NEW YORK KNICKS (13-4)
at MIAMI HEAT (12-4)
Tip-off: Thursday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Miami -7.5, Total: 201
The Heat have payback on their minds as they host the Knicks on Thursday night.
New York absolutely manhandled Miami in its season and home opener, winning by a score of 104-84. The Knicks connected on 19-of-36 three pointers in that game, but don’t expect that to happen again. These teams have played each other close the past few seasons, as they have split the last 12 games played, 6-6 ATS, over the past three seasons. The Heat have won six straight meetings SU in Miami though, and after the beatdown opening night, the Heat will be looking to return the favor. They will also be trying to bounce back from a 105-101 loss in Washington two nights ago. Knicks star SG Carmelo Anthony is probable to play in this game after lacerating his finger against the Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Can the Heat come up with a big victory on Thursday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts continue to stay sizzling on NBA Best Bets since Nov. 26, going a collective 38-22 ATS (63%) with StatFox Gary going 8-2 ATS. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 33-15 (69%) on NBA Totals for the season, while Gary is a tremendous 12-4 in Totals since Nov. 24. For Best Bets, the experts are a collective 111-94-8 ATS (54.4%) this year led by StatFox Gary who sits at 66% ATS (19-10-2).
Knicks guard J.R Smith hit a buzzer-beater to defeat the Bobcats on Wednesday night, but the Knicks were a little worried when Anthony dove into the crowd and cut his finger trying to save a loose ball. Anthony is averaging 26.0 PPG this season and he’ll need to be at his absolute best playing against the world champions. The good thing for New York, is that he never has trouble torching the Heat, putting up 27.6 PPG and 7.3 RPG in his past seven games against them. Despite Smith’s heroics, he shot 6-of-16 from the field in the game and is only averaging 8.8 PPG on 36% shooting over the past five games. As the Knicks’ second main scoring option, Amar'e Stoudemire (knee), is out indefinitely, Smith will need to greatly improve upon his three games versus Miami in a Knicks uniform, where he's shooting 38% FG including 32% (6-for-19) from inside the arc. One player on an absolute tear for New York is Tyson Chandler, who is averaging 18.0 PPG and 11.6 RPG on 81% shooting from the field (35-of-43) over the past five games.
The Heat had a horrible game defensively against a team that was 1-13 when they met, but they were pretty efficient on the offensive end with 56 points in the paint which led to 46% FG. LeBron James poured in a triple-double (26 pts, 13 reb, 11 ast) to give 25.6 PPG, 7.4 APG and 9.4 RPG over his past five games. His matchup with Carmelo Anthony is one to watch, as James is averaging 25.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG and 6.4 APG in eight regular-season meetings with New York since signing with Miami. Dwyane Wade averaged just 17.1 PPG during an injury-riddled November, but he has been great so far this month with 29.0 PPG on 59% FG in two games. He had just 15 points versus New York on Nov. 2, but has averaged 27.9 PPG on 49% FG in 25 regular-season games against the Knicks.