami enters the game as six point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers.
The Knicks didn’t have any preseason games as the Madison Square Garden was renovated, so Knicks fans are probably dying for some basketball, but the hurricane’s devastation has made basketball take a backseat to reality. Ronnie Brewer said after this game “it goes back to real life,” adding that “there’s still people out in New York struggling and still need some relief.”
Relief may come in the form of a game for fans, but for the Knicks, they are going to be without star forward Amar’e Stoudemire who just had knee surgery and could be out up to two months. Marcus Camby and J.R. Smith were both battling injuries during the preseason, and Rasheed Wallace is still trying to round his way into shape after two years of not playing basketball. Iman Shumpert is still out for months. The Knicks are beat up, and tonight will be a tough game for them against the defending champs.
Don’t expect LeBron James or Dwyane Wade to let the plight of the Knicks, or the city of New York, soften their play. The duo combined for 55 points in the opening night win over the Boston Celtics, while Chris Bosh chipped in an additional 19. The Heat won by 13 over a Boston team that took them to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony
This matchup at small forward pits the two most hyped players from the 2003 Draft class, and it should be a treat to watch them go at it again. LBJ has easily had the more celebrated career thus far, and Carmelo is still looking to get his first ring in now his 10th NBA season. Anthony is more of a isolation forward, dependent upon creating his shot through the traffic of opposing forwards and NBA defense, while LeBron is a facilitator and creator—and a superior player.
Anthony has tried hard to shake the “team cancer” labels that have been applied to him, as he hasn’t been able to improve his teammates nor get the Knicks over the hump. His game still is too reliant on isolation, and he has to find a way to get Amar’e involved more (when he comes back from injury). Expect Anthony to force a lot of shots and attempt to over create, without Jeremy Lin (now in Houston) and Stoudemire sidelined. He’s going to have to let Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd initiate the offense more to involve Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak, Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith.
Make sure to get in on our paid pick plans for the 2012-13 NBA season as we dominate the books here again at Maddux!