GAME PREVIEW: Heat tip off 2nd round against Knicks inside the Garden
Miami has gone 4-1 in these playoffs but went 1-3 in the regular season matchups against NY.
The Miami Heat have pulled off the unthinkable and taken down the best overall team in the entire NBA in round one. They will now try to replicate that success to take down another higher seeded team in the 2nd round in the New York Knicks. The Knicks and Heat are set to tip off at 1:00 PM ET this afternoon on ABC.
This is going to be a long awaited matchup. These two teams have some deep playoff history and rivalry brewing. Miami will try to come into a very hostile environment inside Madison Square Garden as the 8th seed and steal at least one of the two first series games. One single win on the road to start off immediately gives Miami home court advantage again.
Jimmy Butler is coming off a historic playoff series in which he had MVP numbers with 37.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 1.8 STLS on 60% shooting and 44% from 3 point range.
He is playing as the best basketball player in the world at the moment, and has wasted no time to prepare for this series as soon as he landed in New York this weekend.
Butler is on a revenge tour, and is on his own level of play right now. Heat Nation will be tuning in all over the world to see what kind of tricks and dominance the man pulls out for this series. He has scored 98 points throughout the last 2 playoff games, including a 42 point outing to close out Milwaukee on the road in game 5 Wednesday night.
The supporting cast is also coming off a very strong performance. Bam Adebayo rose to the occasion to provide Butler with some All-Star caliber help. The big man posted a 20 point triple double the other night.
Players like Kevin Love, Gabe Vincent, Kyle Lowry and Max Strus also had some huge moments in game 5 and throughout the playoffs thus far as well.
Love has been given a starting role and that insertion by coach Spoelstra has been paying dividends. He put up a double double with 15 points and 12 boards in the last game. Having him to help defend the duo of Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson will be huge.
It allows Bam Adebayo to play more freely defensively, as he can switch onto other players knowing that he has another big body in Love to add that cushion behind him.
However, Miami won’t need to even deal with that matchup tonight as Randle is listed as out with an ankle injury. It is not expected that this injury would keep him out long term in this series.
Miami is 1-3 against New York this season, but the playoffs is a whole different animal. Especially when the team has Playoff Jimmy on their side. The Heat need to take advantage of no Randle and punish the Knicks on the boards and in the paint.
Mitchell Robinson is coming off a dominant rebounding performance against Cleveland in their last game. Having two elite rebounding options in Adebayo and Love should help in containing that with Robinson.
The Heat need to control the pace and not allow New York to get out in transition. Most importantly, Jalen Brunson needs to be controlled. He is a young superstar who is ready for the big moment. Expect Jimmy Butler to have a lot of time guarding the smaller guard.
Bam Adebayo (hamstring) — PROBABLE
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Victor Oladipo (knee) — OUT
Quentin Grimes (shoulder) — QUESTIONABLE
Julius Randle (ankle) — OUT
Jericho Sims (shoulder) — OUT
Probable Starters (at time of publishing):
ODDS (via FanDuel)
Check the odds out at FanDuel!
Tipoff: 1:00 PM EST
TV: ABC & Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)
Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!
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i cant watch this game, since i m away, but we should start strong... beware of Brunson... he is the man for ny
Would love to steal game 1. The Heat won two games in a row. Why can't they make it 3? ;)