The most interesting first round clash of the 2012 playoff, by far, is the New York Knicks taking the Miami Heat; the series starts with the Heat as 8.5 favorites, this Saturday at 3:30 ET at the American Airlines Center.
The Knicks have shown good stuffs since coach Mile D’Anthony left the franchise a few months ago; Carmelo Anthony became the start everybody wanted, and some forget quickly about Linsanity; however the challenge to beat the ultimate favorite, Miami, is bigger than just playing good ball.
New York’s best shot will come if the can slow the Heat down, especially if they can dominate the boards and avoid fast breaks from Miami; after all, that’s what the Heat loves.
“This,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “is the moment we’ve been waiting for. “The guys are salivating for the second season.”
“We don’t have to play the waiting game any longer,” Spoelstra said. “We respect the Knicks and how they’ve been playing.”
Miami outrebounded New York by 14 in its win at Madison Square Garden on April 15 at the 95-83 victory by the Heat; the Knicks need to step up and raise their game if they want to have a shot at this series.
“We set out with a goal at the beginning of the year, and it was to be a championship-caliber team, make the playoffs and play towards a championship’’, Baron Davis said to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “And through all the bumps and bruises we had all having a new coach; we’re still a very good team. We’re a better team than when we started the season. We have camaraderie that is unbelievable.”
The Knick and the Heat met three times this season; all game were won by Miami and that was eight point game in April 15; the other two were double digit losses for the Knicks.