UPDATE: Chris Bosh is expected to play tonight after the birth of his son early this morning.
The series moves to New York tonight with the Heat up 2-0 in the 7 game series. Thus far, the Heat have absolutely dominated the series getting contributions from everyone on the team. LeBron James has been tearing shit up averaging 25.5 ppg, 56% FG, 6 asts, and a paltry 27.5 PER. The bench has stepped up major, with Shane Battier playing suffocating defense on Carmelo Anthony, while also hitting open trey's. Mike Miller is back to form and UD is bringing the intensity. The big news entering the game on the Heat side is that Chris Bosh will not be available for this game. His wife is expected to give birth and Bosh will be with her. And where do I begin with the Knicks? They are a mess right now. Amar'e Stoudemire is out of this game, and presumably the series, with a severely lacerated left hand after smashing it against a fire extinguisher glass case in frustration following Game 2. Melo has had his struggles in this series. In game 1 he was fronted all game and only managed a disgusting 11 points on 3-15 shooting. Game 2 was a little better for him, scoring 30 points (15 in the 1st quarter) on 12-26 shooting, and grabbing 9 rebounds. While the Heat defense has been tremendous on Melo, Mike Woodson hasn't done anything to try to make it more difficult on us. He has just allowed Melo to stand there calling for the ball and then play hero ball once he manages to get the ball. He has not been making cuts, no pin down screens, or using him as the screener in PnR. In game 2 the Knicks had him bring the ball up, but that wasn't very effective. You cannot go one-on-one on LeBron all game long, he will wear you down, and as we saw Melo completely lost his legs by the end of the game. And of course the Knicks are also dealing with the loss of their best perimeter defender Iman Shumpert who blew out his ACL while trying a crossover move, on a non-contact play, and Jeremy Lin who had knee surgery a few weeks ago. MSG is sure to be rocking tonight, but our superstars thrive in this building, with Bron and Wade having some of their best games in this building.
The loss of Amar'e may be a blessing in disguise for the Knicks. He has missed a ton of games in the regular season, and the Knicks performed much better without him. The Knicks went 14-5, scored more points, allowed less points, and Melo's scoring shot up. Melo could be moved to the 4, as he was when STAT missed regular season games, forcing mismatches. Additionally, their defense improves as STAT is a notoriously poor defender. As for our starting lineup, I say it should be: Rio, Wade, Miller/Battier, Bron, and UD. Our 3 point defense will be tested in this game. With Amar'e out the Knicks are very good at spreading the floor with their prolific 3 point shooting. Our defenders are going to have to be disciplined and stay on their mans to avoid getting lit up. Steve Novak is the best 3 pt shooter in the league and JR Smith can certainly get hot at any moment.
Other News: Baron Davis tweaked a back injury and is expected to receive some diminished playing time, which means more Bibby (HAHA)...Tyson Chandler was announced as the DPOY