A game that has been debated as one of the most anticipated regular-season matchups in Heat history is finally upon us, as the Miami Heat will welcome the New York Knicks to the AAA on Thursday night. The main reason for all the hype is the Knicks new point guard Jeremy Lin, who has captivated the league with his play combined with the Knicks sudden streak of wins.
The Heat come in on a seven game winning streak, having won each game by at least 12 points. They had a similar streak last season, winning nine straight by double figures. Miami has been playing at an extremely high level for a while now. They have won 18 of their last 21 games overall, which is a streak that no other team in the league can match.
The Knicks come into this game fresh off of a five game homestand in which they won three games, including a win over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. They are on a run of winning nine of their last eleven games, a streak that began with the emergence of Jeremy Lin. He is averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 3.4 turnovers, but since being injected into the regular rotation 11 games ago he is putting up 23.9 points and 9.2 assists.
This is the final game for the Heat before the All-Star break. A good portion of the team will be heading up to Orlando for the weekend, as several Heat players are participating in one thing or another. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all play in Sunday nights All-Star Game. Mario Chalmers and James Jones will compete in Saturday nights 3-Point Shootout, and rookie Norris Cole will play in Friday nights Rising Stars Challenge.
- The Heat are 14-2 at home. New York is 7-8 on the road.
- Miami has won 8 of the last 10 meetings between the Heat and Knicks.
- New York has won three straight games on the road.
- Since Jeremy Lin joined the rotation 11 games ago, the Knicks have gone 3-0 against teams win a winning record.
- The Heat list nobody on their injury report.
- The Knicks aren't as lucky. Josh Harrellson (wrist) is out, Iman Shumpert (knee) is doubtful and Bill Walker (elbow) is questionable.
- Miami will be without center Mickell Gladness, whose 10-day contract expired on Tuesday night.
Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7pm. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.