Sunday, March 3, 2013
W2W4: Knicks vs. Heat
By Ian Begley
We should know a little more about the Knicks by late Sunday afternoon.
Are they the team that started the season red-hot and beat the Heat by 20 points in two games?
Or are they the team that's gone 17-15 since mid December?
How they perform at home against the Heat on Sunday should give us a clearer picture of where they stand.
Here are a few things to watch during the game:
GUARDING LEBRON: Friday night's 4-for-14 shooting performance aside, LeBron James will walk on the floor Sunday as the hottest player in the NBA. In February, James led the NBA in scoring (29.7 ppg), was tied for the highest field goal percentage (.641), and ranked ninth in both assists (7.8 apg) and steals (1.85 spg).
The Heat went 12-1 in the month and have won 13 straight.
"I think he’s athletic enough and rangy enough to stay with those guys," Mike Woodson said of White. "But they’re a load for anybody. I don’t care who you are."
EFFICIENT ANTHONY? Anthony has been putting up big numbers lately, but not nearly as efficiently as LeBron.
In his last five games, Anthony's averaged 28.2 points on 39 percent shooting. He's struggled in particular with his outside shot, hitting just one of every five 3-point attempts.
To make up for his sub-par shooting percentage, Anthony's gotten to the line with much more frequency of late. He's taken at least nine free-throws in six of his last eight games. On the season, he's averaging 7.7 attempts per game.
Anthony's trips to the line could be key for the Knicks on Sunday. They'll put the Heat in foul trouble and give the Knicks opportunities for easy points.
HEAT WILL BE FIRED UP: Tyson Chandler expects the Heat to be out for revenge on Sunday because the Knicks beat the defending champs twice earlier in the season.
"Absolutely. They know that we got them here and embarrassed them at their house, so we expect them to come here fired up," Chandler said. "They're the champs for a reason they're not laying down for anybody. It should be a dog fight."
FEEL LIKE A KIDD AGAIN: Kidd was effective in his first game in a new role on Friday.
He had four points, five assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes off of the bench in the Knicks' win over Washington.
He helped facilitate for the second unit and helped the Knicks close the Wizards out in the fourth quarter.
New York outscored Washington by seven when Kidd was on the floor, and he was on the floor when the Knicks overcame a four-point deficit early in the fourth.
If Kidd can duplicate that performance against Miami in his second straight game off the bench, it could go a long way for the Knicks. If Kidd's playing well, New York should have an advantage at point guard over Miami.