W2W4: Knicks vs. Heat

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
1:52
PM ET
Here are a few things to keep an eye on tonight during the Heat-Knicks game:

Big stage for Melo: Carmelo Anthony has put up some impressive numbers against Miami of late.

He's scored 38.5 points per game in his past four regular season contests against the Heat, according to STATS LLC.

Carmelo had 50 the previous time he played Miami, torching the defending champs while LeBron James and Dwyane Wade watched from the bench.

If Anthony's most recent performance is any indication, the Heat could have its hands full Thursday night.

Carmelo had one of his more impressive offensive outputs of the year Tuesday. He had a season-high six 3s and 34 points in a win over the Pistons. Anthony hit three 3-pointers in a row during a 15-0 third-quarter run.

The Knicks (12-22) are 3-1 since Anthony returned from an ankle injury. A win over Miami would validate the idea that they are starting to turn the corner on what's been a forgettable season thus far.

Guarding LeBron: It will be interesting to see who Mike Woodson uses on James tonight. He could ask Anthony to cover James or he could go with Iman Shumpert. J.R. Smith is also a candidate.

Whoever guards James is going to have his work cut out for him. According to STATS LLC, James leads all non-centers in field-goal percentage (59 percent) and he's dropped 33 points per game at the Garden since 2007-08. That's his highest average total in any Eastern Conference arena.

Lace 'em up: Smith will take the floor for the first time since being fined $50,000 for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" following his shoelace stunts in the New York Knicks' past two games.

The Knicks would prefer recurring instances of better shooting from Smith. In his past four games, the reigning Sixth Man Award winner is averaging just 6.5 points per game and has missed 13 of his last 16 3s.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR