Heat expect tougher Knicks team

The New York Knicks and Miami Heat are ready to renew their rivalry, Friday night at 8 p.m. (on ESPN).

The Heat already know what to expect at Madison Square Garden, especially considering it's the Knicks' season opener.

"We know how it is not only playing in the Garden, the Heat and the Knicks, but opening night Heat and the Knicks, that's a whole different ballgame," Miami's Chris Bosh said at Friday's morning shootaround. "But it will be a lot of fun. I think it's just like picking up where we left off last year. We were just playing a big game here last year and now it's a big game here tonight, and that's what basketball's all about."

Bosh also lauded the Knicks for their offseason moves. "They were pretty aggressive going out and getting some help with Ronnie Brewer, making a trade for Kurt Thomas and even signing Rasheed Wallace," Bosh said. "They were some very interesting signings. Jason Kidd, of course. I think they automatically have made themselves a more mature, experienced team, and we're expecting a lot of emotion here tonight."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also commented on the Knicks' new acquisitions. "They've added some new faces, no question, and we have great respect for the guys that they've added," Spoelstra said. "We've played against some of these guys in the playoffs -- Jason Kidd and Ronnie Brewer and Kurt Thomas. It's been a little bit tough to really gauge them because of the injuries they've gone through, but we know what to expect. The core is there with (Tyson) Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. (Raymond) Felton is a terrific addition. He played his best basketball when he was here. So we think it will be a very competitive game tonight."

Amar'e Stoudemire, of course, is sidelined for the next six to eight weeks. Bosh said he will miss going up against him.

"You always want to play against the best competition, but, you know, things are more important," he said. "He has to get healthy and I wish him the best. I hope he heals correctly and everything, and hopefully the next time we play them, he'll be out there."

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